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Clay figure of a dog: E.98.1911

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Object information

Current Location: Gallery 19


Clay figure of a dog




Terracotta figure of a dog. Nile silt clay, mould-made in three sections: front and two sides from the shoulders to back legs. The hollow feet have also been sealed with two slabs of clay. There is a small hole at the dog's rear, possibly to function as an air hole during firing.

There are traces of a plaster wash and red pigment on the surface. This small dog and would have been completely painted. It has a curled tail and pointed ears. A collar and either amulet or bell is only just distinguishable but typical of this form of figurine. The legs are modelled in two pairs so that the figure stands easily. This feature suggests a fairly late date, and comparable examples were found at the city of Karanis in the Fayoum, in a level dating from AD 250-350. It is possible, however, that they were manufactured from an earlier date.

Dogs were associated with the star Sirius (Egyptian Sothis), whose rising was linked with the flooding of the Nile. Such images therefore have associations with fertility and also, through Isis, with the afterlife. Terracotta figures of dogs are found as early as the Predynastic period in Egypt, but they become especially prevalent in the Roman period, when they adopt a classical form and manufacturing technique.

Measurements and weight

Height: 7.25 cm

Find spot

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1911) by Gayer-Anderson, R. G. (Major)


Circa 100 - Circa 395

School or Style


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production


References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: E.98.1911
Primary reference Number: 51325
Oldadmincategory: P
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 February 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Antiquities

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Clay figure of a dog" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-01 11:34:32

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