Kohl container - ROM2016_15061_5


Kohl container

Medium:Basalt, carved, drilled and smoothed
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 1550-1295 BC
Period: 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom
8.3 x 5.71 cm
Object number: 909.80.124
Not on view

Tall kohl jar made of black basalt. The concave profile under the rim and the tubular interior, about the width of a finger, are characteristic of New Kingdom kohl jars. There are horizontal drill marks in the interior, indicating that it was hollowed out with a drill. This jar has a cylindrical body with everting neck and wide flat horizontal rim and a round disc base. The use of kohl or black eye paint goes back to the Predynastic Period in Egypt. Outlining the eyes with kohl would make them appear larger. There may also have been health benefits with the eye shadow protecting the eyes from glaring sunlight and the malachite used in the eyeshadow having mild anti-bacterial qualities. Only small amounts if eye paint would be kept at any one time and stored in a jar like this. The eye paint could be accessed by a finger or more likely a small applicator stick.

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