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Female figurine
ca. 1630-1539 B.C.E.

Second Intermediate Period
Dynasties 15 to 18

Terracotta
H: 16.3 W: 5.4 D: 2.9 cm
Egypt

Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1907.389

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This type of "doll" figure has been found in ancient Egypt in graves dating from Dynasties 12 to 18 (ca. 1938–1539 B.C.E.). This particular example most closely resembles examples that have been dated to the Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1630–1539/23 B.C.E.). These figurines, which clearly symbolized fertility, were placed in graves to ensure the rebirth and fertility of the deceased in the next world. The holes in the ears of this figure would likely have contained beaded earrings at one time, and the perforations on the top of the head were used to attach strings of clay beads in imitation of flowing hair. The coils of pierced clay around the neck were made to imitate heavy necklaces.