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Ancestral Bust

Unprovenanced Ancestral Bust

Ancestral Busts (Petrie wrongly called them oracular busts) comprise of small heads on a support. Some have been found in stone, wood, clay and faience. with the majority coming from 18th Dynasty.[1]

Bald ones are thought to possibly symbolize someone from Lower Egypt with those showing a tripartite wig for Upper Egypt. All are depicted with wesekh collars and at times pendants of lotus blossoms and buds.[1]

Only five are known with inscriptions. 2 'Housewife' with a name, another holding titles and Hathor's name. There seem to be 2 types, smaller amulets and larger actual busts.[1]

The most famous of these is the Gallatin Bust.[1]

They are seen depicted on various tombs such as Tomb TT78 from Thebes.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Rosalind, M. and Janssen, J.J. (1996) Getting Old in Ancient Egypt London: Rubicon Press.