ostracon ancient art



Egyptian Terracotta Ba-Bird, Late Period, 664-30 BC

Human-headed Ba-bird with tripartite wig and false beard, the head surmounted by a disk.

The wings lean close to the body, the feet show powerful claws. The back is flat.

Superb made with much use of the modeling tool.

The Egyptian idea of the Ba conceives a free-soul (Freiseele, Exkursionsseele) capable of independent existence from the body. It thus leaves and reunites with the body at will. The Ba-bird is often depicted hovering over the deceased's mummy as well as leaving or entering the tomb.

For a closely related faience example, cf. LDUCE-UC38569 in the Petrie Museum database.

Intact, crisply formed with tiny dents on the face.

H. 4.5 cm (1.8 in)

Ex collection R.W., Maryland, acquired while in Egypt in 1967.

460 USD

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