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Trial Piece with Hieroglyphs

A work made of granite.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of granite.


Early Ptolemaic Period, about 300 BCE



About this artwork

Artists used stone remnants left over from larger works to practice carving hieroglyphic signs and decorative elements. Here, the profiles of a man and a feline deity may be studies for larger works. Two hieroglyphs also appear on the thin slab. First used around 3000 BCE, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs used images to convey sounds and meaning in writing. The undulating horned viper at the bottom of this piece represents the sound f, while the large owl in the center has the phonetic value m.


On View, Gallery 50


Arts of Africa


Ancient Egyptian


Trial Piece with Hieroglyphs


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.

c. 300 BCE




23.4 × 14 × 2.5 cm (9 3/8 × 5 1/2 × 1 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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