Circa: 3200 BC to 2500 BC
Dimensions: 4.5" (11.4cm) high x 7.8" (19.8cm) wide
Style: Negada II - early Dynastic Period
This carefully crafted stone vessel is semi- circular in profile and exhibits two, transversely pierced lug handles on either side of the its body, sculpted from the same, single block of stone at the point of the vessel’s greatest diameter. The mouth of this vase is disc shaped and set off from the shoulder by a deeply incised line. Vessels of this shape in a variety of stones are dated to the period shortly before and after the traditional unification of Egypt around 3200 BC.
Vases such as this were often placed in tombs where they served a dual role. On the one hand, they may have contained foodstuffs and the like intended for the spiritual nourishment of the deceased in the Hereafter. On the other hand, stones were considered magical materials because of their seeming permanence. The placing of stone vessels in tombs of the period may, therefore, be regarded as a means of magically insuring the permanence of the deceased by the transference of that quality inherent in the stone to his or her spirit.