Nagada II-Dynasty I (c. 3600-3000 BC)
w. 28.9 cm
Vases cut in a variety of stones, both soft and hard, are among the commonest of Egyptian artefacts, particularly in the Predynastic period, when they were favoured as luxury items in royal and private tombs. It is probable that most would have contained foodstuffs, drink or precious ointments for use in the next world. However, if they were placed in the tombs empty they are still likely to have symbolised their intended contents, which could be called into being by magical means. When not provided with separate lids, these vessels were sealed with a piece of strong linen or other material, and securely tied.