Lion cub from Southern Upper Egypt, Gebelein (…

Lion cub from Southern Upper Egypt, Gebelein (quartzite)

This powerful figure of a crouching lion belongs to the beginning of Egypt’s historic period, when the process of integrating Upper and Lower Egypt into one centralized state was underway. The simplified sculptural treatment, with the tail curled over the back and the absence of a base, is typical of sculpture from this period, when the Egyptians were learning to master the art of carving in hard stone.

Early Dynastic Period, First Dynasty, ca. 3100-2900 BC. Now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.