Statuette of a Woman Making Beer
This lively statuette of a woman is presented in the act of making beer, kneading dough in a strainer over a large jar. The woman is wearing only a close-fitting, medium-length white skirt and a necklace. The pale blue shape of which can be clearly seen around her neck. Her hair is covered by a medium-length wig with individual locks of hair rendered by separate vertical incisions. Her own natural hair can be glimpsed beneath the wig on her forehead.
She has a full face with very striking features. A large downturned eyes emphasized by heavy eyebrows, a flattened, irregularly shaped nose, and a mouth with a hint of a smile. Her torso, full breasts and muscular arms give the impression of vitality and strength, the rest of the body is less carefully modeled.
Although rather crude, the figure as a whole has a great sense of realism and movement. The beer was prepared in a big jar using fermented barley bread sprayed with date liquor. When fermented, the beer would flow from a hole near the base of the jar.
Old Kingdom, 5th Dynasty, ca. 2494-2345 BC. Painted limestone, from Mastaba of Meresankh, Giza necropolis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 66624