Faience dish decorated with a scene of the River Nile

Egyptian, 1400-1200 BC
From Tomb 66, Enkomi, Cyprus

This attractive dish of pale blue faience shows a man wearing an Egyptian kilt and punting a papyrus boat along a river. A cow or bull sits under a canopy, and below the boat swims a large fish.

Papyrus skiffs, made of bundles of reeds lashed together, were the simplest form of boat in ancient Egypt. They were used for hunting and fishing, and for short journeys across or along the Nile. The animal being carried in the boat may simply be being transported from one place to another, or is perhaps destined as a sacrifice as part of a funerary feast.

The Enkomi tombs contained a rich mixture of local and imported products. They illustrate the wealth of the site in the Late Bronze Age, and the key position occupied by Cyprus in cultural exchanges at this time.

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More information


I. Shaw and P. Nicholson (eds.), British Museum dictionary of A (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)


Diameter: 9.000 inches

Museum number

GR 1897.4-1.1042


Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations


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