Merimda Head Scultpure

The Merimda Culture was of personally interest today during class. In specific the head form sculpture caught my eye. After looking into it a bit more, I learned that there are “pierced spots were made atop and at the lower part to receive hair imitating the beard.” Being an anthro minor, ensures that I have a basic interest in human culture, but also being an English and film major, I have a deep appreciation for arts. Such early evidence of this skill developing is indicative that this tendency has been with us for some time. Obviously we have cave art that provides us with even earlier awe, but the advance that was made, even in switching to a different medium, is incredible. I was particularly impressed with the attention to detail the sculptor gave by providing attachments for a faux beard.

Unfortunately, the egyptomania factor spoiled us with early visions of hieroglyphics – and have kind of lost their muster. Growing up with visions of the truly inspirational art has kind of lessened the effect they have on us, and makes these major steps forward seem a little less significant. But when actually able to delve in and examine ancient art, it is incredibly vital to an understanding of our culture.


2 thoughts on “Merimda Head Scultpure

  1. I agree with the fascination of ancient art – both hieroglyphics and sculptures that were made during the Ancient Egyptian era. I think today we look at the Egyptian pyramids, the sculptures (Ramses II, etc.) we think, “oh, that’s so cool” but I don’t think anyone – the general public in particular – looks at these works of art and acknowledge the design and engineering that went into creating these works. Especially considering the limited technological methods that they had. (At least, in comparison to today.) Even today, big art projects (skyscrapers, statues, for an MSU perspective – the new art building) require a lot of planning, labor, and money. When you think of the size and magnitude of Ancient Egyptian sculptures, they are a testament to the dedication that Ancient Egypt gave to building works of art.

    Thus, the beginning of early art – such as the Merimda head sculpture – may not seem as impressive, but you’re right, these “less impressive” sculptures are what led to the grand sculptures such as the Sphinx and the pyramids. It’s important to document the growth of art, and that begins with some pieces that are not as big or fancy as other, well-known pieces. This would actually be a really neat research topic – looking into the development of art from the Predynastic into the Dynastic eras of Ancient Egyptian history.

  2. This is a great point. It’s so difficult to appreciate cultural achievements out of context. However, lifelike sculpture in relatively hard materials is a particular kind of cultural expression. Although we must also keep in mind that these are the types of material culture that happen to survive. In more flexible (but also less durable) media like drawing or painting on papyrus or sculpting in soft materials, artists of predynastic and ancient Egyptian times would likely also have expressed their abilities.

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