Golden Mummies : Relief

Golden Mummies

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Limestone relief sculpture of a woman. A funerary relief of the head and the upper body of a woman. She wears a tunic with naturalistic fold patterns, and a veil over a turban and head band. The veil is clutched in the left hand at shoulder height, whilst the right hand holds a loop of the veil coming from the right shoulder. The tunic is clasped at the left shoulder by a circular brooch, which has a beaded circle within the outer edge (Colledge type F). The headband is divided into zones, three of which are showing, by beading. The zones are decorated with floral motifs, the central one with a head in the centre. She has earings - two simple pearls or beads united by a bar and worn vertically (miniature 'dumbells' on end - Colledge type H) - and wears a ring on her left little finger. Around her neck are two necklaces - the upper has a tear drop pendant, the lower a cresent. The tunic is of the 'short' or 'false' sleeved variety, leaving the forearms bare. The eyes have a single circle to depict the pupil. The sculpture is of a technically high standard, with the right forearm deeply undercut and free from the figure (evidence of use of a drill). To the figure's left are the remains of an inscription, broken off. Three letters survive - two above and one below - in a highly elaborate Palmyrene monumental style (J.F. Healey). To the figure's right is a longer, complete inscription which is probably a modern addition to increase the sales value, or perhaps a highly cursive script - although there are no Palmyrene parallels (J.F.Healy). Dates stylistically and linguistically to the late 2nd century AD (Colledge Group II, type Nb, reversed)</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>These stone busts were made to commemorate the deceased, contemporary with mummy portraits and masks in Egypt, another part of the Roman Empire at this time.</p>

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