Cylindrical beaker - ROM2016_15062_11


Cylindrical beaker

Medium:Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)
Geography: Undetermined site, Egypt
Date: c. 2890-2494 BC
Period: 1st-4th Dynasties, Early Dynastic Period-Old Kingdom
19 x 11 cm
Object number: 948.1.17
Credit Line: The Collection of the First Lord Kitchener
Not on view
DescriptionThe production of stone vessels for tomb equipment continues to flourish in the Old Kingdom. During this period banded travertine (Egyptian alabaster) seems to have been greatly prized because of its translucent quality. This white or yellowish stone is fairly soft and polishes well; because it was easier to work than hard stones, travertine vessels are often found in poorer tombs where hard stone vessels would not have been affordable. Travertine is quarried at a number of places in the Nile Valley, such as Hatnub, Wadi Gerrawi and Wadi Assiut. The outside of the vessel would be shaped first and then the inside of the vessel would be hollowed out with a drill with a flint bit. This vessel is an intact cylindrical beaker tapering towards base with straight sides. There is a protruding rounded rim. The bottom of the vessel is stained with the remains of a blackish substance, presumably the original contents of the jar, being an ointment, resin or fat meant for the deceased.

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