Footed jar with integral handles - 918.32.21_2


Footed jar with integral handles

Medium:Serpentine, drilled and polished
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 3500-3000 BC
Period: Naqada II (Gerzean) Period, Predynastic Period or Naqada III, Protodynastic Period
9.85 x 6.03 cm
Object number: 918.32.21
Not on view
DescriptionThe Predynastic Period in Egypt saw the advent of the use of hard decorative stones for grave goods, especially for small vessels to contain oils and unguents for the deceased to use in the Afterlife.  This attractive ovoid footed jar is roughly in the shape of the ancient Egyptian sign for heart (ib). It is made of dark greenish black serpentine and has a nicely polished exterior. This vessel is a shouldered jar with a short neck and a circular projecting rim.  The integral handles are placed just under the shoulder with horizontal circular piercings c. 4 mm wide. The interior of the vessel has been drilled out with a hand-held drilling tool. The interior of the neck has been polished smooth, but below this there are vertical scratches on the interior. Only the centre of the vessel is drilled out leaving thick walls, so the jar seems heavy for its size. The technological skill to drill out the interior of stone vessels was just beginning in the Naqada II and III Periods and vessels such as this are early examples of ancient Egyptian craftsmen grappling with the challenge of hollowing out the interior of necked vessels.
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