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Head From an Anthropoid Sarcophagus Lid

A work made of limestone.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of limestone.


Ptolemaic Period (332 BCE–30 BCE)



About this artwork

This head is a fragment from the lid of a sarcophagus whose complete shape evoked a human form, from
head to feet. The deeply cut eyebrows and eyes— together with the cosmetic lines that extend from their outer corners—once held inlays made from other materials (probably copper alloy and glass). Ancient Egyptians crafted sarcophagi to protect mummified bodies from damage and decay, a necessary step in ensuring a person’s continued existence in the afterlife. Coffins served the same purpose but were made from wood, clay, metal, or cartonnage (hardened linen and plaster) instead of stone.


On View, Gallery 50


Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Head From an Anthropoid Sarcophagus Lid


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




44 × 47.5 × 34 cm (17 3/8 × 18 3/4 × 13 7/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Henry H. Getty, Charles L. Hutchinson, Robert H. Fleming, and Norman W. Harris

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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