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At the Crossroads: Ancient Middle Eastern & Islamic Art

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Female Head

3rd century BCE
3 7/16 x 2 1/8 x 1 13/16 in. (8.8 x 5.4 x 4.6 cm)

Unknown, Egyptian

Object Type: Ceramics
Medium and Support: Terracotta
Credit Line: The C. Herbert Ocumpaugh Collection
Accession Number: 1928.92
Location: Currently on view
Link to this object
Collection: The C. Herbert Ocumpaugh Collection

Mysterious, beautiful, contemplative—this small ceramic head of a young woman offers few clues as to her origins. While her hairstyle and earrings are typical to Greek art, her thick wreath, representing hundreds of tiny flowers threaded onto a rope of grass, indicates she may be Egyptian. Archeologists have discovered similar wreaths made of real flowers in Egyptian tombs, suggesting this head was made in Egypt after Alexander the Great conquered that land in 332 BCE. The flowers were most likely roses, also believe to have been introduced into Egypt by the Greeks in the 300s BCE.
-- Art at the Crossroads brochure

C. Herbert Ocumpaugh, Rochester, NY (1864-1929); his gift to the University and the Gallery in 1928

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Ocumpaugh property at 51-55 Main Street East Note from the Rochester Images project, direct url:

"The Ocumpaugh family was prominent in Rochester for many years. E. Ocumpaugh sold ready-made clothing from a shop at 71 Main Street in the 1840s. Later the "Ocumpaugh Building", occupied a space on the south side of the west end of the Main Street Bridge into which the "Y" moved in February 1876. In the mid-1920s, C. Herbert Ocumpaugh presented his collection of Egyptian and Eastern-Mediterranian antiquities to the Memorial Art Gallery."

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