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Identification and Creation
Object Number
2004.205
Title
Group of Two Human Figures
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture, statuette
Date
15th-13th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Levant
Period
Bronze Age, Late
Culture
Syro-Hittite
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/54964
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Arsenical copper
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
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)

Provenance
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
2004
Object Number
2004.205
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
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

This record has been reviewed by the curatorial staff but may be incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu