Torso of a priestess, reign of Ptolemy I or Ptolemy II, 306–246 b.c.
Limestone; H. 16 1/2 in. (42 cm)
Purchase, Liana Weindling Gift, in memory of her mother, 2010 (2010.18)
Even with its upper part missing, this is a beautiful example of a fairly rare type of nonroyal female image from the time when Alexander the Great's General Ptolemy and his son ruled Egypt. The tightly fitting sheath worn by this woman is well known from pharaonic female representations, especially of the Old and Middle Kingdoms (ca. 2649–1640 B.C.), and her long-limbed body is still close to the dominating ideal of female beauty of pharaonic times. Ptolemaic artistic trends, however, predominate in the rounded abdomen and the subtly indicated pubic area. According to the inscription on the back pillar, the woman was called Tagerem. She was the daughter of a priest and held the priestly position of "god's wife" at Sakhebu, a town in the southwestern Nile Delta.