Figure of a seated female orant

Figure of a seated female orant

2nd half of the 3rd century AD
Height: 130mm
Width: 70mm
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Seated female with her legs flexed so that the soles of her feet are touching each other. Both hands are raised in a prayer gesture (orant). She is dressed in a short-sleeved, transparent tunic with a triangular neckline, and decorative folds revealing legs above the knee. Her face is framed by hair styled in three rows of regular curls, braided at the back into a long plait. Her ears are decorated with roughly shaped discs with holes for earrings. The orant type, very popular in Egyptian coroplastic tradition (making clay figurines), probably represented young girls as priestesses consecrated to the goddess Isis before marriage (custom attested for imperial Egypt). The figurine has stylistic traits characteristic of the fourth-century terracottas found at Ehnasya near modern Beni Souwaif (Herakleopolis Magna), such as distorted body proportions, robe modelling and hairstyle.


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