From Egypt, Eastern Delta, Tell Basta (Bubastis), Temple of Bastet, ancient cacne
h. 15 cm (5 7/8 in)
Rogers Fund, 1907
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 125
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.
Discovered at Tell Basta during construction of the railway, 1906. Purchased by the Museum from Maurice Nahman, 1907.