Head of a woman (known as “Miriam”), fragment

Alabaster head of a woman with a wig-style plaster curls hanging in Egyptian fashion at the back of the head. Missing part of the nose. Two holes in the plaster wig at the upper part of the neck served initially for a necklace. The eyes still retain lapis lazuli and on either cheek small strips had been carved out and were filled in with a strip of different alabaster.

Historical period(s)
1st century BCE-mid 1st century CE
Medium
Alabaster, stucco and bitumen
Dimensions
H x W x D: 30.2 × 18.2 × 17.3 cm (11 7/8 × 7 3/16 × 6 13/16 in)
Geography
Yemen, Wadi Bayhan
Credit Line
Gift of The American Foundation for the Study of Man (Wendell and Merilyn Phillips Collection)
Collection
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
S2013.2.139
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Sculpture, Stone
Type

Figure

Keywords
funerary, head, Wendell and Merilyn Phillips collection, woman, Yemen
Provenance
Provenance information is currently unavailable
Description

Alabaster head of a woman with a wig-style plaster curls hanging in Egyptian fashion at the back of the head. Missing part of the nose. Two holes in the plaster wig at the upper part of the neck served initially for a necklace. The eyes still retain lapis lazuli and on either cheek small strips had been carved out and were filled in with a strip of different alabaster.

Published References
  • Holland Cotter. See Ancient Trade Route Treasures at the Met. New York, March 14, 2019. Lead image.
  • Caravan Kingdoms: Yemen and the Ancient Incense Trade. Exh. cat. Washington, 2005. pl. 20.
  • Blair Fowlkes-Childs, Michael Seymour. The World Between Empires: A Picture Album. Exh. cat. New York. p. 10.
  • The World Between Empires: Art and Identity in the Ancient Middle East. Exh. cat. New York. p. 35, Plate 22.
Collection Area(s)
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage conditions apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.