A Third Dynasty Kurlan naiskos

An opened Kurlan naiskos

The Kurlan naiskos in 2371, seconds before Picard discards it among the rubble

A Kurlan naiskos was a ceramic figurine statue made by the Kurlan civilization, vaguely similar to a Russian Matryoshka doll from Earth. A naiskos consists of a large hollow body, of which the top half can be removed to reveal several smaller figurines inside, similar in shape to the original one. Naiskoi reflected Kurlan philosophy in the sense that they believed that an individual was actually a community of individuals, each with their own voice, their own desires and their own view of the world. Ornamentation on the surface of a naiskos indicates which dynasty of the Kurlan civilization it came from. Because the Kurlan civilization died out millennia prior to the 24th century, a complete or intact naiskos is extremely rare, making these highly valuable to collectors and archaeologists.

In 2369, Captain Jean-Luc Picard's former mentor, Professor Richard Galen, gave him a complete and intact Third Dynasty Kurlan naiskos manufactured by the Master of Tarquin Hill, which was more than 12,000 years old. Picard was clearly moved by this gift.

Because the Master's work anticipated general design trends by approximately 300 years, Picard's initial assessment was that it was Fifth Dynasty. However, after a prompt from Galen, he made a closer examination and correctly identified it. (TNG: "The Chase")

The naiskos later adorned the captain's ready room until the USS Enterprise-D crashed on Veridian III in 2371. It survived the crash but shattered when Picard set it down violently while looking for his 3-D space photo album. (TNG: "Genesis", "Bloodlines", "Preemptive Strike"; Star Trek Generations)

The Kurlan naiskos prop was created by special effects artist Christopher Bergschneider.
One of the final scenes in Star Trek Generations shows Picard finding and dropping the top half of his Kurlan naiskos among the wreckage of the USS Enterprise-D.
According to "Trill: Unjoined" in Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Volume 2, Kurlan naiskos were a Trill artform.

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