The Starving of Saqqara

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The Starving of Saqqara
Material Limestone
Size 67 cm (26 in), 80 kg (180 lb)
Writing Unknown script
Created Unknown period
Discovered Egypt, early 20th century
Present location Concordia University

The Starving of Saqqara is the name given to a statue of suspected Pre-dynastic Egyptian origins. The statue, of two nude beings (possible a male and female) with large skulls and thin bodies, seated, also has writing on the back of one of the figures[1] that has yet to be identified. Traces of dark pigment suggest that it was once painted.

Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos, who amassed a large collection of antiquities, brought the work to Canada in the 1950s. The sculpture was exhibited in the 1950s at their family-owned Galerie Ars Classica on Sherbrooke Street in Montreal. The name Saqqara refers to the burial ground of Memphis, Egypt. How the name came to be attached to the artifact is not known.[2]

The statue has been at Concordia University since 1999. Experts from the University of Cambridge, the British Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Israel Museum and the Royal Ontario Museum have all been consulted, without success.[3]

The script has been determined to not be Aramaic, Demotic, Egyptian, Hebrew, or Syriac.[4]

One expert, Clarence Epstein, suggests that it represents a pair of conquered captives.[5]

The sculpture was displayed to the public from March 16 to 18, 2011. It was viewable at the atrium of Concordia’s Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex.[6]


  1. ^ Concordia University (March 14, 2007). "The Starving of Saqqara sculpture". flickr. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Concordia University. "CSI Montreal: Concordia Sculpture Investigation". Diniacopoulos Antiquities Collection. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sculpture mystery baffles Concordia researchers". Mar 17, 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  4. ^ Curran, Peggy (March 17, 2011). "Experts can't crack Concordia sculpture riddle". The Gazette. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  5. ^ Boswell, Randy (16 Mar 2011). "Canadian university puts ancient, mysterious sculpture on display". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 18 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "The mystery of 'The Starving of Saqqara'". Past Horizons. March 16, 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011. 

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