Alabastron carved from banded calcite; thin-walled, elongated and drop-shaped body with a rounded base; short slightly flaring neck ending with a flattened relatively wide lip; unpierced pair of small lug handles placed below rounded shoulders; smoothed external surface; drilled; almost complete with part of the rim broken off.
- Production date
- 4thC BC (?)
Height: 15.50 centimetres
Width: 5.50 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Since Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 88.727 was discovered in Naukratis cemetery, it has been dated to Late Dynastic-Early Ptolemaic period (Sakamoto 1999, 103, 206, no. cat. 144). A few other alabastra are known from such a context. Its shape however is already well attested at the beginning of the Late Period. Furthermore, objects predating the 4th century BC, though less numerous, have been discovered in the cemetery.
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.
Sakamoto, N. 1999, Art of the Ancient Mediterranean World. Exhibition of objects from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts held from April 17, 1999 to March 2004 at Nagoya, Boston.
- Not on display
- Fair, rim chipped
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: 88.727 (Accession Number)
Miscellaneous number: S.1608 (Stone ledger number)