Besides awakening our enthusiasm, art can, and should, inspire analysis. To carry out such analysis, however, requires understanding what questions to ask of a work. Let us take an obscure statuette as an example, and attempt to draw forth as much information as possible.
A first step would be to refer to the recognized sources in Egyptology, such
as Jacques Vandier's monumental Manuel d'Archéologie égyptienne
[vol. III, p. 437: Standing woman.A. Arms hanging down naturally along
her body, hands open and parallel to her thighs].
This informs us as to the work's typology, without however divulging
Using our own resources, as limited as they may be, let us try to set up a technical worksheet, by submitting the work to close scrutiny, without neglecting a single detail (for each and every detail has something to say), gleaning a maximum of data from each of our observations, and analyzing the results with all due logic. We may hope - indeed, have every reason to hope - that the statuette itself will disclose its secrets.
Such an analysis is best accomplished in a series of steps.