The Nabataean tribes first encroached upon Jordan and the surrounding area sometime in the 6th century BC. Thought of originally as nomadic people, they settled in the area existing as an autonomous kingdom until the 2nd century AD, when they were finally defeated by the Romans. The enthroned female figure has distinctive features including a forward-facing position, nudity, a platform for her feet and the right arm positioning. Throughout Near Eastern art, goddesses and immortal females were represented nude. It is likely the Nabateans shared this idea of a nude divine due to their geographical location resulting in shared influences. Therefore, this fine figurine, along with other enthroned female figures, may have been used in a religious/cult context.
Nabataean Terracotta Enthroned Female Figurine
A fine Nabataean terracotta enthroned female figurine in a forward-facing position. The woman’s legs are bent in a sitting position, likely on a throne, with her feet perched on a platform. One arm is bent forward, unfortunately now missing the forearm while her right arm is bent upwards with her palm facing outwards. The figure is nude wearing only shoes, possibly sandals from the incised lines and accessories including a bracelet, necklace and a wig. The wig is parted in the middle with plaits to each side possibly showing Greco-Egyptian influence. The facial features have been rendered in a naturalistic manner, the concave back is unadorned.
Condition: Fine condition, repairs to the waist. The figurine is mounted on a custom-made stand.