Decorated Jug with Feline-Head Handle

Period: Third Intermediate Period

Dynasty: Dynasty 21–22

Date: ca. 1070–712 B.C.

Geography: From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Zagazig, Zaqaziq; Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cacne

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: h. 15 cm (5 7/8 in)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907

Accession Number: 07.228.187

Description

WIne services do not seem to have a long history in Egypt, but appear to have been introduced in the New Kingdom when wine-drinking became a feature of elite society in the Ramesside Period. Most if not all of the vessels in Tell Basta find belonged to just such a wine service associated presumably with a temple festival.

This pitcher was likely used to pour wine in celebration of a divinity – an Asiatic goddess to judge from other vessels belonging with this one. It is dedicated to the royal butler Atumemtaneb, who was also a royal envoy to all foreign lands. The decoration below the lip of the jug shows marsh scenes with cattle, horses, and goats nibbling trees; the base is embraced by petals; and the handle has a lioness-head at the join to the neck.

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