Framed plaster copy of bas relief showing, Queen of Punt, original Egyptian, 1495-1475BC, copy European, 1801-1930
The original of this bas relief was carved from limestone. It dated from between 1495 to 1475BCE. The relief depicts the Queen of Punt. ‘Punt’ is believed to refer to what is now the Island of Madagascar. The Queen’s distinctive shape may indicate she had a condition called ‘steatopygia’. This was characterised by excessive fat on the buttocks. The condition was usually seen in women. It was common to members of the Khoisan people of Southern Africa. However, it is possible the Queen had a deformity caused by glandular imbalance or muscular atrophy.