Exhibitions/ Art Object

Figurine

Date:
10th-11th century
Geography:
Made in Egypt
Medium:
Bone, carved; painted with black organic material
Dimensions:
6 1/8 x 1 9/16 x 13/16 in. (15.5 x 4 x 2 cm)
Classification:
Ivories-Bone
Credit Line:
The British Museum, London (1979,1017.203)
Not on view
During both the Byzantine and the Islamic periods, female images signified abundance, fertility, intellectual pursuits, deities, and cities. Women also appear as court entertainers such as dancers, musicians, and courtesans.
The "tattoos" on this figurine may have had a therapeutic or an apotropaic function associated with warding off the evil eye. Hair may have been added to its head.