Jar with Sculptural RimJar with Sculptural Rim
Jomon period (c. 10,500–300 B.C.)
16 9/16 x 14 15/16 in. (42 x 38 cm)
Jomon, meaning “cord-marked,” refers to the impressions left from rolling braided or twisted ropes across the surface of moist clay vessels in the Neolithic period in Japan, which is thus known as the Jomon period.
Female FigureFemale Figure
Cycladic (c. 2500–2300 B.C.)
Early Cycladic II phase
c. 2500–2300 B.C.
16 1/4 x 5 13/16 in. (41.2 x 14.7 cm)
This statuette of a female figure was produced by the Early Bronze Age culture that flourished in the Cyclades Islands of Greece in the second half of the third millennium B.C.
Group Statue of Ka-nefer and His FamilyGroup Statue of Ka-nefer and His Family
Egypt, probably Saqqara
Old Kingdom, Dynasty 5 (c. 2465–2323 B.C.)
c. 2465–2323 B.C.
Limestone, with traces of original painted decoration
13 5/8 × 5 3/4 × 8 7/8 in. (34.6 × 14.6 × 22.5 cm)
This highly important tomb sculpture shows a seated court official accompanied by his wife and son.
Seated WomanSeated Woman
Mexico, Guerrero, Xochipala culture
Pre-Classic period (c. 1600–100 B.C.)
c. 1500–1200 B.C.
4 3/8 x 3 1/8 x 2 7/8 in. (11.1 x 8 x 7.3 cm)
The Xochipala figures are named after the remote West Mexican village near which all known examples have been found. The style is one of extraordinary physical presence and naturalism for its period.
Kneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen HatshepsutKneeling Statue of Senenmut, Chief Steward of Queen Hatshepsut
Egypt, Temple of Montu (?), Armant
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Hatshepsut, c. 1473-1458 B.C.
c. 1473-1458 B.C.
Gray green schist
16 1/8 x 6 x 12 in. (41 x 15.2 x 30.5 cm)
This masterpiece of New Kingdom art portrays Senenmut, the most favored official of the dowager Queen Hatshepsut, who reigned from about 1473–1458 B.C., offering an image of Renenutet, goddess of the harvest and nourishment, on behalf of the well-being of his sovereign and in hopes of eternal blessi
Portrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep IIPortrait Statue of Pharaoh Amenhotep II
Egypt, South Karnak
Dynasty 18, c. 1427–1400 B.C., and Dynasty 19, c. 1279–1213 B.C.
c. 1400 B.C., recarved for Ramesses II (the Great) c. 1250 B.C.
40 1/2 x 18 x 15 in. (102.8 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm)
This regal figure of Amenhotep II shows him holding the traditional insignia of kingship against his chest—the scepter in the form of a crook in his left hand and the flail or whip in his right.
Seated FigureSeated Figure
Mexico, Tenenexpan, Veracruz, Olmec culture
Preclassic period (1500–900 B.C.)
c. 1200–900 B.C.
Ceramic with white slip and traces of paint
10 7/8 x 9 1/8 x 6 1/8 in. (27.7 x 23.2 x 15.6 cm)
This hollow ceramic seated figure of a child, with snarling expression, plump babyish proportions, and incised headdress, belongs to a type of so-called “hollow baby” figures found throughout Olmec territory.
Nao BellNao Bell
China, possibly Hunan province
Western Zhou dynasty (c. 1046–771 B.C.)
c. 10th century B.C.
19 x 13 1/2 x 10 in. (48.3 x 34.3 x 25.4 cm)
This impressive, heavily cast nao bell is ornamented on each side with eighteen conical studs arranged in three rows, separated by bands of scrolling thunder pattern (leiwen) decoration, and surrounded by borders of fine thread-relief.
Standing FigureStanding Figure
Mexico, Olmec culture
Middle Pre-Classic period (900–300 B.C.)
c. 900–400 B.C.
5 1/2 x 2 11/16 x 1 1/8 in. (13.9 x 6.9 x 2.9 cm)
The Olmecs produced the first complex culture in Middle America. Their settlements saw the establishment of the first sacred centers composed of plazas, mounds, and pyramids; and the ceremonial centers contained colossal basalt sculptured heads that portrayed secular leaders as well as deities.
Pair of Winged DeitiesPair of Winged Deities
Reign of Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 B.C.)
c. 874-860 B.C.
a: 36 1/4 x 27 9/16 in. (92 x 70 cm) b: 35 11/16 x 28 15/16 in. (90.7 x 73.5 cm)
AP 1981.04 a,b
The Northwest Palace of Ashurnasirpal II (reigned 883–859 b.c.) at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu) is the earliest of the surviving royal residences of the Assyrian kings, lavishly decorated with monumental gateway figures and reliefs, whose discovery in the mid-nineteenth century created a sensation through
Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus (exterior) and a Maenad (interior)Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus (exterior) and a Maenad (interior)
Greek (active c. 500–460 B.C.)
Late Archaic period (500–480 B.C.)
c. 480 B.C.
H. 5 in. (12.7 cm); Diam. 11 1/2 in. (29.2 cm)
On the exterior of this cup, one of the finest surviving vases of the early Classical period, we witness the gruesome death of Pentheus, a mythical king of Thebes who had offended the god Dionysos by denying his divinity and forbidding his worship.
Young Female AttendantYoung Female Attendant
Greece, Attica (?)
Late Classical period (400–300 B.C.)
c. 340–330 B.C.
46 x 18 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (116.9 x 47 x 26.7 cm)
This sculpture is probably one of a group of votary figures that originally accompanied the statue of a goddess. Although it dates from a century later than the maidens from the famous frieze of the Parthenon, it shares their ceremonious and solemn air.
Africa, Northern Nigeria, Nok culture
c. 500 B.C.–A.D. 500
c. 285 B.C.–A.D. 515
12 3/4 x 6 3/4 x 7 in. (32.4 x 17.2 x 17.8 cm)
This unadorned yet elegant head represents a strain of Nok art differentiated from the typically more energized Nok style, perhaps of a type produced in another area. Sculpted in the round, it is most likely broken at the neck from a full figure.
Horse and RiderHorse and Rider
China, probably Shaanxi province
Western Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D. 9)
2nd–1st century B.C.
Earthenware with painted polychrome decoration
22 5/8 x 21 1/2 x 6 5/8 in. (57.5 x 54.6 x 16.8 cm)
Tombs of the Han dynasty (206 B.C.–A.D.. 220) were typically furnished with model figures and other objects believed to be necessary for a safe journey to the afterlife.
Male FigureMale Figure
Africa, Northern Nigeria, Nok culture
c. 500 B.C.–A.D. 500
c. 195 B.C.–A.D. 205
19 1/2 x 8 3/4 x 6 5/8 in. (49.5 x 22.2 x 16.8 cm)
Nok terracottas are the earliest known sculptures from ancient Nigeria. Sculptures of this kind were first discovered in 1943 by Bernard Fagg near the northern Nigerian village of Nok, after which the culture that produced them was named.
Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos)Head of an Athlete (Apoxyomenos)
Hellenistic or Roman
probably after Lysippos (Greek, c. 365–c. 310 B.C.)
c. 2nd–1st century B.C.
11 1/2 × 8 1/4 × 10 3/4 in. (29.2 × 21 × 27.3 cm) With base: 20 1/4 × 8 1/4 × 10 3/4 in. (51.44 × 20.96 × 27.31 cm) Weight: 36.6 lb. (16.6 kg)
AP 2000.03 a,b
This exceptionally fine and rare head comes from the statue of an athlete shown scraping oil from his naked body with a strigil after exercising. The lips were originally overlaid with copper, and the eyes inlaid with stone, glass, and metal.