Alabastron carved from banded calcite; bag-shaped with flat bottom and unpierced small lug handles placed below slightly marked rounded shoulders; lip, likely once flat and flaring, broken on all sides; drilled; smoothed exterior though lots of incrustation on surface.
- Production date
- 4thC BC (?)
Diameter: 1.10 centimetres (rim inside)
Height: 8.80 centimetres
Width: 4.70 centimetres (maximum)
- Curator's comments
- Since Boston, Museum of Fine Arts RES.88.40 was discovered in Naukratis cemetery, it is possible that this specimen can be dated to the Late Dynastic-Early Ptolemaic period. However, objects predating the 4th century BC, though less numerous, have been discovered in the cemetery. A few other alabastra are known from such a context.
The production of alabastra is documented in Naukratis during the Late Period, particularly between the end of the 26th and the beginning of the 27th dynasty: “many thousands of alabaster drill cores from tubular drilling” as well as unfinished vessels in the same material were found in the temenos of Apollo in 1885, between the temple and the north-west corner of the temenos (Petrie 1886, 15).
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).
Aston, B.G. 1994, Ancient Egyptian stone vessels: materials and forms. Heidelberger Orientverlag, Heidelberg.
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
- Rather fair, though upper part broken and badly incrusted
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: RES.88.40 (Accession Number)
Miscellaneous number: S.1609 (Stone ledger number)