Miniature Ointment jar

Late Middle Kingdom

Not on view

The five miniature ointment jars 33.1.16–.20 were excavated in subsidiary shaft tomb 29 in the area of the mastaba of Senwosretankh at Lisht South. The shaft led to two chambers. In the debris filling chamber A were found remains of at least two funerary masks, one of them (33.1.64) covered with gold foil and inscribed with so-called mutilated hieroglyphs (hieroglyphic signs of birds and other animals without feet), a style of writing that is found on objects from the late 12th Dynasty through the beginning of the 18th. More gold leaf from the edges of a wooden coffin with a design imitating papyrus matting suggests that at least one of the plundered burials was of the so-called "court type" best known from the funeral outfits of royal princesses who died during the late 12th and early 13th dynasties. The shapes of several pottery vessels found in pit 29 also fit with these dates, but others (formerly MMA 33.1.150, .152- .154, now in the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago) are of considerably later date (Second Intermediate Period, Hyksos time). Their presence may point to a later reuse of the shaft system, or they may have been left by robbers.

Miniature Ointment jar, Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

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