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Fertility Statuette: Baubo

Location

EGYPT, probably ALEXANDRIA

Era

Ptolemaic Period (323-30 B.C.E.)

Title

Fertility Statuette: Baubo

Materials

Earthenware, traces of pigments

Dimensions

14.8 x 10.9 cm

Credits

Gift of Paule Regnault, inv. 2003.183

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

This statuette is typical of Alexandrian art, quick to syncretize the depiction of deities. This squatting woman thus reiterates the iconographic features of the Numidian Isis from the early third century B.C.E., but essentially represents the goddess Baubo, nurse to Demeter. It was thanks to Baubo that Demeter, the goddess of fertility, was able to overcome the depression related to the loss of her daughter, Persephone, who had been taken from her by Hades. Baubo was venerated for her action, which had brought back the cycle of the seasons and, by extension, fertility. She was a particularly popular deity among the Ptolemies in Alexandria.

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