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Blue glazed composition dish: expertly decorated in manganese, this dish shows a rectangular pool from which emerge groups of blue lotus flowers, a frequent symbol of rebirth. The pool is decorated with a pinwheel design surrounded by wavy lines, which are the hieroglyphic sign for water.
- Excavated/Findspot: Thebes
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Thebes (Upper Egypt - archaic))
- Diameter: 25.4 centimetres
The tombs in which such bowls have been excavated are non-royal and mostly female. In a burial context, the fertility imagery suggests rebirth and a desire for regeneration in the Beyond. The predominant, though not exclusive, association of the bowls with women's graves is noteworthy: three bowls, for example, were found at the head end of a Theban female coffin. Female associations are further emphasized by inscribed votive examples from Deir el-Bahri that mention, besides Hathor, queens or princesses but not kings.
M. Stead, 'Egyptian Life' (London, 1986), p. 42, fig. 57;
J.-C. Hugonot, Le Jardin dans l'Égypte ancienne' (Frankfurt, 1989), p. 220;
I. Shaw and P. Nicholson, 'British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (London, 1995), p. 95.
G. Pinch, Magic in Ancient Egypt (London 1994), p.308.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
- BS.4790 (Birch Slip Number)
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Object reference number: YCA69178
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