Vase

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This globular vase with a perfectly rounded bottom is of a simple and elegant design. It was cut from a single block of granite. The circular opening has a wide, flat lip while the neck is wide and very short. The interior is well hollowed out, conforming in shape to the outer contour and is unpolished, leaving multiple horizontal grooves, the marks left by the tools used to work the piece.

Before being cut from different types of stone, vessels like this one were moulded in terracotta in similar forms by Egyptian potters. This form appeared specifically in the Naqada II period and at this time they were decorated with wavy lines and spirals in red tones.

In Ancient Egypt stone vessels were considered to be luxury items. They were only found in royal tombs and those of members of the highest ranks of society. Chronologically, they appear at the beginning of the third millennium BCE and are most frequently found at the end of Dynasty II. The art of carving vessels from stone reached its highest point at times as distant as the Early Dynastic Period and the Old Kingdom. Stone vessels were used principally to hold food, unguents and cosmetic oils. Thanks to the thickness and impermeability of their walls, the products contained were well conserved. They had many uses in daily life, but they also had a role in religious activities. They were used for making offerings in temples and the daily anointing of statues and objects of devotion. In funerary practices, their use was seen in the preparation of mummies and to hold preparations believed to have an effect of rejuvenation and regeneration. For these reasons, it is not surprising that a great many of these stone vessels were frequently deposited in tombs and in funerary complexes.

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