About this object

A female figure made from a single paddle-shaped piece of wood, with a seperate wig composed of tightly coiled linen fibres, usually called "string". Marked on the front are two nipples and trace of a broad collar of beads in dark pigment. May once have had arms, now broken off. Paddle dolls such as this one are similar to fertility figurines but date mainly to the 11th Dynasty and the Middle Kingdom. They have been found in burials of men, women and children, as well as in houses and temples. In daily life, these figurines may have been magical guarantors of fertility both to mothers and to children who had reached the age of puberty. As burial equipment, they represented the potential for rebirth and procreation, thus assuring continuity and immortality in the afterlife for men and women.

Marked on the back in black ink '511', although the object is not listed in the inventory for this tomb. It appears in the appendix of John Garstang’s ‘The Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt’ (1907) as being from tomb no. 09 “wooden doll with string hair”. Stuck to the surface on the back is a small label with the printed number 345, the accession number of the Institute of Archaeology.

Object specifics

  • Type
    Religion
  • Culture
    Middle Kingdom
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Beni Hasan
  • Date made
    2055 BC - 1773 BC (Dynasty 11 - 12) about
  • Materials
    Wood
  • Location
    World Museum, Level 3, Ancient Egypt Gallery
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the University of Liverpool, 2000
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Beni Hasan
  • Date collected
    1904 before
  • Measurements
    72 mm x 145 mm x 192 mm
  • Note
    Was on loan to the museum from the University of Liverpool 1912 - 2000 (Institute of Archaeology collection no. 345). Prior to World War Two it was displayed in Ventilator Case 45 in the Main Hall. In 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War it was evacuated to Mostyn Castle, Wales.
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Publications

  • The Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt as Illustrated by Tombs of the Middle Kingdom being a Report of Excavations made in the Necropolis of Beni Hassan during 1902-3-4

    Garstang, John

    Author: Garstang, John
    Publisher: Archibald Constable and Co Ltd
    Date: 1907
    Description: John Garstang's account of his excavations of the lower cemetery at Beni Hassan during two winter seasons 1902-03 and 1903-04 (250p, 231 b/w illus). A 34 page appendix gives an inventory of most objects found within the tombs and has reference to where some objects were located at the time of publication. Those marked as being at Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology are now either in 2 museums in Liverpool: World Museum or the Garstang Museum of Archaeology.

Events

  • Liverpool Excavations at Beni Hasan 1902-1904

    Start date: 1902
    End date: 1902
    Description: Excavations directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Beni Hasan Excavation Committee during two winter seasons 1902-03 and 1903-04. In the lower cemetery, below the large rock-cut tombs of the high-officials, 1000 undecorated shaft tombs dating to the early Middle Kingdom contained tomb equipment such as coffins, pottery and wooden funerary models. Garstang's report includes a discussion of the artefacts and detailed descriptions of 4 intact tombs. Also included is a description of some earlier Old Kingdom burials and some tombs of the Third Intermediate Period (and later) at the southern end of the site, near Speos Artemidos (Istabl Antar). The bulk of World Museum's Beni Hasan collection came direct from the university following the end of the excavations and after World War Two to replace those destroyed by enemy action in the war. Some other artefacts came from John Garstang's private collection, Norwich Castle Museum, Wellcome Historical Museum and Rossall School (Fleetwood, Lancashire). Bibliography John Garstang, 'Excavations at Beni Hasan 1902-3'. Man 3 (1903) pp. 97-98 & 129-130. John Garstang, 'Excavations at Beni Hasan in Upper Egypt (Second season)'. Man 4 (1904) pp. 97-99. John Garstang, 'Excavations at Beni Hasan (1902-1903-1904)'. Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 5 (1904) pp.215-227;. John Garstang,'The Burial Customs of Ancient Egypt as illustrated by tombs of the Middle Kingdom; being a report on excavations made in the necropolis of Beni Hassan during 1902-3-4. (London, 1907).

Ownership

Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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