Fragement from a jar with a label identifying contents as honey
reign of Amenhotep III
ca. 1390–1352 B.C.
From Egypt, Upper Egypt, Thebes, Malqata, Palace of Amenhotep III, MMA excavations, 1916–17
H. 8.5 cm (3 3/8 in); w. 15.3 (6 in); th. 0.7 cm (1/4 in)
Rogers Fund, 1917
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 120
These pottery fragmens are from the shoulder of a large storage jar. The two well preserved lines of text are in hieratic script, the cursive form of ancient Egyptian writing which was always written from right to left. At the beginning of the second line is a sign representing a bee. This sign was used to write the word "honey" and identifies the contents of the jar.
Besides its use as a sweetener, honey was valued for its therapeutic effect when applied to wounds. Prescriptions for the use of honey are found in ancient medical texts written on papyrus.
Museum excavations, 1916–17. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds, 1917.