About this object

Replica a serene looking figure of a nude woman standing with crossed hands, finely carved from lapis lazuli and dating to Naqada III – early 1st Dynasty (about 3300 – 3000 BC). It was given to the Museum on 16 November 1906 by the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the Institute of Archaeology along with 431 finds from a season of excavations in Upper Egypt that the Museum had sponsored.

The story of how the figure was discovered can be compared to the challenge of finding a needle in a haystack. The body was found by James Quibell who was working at Hierakonpolis between 1897-1899 on behalf of the Egyptian Research Account, an organisation run by London based archaeologist, W. M. Flinders Petrie, who presented the headless figure to the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. In December 1905 Harold Jones returned to Hierakonpolis to assist John Garstang’s excavations for the Institute of Archaeology, University of Liverpool. Jones spent two or three weeks excavating at the temple site, under the wall structures in the area of the ‘Main Deposit’ previously excavated by Quibell. Garstang left Jones at Hierakonpolis whilst he travelled further south to dig and survey other sites. In a letter home dated 19th December 1905 Jones describes how he found a “finely carved little head of a statue in lapis lazuli”. Jones presented the head to the Ashmolean Museum so that it could be reunited with the body found by Quibell eight years earlier. Replicas of the complete statuette were made and issued to members of the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the Institute of Archaeology.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Naqada III – early Dynasty 1
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hierakonpolis
  • Date made
    3300 BC - 3000 BC about
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of the Egyptian Excavations Committee of the Institute of Archaeology, Liverpool
  • Collector
    Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology
  • Place collected
    Africa: Northern Africa: Egypt: Hierakonpolis
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    125 mm x 40 mm x 40 mm
  • Note
    Was on display in Venitalator Case 45 before World War Two and evacuated to Mostyn Castle.
  • Related people
    Ernest Harold Jones ( Associated Person); Liverpool University Institute of Archaeology ( Collector, previous owner)

Explore related


  • Ancient Nekhen: Garstang in the City of Hierakonpolis

    Adams, Barbara

    Author: Adams, Barbara
    Publisher: SIA Publishing
    Date: 1995
    Description: Description of the 1905-6 excavation at Hierakonplis and a catalogue of finds now held by World Musuem and the Garstang Musuem of Archaeology (Liverpool University).

  • Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna, and in Nubia in Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Égypte volume 8, pp. 132-148

    Garstang, John

    Author: Garstang, John
    Publisher: Annales du Service des Antiquitiés de l’Égypte
    Date: 1907
    Description: Brief account of John Garstang's fieldwork in Upper Egypt between 1905 - 1906. The article is available online: http://archive.org/stream/annalesduservice08egypuoft#page/132/mode/1up (accessed 19 Feb 2015)


  • Liverpool Excavations at Hierakonpolis 1905-1906

    Start date: 1905
    End date: 1905
    Description: Excavations directed by John Garstang of the University of Liverpool Institute of Archaeology on behalf of the Egyptian Excavations Committee and the Institute of Archaeology during 1905 - 1906. Garstang was accompanied by Mr Harold Jones. Excavations were carried out at the town (Nekhen), the temple and a cemetery enclosed within the 'fort' walls where 188 graves were uncovered. The Garstang Museum of Archaeology (Liverpool University) holds 150 glass negatives, antiquities, some field notes and some season reports. Bibliography: John Garstang, 'Notes on excavations made in 1904-05'. Man 5 (1905) pp. 145-146. John Garstang, 'Excavations at Hierakonpolis, at Esna and in Nubia'. Annales du Service des Antiquities de l’Egypte 8 (1907) pp. 132-148. Barry Kemp, 'Excavations at Hierakopolis. A preliminary note'. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 49 (1963) pp.24-28. Barbara Adams, 'The fort cemetery at Hierakonpolis (excavated by John Garstang) (1987). Renee Friedman, review of 'The Fort Cemetery at Hierakonpolis' by Barbara Adams. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 78 (1992) pp. 322-4. Barbara Adams, 'Ancient Nekhen: Garstang in the City of Hierakonpolis' (1995).


Previous owners

Object view = Humanities
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