Statue of standing male figure

Historical period(s)
Kingdom of Qataban, ca. 2nd century BCE
Calcite travertine
H x W x D: 46.4 x 14.2 x 8.8 cm (18 1/4 x 5 9/16 x 3 7/16 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn to the Smithsonian Institution
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view
Sculpture, Stone


Kingdom of Qataban (ca. 500 BCE - 100 CE), man, WWII-era provenance, Yemen

To 1965
André Emmerich Gallery, New York. [1]

From 1965 to 1966
Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981), purchased from André Emmerich Gallery, New York. [2]

From 1966 to 1986
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn. [3]

From 1986
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, transferred from Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC [4]


[1] See document from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, object file, Collections Management Office.

[2] See note 1.

[3] See note 1.

[4] See note 1. See also object file, Collections Management Office.

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
André Emmerich Gallery
Joseph H. Hirshhorn


This statue belongs to a large group of carved standing figures that served as funerary monuments in the ancient kingdom of Qataban (ca. 500-100 B.C.E.), located in what is now Yemen at the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula.  The inscription on the front of the statue base, written in ancient South Arabian script, gives the personal name of the figure depicted.  Funerary monuments like this one commemorated the deceased, whose name was often carved at the base of the statue.

Qatab¯an was one of several kingdoms that prospered in antiquity as they gained control over the caravan trade routes across the Arabian peninsula. Frankincense and myrrh, prized products of the southern peninsula, were transported along the trade routes to Mediterranean markets. 

Published References
  • Yemen: 3,000 Years of Art and Civilization in Arabia Felix. Exh. cat. Munich. .
  • Ray L. Cleveland. An Ancient South Arabian Necropolis: Objects from the Second Campaign (1951) in the Timna' Cemetery. Publications of the American Foundation for the Study of Man, vol. 4 Baltimore. .
  • Paolo M. Costa. Pre-Islamic Antiquities in the Yemen National Museum. Rome. .
  • Leon Legrain. Archaeological Notes in the Land of the Queen of Sheba. vol. 38, no. 3 Boston, July - September 1934. .
  • Jacqueline Pirenne. Notes d'archeologie sud-Arabe. vol. XXXVIII. .
  • Carlo Conti Rossini. Dalle Rovine di Ausan. pp. 727-754.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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