Period: Predynastic, early Naqada II
Date: ca. 3650–3450 B.C.
Geography: From Egypt
Medium: Ivory (elephant)
Dimensions: h. 6.5 x w. 2.2 x d. 0.9 cm (2 9/16 x 7/8 x 3/8 in.)
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1954
Accession Number: 54.28.2
The earliest pieces of Egyptian sculpture represent men and women in formal poses. Figurines were made from mud or unbaked clay, ceramic, or ivory; details such as body hair, clothing, and tattoos were either incised or painted on the clay surface. This bearded man is made from the end portion of a hippo incisor. The features of his face and clothing(?) were incised into the ivory and filled with a black paste like substance. Figurines are very rare in this period of Egyptian art and little is known about their use in the Predynastic cultures that created them.