Ivory figurine


British Museum

British Museum

This beautiful figurine of a Hittite girl is made of ivory. She stands in a formal pose with her hands by her sides and the proportions of the figure, lacking curves, suggest her youth. Parts of the ivory may once have been covered in precious metal or inlaid. Ivory was widely used in the ancient world to decorate furniture and a hole in the square base of the figure suggests it was once attached to something.

From around 1650 BC Hittite kings rebuilt Hattusa (modern Bogazköy) and made it their capital. Between about 1400 and 1200 BC the Hittites established one of the great empires of the ancient Middle East, extending westwards across Anatolia and south into Syria. They adopted many of the traditions of Mesopotamia, including the cuneiform writing system, and vied with the Egyptians for control of the wealthy Canaanite cities on the Mediterranean coast.

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  • Title: Ivory figurine
  • Date Created: -1400/-1200
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 12.50cm; Width: 4.50cm; Depth: 3.00cm; Weight: 37.00g
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: carved; inlaid
  • Registration number: SOC.151
  • Period/culture: Bronze Age
  • Material: ivory
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum


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