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Plaque Depicting a Ram

A work made of limestone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of limestone.


Ptolemaic Period (332–30 BCE)



About this artwork

The two sets of horns on this exemplary portrayal of a ram reflect ancient Egyptian sculptors’ simultaneous close observation of nature and strict adherence to artistic tradition. The elongated corkscrew horns atop the ram’s head belong to a species that was already long extinct when this plaque was carved. Rather than abandoning the conventional representation of this animal, artists added a set of curved horns to reflect the appearance of contemporary rams. On similar plaques portions of the original gridded surface remain in the top corners and along the bottom to emphasize the depth of carving. Egyptian artists utilized grids to maintain correct proportions in their work.


On View, Gallery 50


Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Plaque Depicting a Ram


Egypt (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

332 BCE–30 BCE




17.2 × 25.8 × 2 cm (6 13/16 × 10 3/16 × 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Museum Purchase Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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