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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Predynastic Period : Predynastic Mottled Granite Vase
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Predynastic Mottled Granite Vase - PF.0046
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 4000 BC to 3000 BC
Dimensions: 5.875" (14.9cm) high x 4.25" (10.8cm) wide
Catalogue: V1
Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Granite


Location: Great Britain
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Description
It is interesting to note that the ancient Egyptians were crafting stone vessels long before they were creating statues in stone. This observation is reinforced by the fact that the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic word for “stone sculptor” employs the tool used by these early craftsmen for the fashioning of stone vessels as its ideogram.

Such vessels are usually found in tombs, but their purpose is to assure the permanence of the ka, or spirit, of the deceased eternally in the Hereafter because such permanence is linked to stone, one of the most enduring of materials used by the ancient Egyptians. It is for this reason that pyramid chambers of pharaohs of the period contain so many examples of stone vessels. The excavations of the Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser at Saqqara yielded almost 40,000 stone objects, most of which were vessels.

In addition to insuring permanence, such vessels held precious unguents and ointments for which the ancient Egyptians were famous. Many of these cosmetics resonate with contemporary concerns addressed by aromatherapy. As such vessels of this type continually commemorate the ancient Egyptian achievements in all fields of human endeavor.

Beautifully carved and with elegant lines, this granite vase must have held rare ointments or oils in the tomb of some ancient person of prominence. Since the earliest predynastic times, the nobility of Egypt had favored vessels carved from stone. The simplicity of this piece gives it a timeless appeal. We delight in its pure form, as its original owner no doubt did many millennia ago. - (PF.0046)

 

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