Egyptian / Libation dish / ca. 2960-2770 B.C.E.Egyptian
Libation dish
ca. 2960-2770 B.C.E.

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Creator Nationality: African; North African; Egyptian
Creator Name-CRT: Egyptian
Title: Libation dish
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View with 19.2.17
Creation Start Date: -296
Creation End Date: -277
Creation Date: ca. 2960-2770 B.C.E.
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Vessels
Materials and Techniques: Siltstone
Dimensions: W. 5 3/4 in. (14.5 cm), L. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 19.2.16
Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1919

This masterpiece of Early Dynastic stone carving has the shape of two intricately linked hieroglyphs. The two bent arms that frame three sides of the dish are read ka, the word for 'spirit' in ancient Egyptian. The loop and knot are read ankh, meaning 'life,' or 'to live.' The combination could be interpreted as the phrase 'life to thy spirit' or as the name of a person, Ankh-ka. The dish was undoubtedly used to pour a purifying liquid, probably water, that would take on the magical significance of the hieroglyphs.

AMICA ID: MMA_.19.2.16
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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