Furniture element with a monkey

Old Assyrian Trading Colony

Not on view

This fragment belongs to a group of carved ivories, mostly furniture elements, probably found at the site of a palace at Acemhöyük in central Anatolia. Like most of the ivories from Acemhöyük, this object depicts imagery borrowed and transformed from Egyptian sources. The delicately incised image on this small flat piece of ivory can be identified by its characteristic cheek ridges and body form as the African guenon monkey. Depicted squatting and holding a jar, the monkey wears a necklace of beads. Its fur is shown with two different textures, a spotted coat on the legs and body and a striated ridge down the back. Monkeys were beloved by the ancient Egyptians, and their representations in Egyptian art show them both as mischievous pets, and as symbols of fecundity and magical sexual powers in the afterlife when depicted on scarabs and amulets.

Furniture element with a monkey, Ivory, Old Assyrian Trading Colony

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