Pottery wine jar with a mud seal

From the tomb of king Den, Abydos, Egypt
1st Dynasty, around 2950 BC

An offering of wine for king Den

The tombs of the kings of the First Dynasty at Abydos included storage rooms that contained goods such as weapons, furniture, games and ornaments. Luxurious materials such as ivory, ebony, gold, turquoise and lapis lazuli had been imported from countries around Egypt and used in the manufacture of these funerary items. Many vessels of alabaster and other types of stone contained ointments and perfumed oils.

The food offerings included wine, grain and meat, all kept in sealed containers. This large wine jar was found in the tomb of king Den. The pottery jar was made by coiling, traces of which can be seen on the uneven surface of the vessel. The incised marks on the shoulder are crude hieroglyphs, probably a writing of the word for 'wine' and a description of the contents of the pot. The conical clay seal covers the mouth and shoulders of the pot, which is closed by a pottery cap. The surface of the clay has been marked using a cylinder seal, rolled into the surface while it was still wet. These seals usually give the name and titles of the tomb owner. An event that occurred in a particular year was sometimes referred to, by which the production of the contents could be dated.

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More information

Bibliography

A.J. Spencer, Catalogue of Egyptian antiqu-4 (London, The British Museum Press, 1980)

Dimensions

Height: 100.000 cm
Diameter: 25.400 cm (max.)

Museum number

EA 27737;EA 27741

YCA63894

Location

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