Vase and lid in the form of the head of a Nubian boy
Unknown artist, Roman-Egyptian
Vase and lid in the form of the head of a Nubian boy, late 3rd - 2nd century BCE
12.7 x 10 x 4.9 cm (5 x 3 15/16 x 1 15/16 inches) (bust)
Gift of Mrs. Gustav Radeke 11.035
Used for burning incense, this vessel is in the form of a bust of a Nubian youth. The defiant gaze and the twist of his upper body suggest that the model was a bound captive. As contact with Africa increased greatly during the Hellenistic period after the cam-paigns of Alexander the Great and his successors in Egypt, so too did artistic representations of Africans and African themes. During this period, artists were exploring realism and frequently depicted marginalized members of society, such as the elderly, the infirm, and different ethnic groups.