Woman Statuette

This wooden statuette of a woman depicting her wears a wig with a wreath of leaves and a lotus flower on her forehead. In her left hand she holds a sistrum (a rattle used in the cult of female deities), whose handle only is preserved.

The right arm, which was carved separately and attached with dowels, is lost. The willowy figure with long legs is typical of the Ramesside period (19th and 20th Dynasties), but the softness of the body’s contours still shows the influence of the stylistic revolution of the Amarna period.

Woman Statuette
Woman statuette. Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 3106

The Ancient Egyptians made statues using wood from local trees such as tamarisk, acacia and the sycamore fig. These contained many knots and irregular graining so they were used for small objects. For planks and blocks they imported conifer wood from Lebanon and Syria.

Although Egypt has no forests today, there were wooded areas in antiquity, and, despite a lack of larger strong timbers, there were active industries of carpentry including boat-making. There is no other ancient civilisation from which so many wooden artefacts have survived.

New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty, ca. 1292-1189 BC. Wood and paint. From Thebes. Dimensions: 43 x 25 x 10 cm. Drovetti collection, 1824. Now in the Egyptian Museum of Turin. Cat. 3106