Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
Group of Two Human Figures
Work Type
sculpture, statuette
15th-13th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Levant
Bronze Age, Late
Persistent Link
Physical Descriptions
Arsenical copper
Cast, lost-wax process
7.4 x 4.2 x 1.1 cm (2 15/16 x 1 5/8 x 7/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1 and Tracer
Alloy: Arsenical Copper
Alloying Elements: copper, arsenic
Other Elements: lead, iron, antimony
Comments: The alloy is about 2% arsenic.
K. Eremin, January 2014

Technical Observations: The patina is green, brown, and black, with light brown burial accretions. The surface is well preserved. A slightly rough depression below the belt of the smaller figure could indicate a loss of the male parts of this figure, if it is male.

The wax model for this object was fashioned directly by hand from a wax sheet and small bits of added wax.

Henry Lie (submitted 2011)

From the collection of Lilian and Benjamin Hertzberg.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Benjamin and Lilian Hertzberg
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art
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These two joined figures have heads in the shape of flat irregular circles, pinched out in the front to form noses. On each head, there are very small raised lumps on either side of the pinched projection, depicting eyes. A rod-like point juts out of the top of the head of the larger figure. Near the midsection of each figure is a belt-like raised band.

The larger figure appears to be male, with genitalia rendered, but there are also two round lumps on the chest that may be meant to represent female breasts. The larger figure holds an upraised object in its left hand, possibly a club or a scepter. Its right arm is held out straight from the body and ends with a raised lump, possibly depicting a hand. The right arm of the smaller figure seems to go behind the larger figure and then juts out perpendicularly from the torsos; the left arm is short and may have been broken off.

The back of the group is flat and featureless, except for the belts and a raised band indicating the right arm of the smaller figure and the left arm of the larger.
Publication History

Henry Lie and Francesca Bewer, "Ex Aere Factum: Technical Notes on Ancient Bronzes", Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, ed. Susanne Ebbinghaus, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 38-63, pp. 44, 46, and 51, fig. 2.5.

Susanne Ebbinghaus, ed., Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, Harvard Art Museum/Yale University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2014), pp. 44, 46, 51, 73, fig. 2.5

Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

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