- Museum number
Alabastron carved from banded calcite; elongated drop-shaped body ending with a flat base; long neck with a projecting edge, ending with straight rim; drilled; smoothed exterior; complete.
- Production date
- 150 BC - 100 AD
Diameter: 1.50 centimetres (internal rim)
Diameter: 3.40 centimetres
Height: 10.75 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- The bulk of calcite vessels discovered in Naukratis are alabastra such as this one. Evidence for the local production of alabastra is given by the discovery of “many thousands of alabaster drill cores from tubular drilling” as well as unfinished vessels in the same material found in the temenos of Apollo in 1885, between the temple and the north-west corner of the temenos (Petrie 1886, 15). Most of these vessels should be dated to the second half of the 6th or latest first half of the 5th century BC.
Alabastra vessels already appear in the late 25th dynasty (examples of the 7th century from the royal cemeteries at el-Kurru and Nuri in Sudan: Dunham 1950, 31, fig. 11c, j and pl. XXXIX; Dunham 1955, 13, fig. 3). However, they start to be really popular in the 26th dynasty and are still produced in the Roman Period (Petrie 1937, 14; Aston 1994, 166; Masson 2007, 612, pl. XXVIII no. 1-3; Masson forthcoming). With its flat base and a ridge above the rim, BM 1888,0601.16 looks quite similar to alabastra discovered in Babylon (von Bissing 1942, 29, pl. 4) and is normally typical of the late Ptolemaic-early Roman period (Aston 1994, 166, no. 230). An alabastron presenting a comparative profile, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 88.728, was found in the cemetery of Naukratis.
Aston, B.G. 1994, Ancient Egyptian stone vessels: materials and forms. Heidelberger Orientverlag, Heidelberg.
von Bissing, F. W. 1942, ‘Ägyptische und ägyptisierende Alabastergefäße aus den Deutschen Ausgrabungen zu Babylon’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie 47, 27-49.
Dunham, D. 1950, The Royal cemeteries of Kush, vol. I: El Kurru, Cambridge
Dunham, D. 1955, The Royal cemeteries of Kush, vol. II: Nuri, Boston.
Petrie, W. M. F. 1886, Naukratis. Part I., 1884-5 (Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund 3), London.
Petrie, W. M. F. 1937, The funeral furniture of Egypt and Stone and Metal Vases, London.
Masson, A. 2007, ‘Le quartier des prêtres du temple de Karnak: rapport préliminaire de la fouille de la maison VII, 2001-2003’, Cahiers de Karnak XII, 593-655.
Masson, A. forthcoming, Le quartier des prêtres sur la rive est du Lac Sacré à Karnak.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Greek and Roman
- Registration number