Small alabastron carved from banded calcite; thick-walled and piriform body with a rounded base; short flaring neck; pair of shallow lug handles placed below slightly marked rounded shoulders; smoothed external surface; drilled; complete.
- Production date
- 550 BC - 450 BC (likely)
Diameter: 2.60 centimetres
Height: 4.80 centimetres
- Curator's comments
Object owned and held by University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Philadelphia. This record is included in the British Museum database as part of the Museum’s Naukratis Project, a research collaboration that aims to virtually re-unite finds from the ancient port city of Naukratis, now distributed over 80 museums worldwide.
This vessel corresponds to EEF distribution list Philadelphia no. 5, which also records the findspot as '2nd temple of Apollo'. In the original Philadelphia register, this piece is listed as no. 46.
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).
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
- Acquisition date
- Additional IDs
Miscellaneous number: E47 (Accession Number)