Decorated Jug with Feline-Head Handle naming Atumemtaneb

Period: New Kingdom, Ramesside

Dynasty: Dynasty 19

Reign: Ramesses II

Date: ca. 1279–1213 B.C.

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

Medium: Silver

Dimensions: Diam. 12.9 × H. 15.9 cm (5 1/16 × 6 1/4 in.)

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1907

Accession Number: 07.228.187


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.