Flat-bottomed, globular jar with tubular handles - ROM2018_16165_67


Flat-bottomed, globular jar with tubular handles

Medium:Limestone breccia
Geography: Egypt
Date: c. 3100-2686 BC
Period: 1st-2nd Dynasty, Early Dynastic Period
8.7 × 10 × 11.5 cm
Object number: 909.80.150
On view
Gallery Location:Galleries of Africa: Egypt

This globular jar is made of limestone breccia, a sedimentary rock containing large angular fragments of limestone. The pleasing shape may originally have imitated a skin bag, stuffed with fat. Similar bowls have often been found in cemeteries, though they may also have been used in temple offerings. It's probable that such a container held a precious ointment or perfume.  Hard stone kept such materials better than porous pottery, and the rounded shape and small opening made it easy for a finger or two to enter the vessel to scoop up the unguent.

The high polish would have been achieved by smoothing down the surface with stone, and then polishing with fine quartz sand.  The fine lip and lugs may have been worked with copper tools aided by an abrasive.

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