Figured Ostracon

56.22.214
Fragment of carved limestone with incised male profile and some lightly carved hieroglyphs. In some respect the style of the piece is very much like sculptor’s trial pieces excavated at Tell el-Amarna. However, without any recorded archaeological provenance it is difficult to be certain if it is an antiquity (mid 18th Dynasty?) or a forgery (early 1900s?). The artist may have been attempting to show someone wearing the so-called Nubian wig, popular with both men and women during the reign of Akhenaten. The carving of the eye is exaggerated, quite unlike examples from Amarna, and this casts some doubt on the authenticity of the piece. Compare with sculptor’s trial pieces from Amarna e.g., 'The City of Akhenaten part 3' (London, 1951) pl. LXVII.1 [Brooklyn Museum no. 35.1999], pl. LXVII.12.