Ampulla (Flask) of Saint Menas

Object Name: Pilgrim flask

Date: late 6th century–mid 8th century

Geography: Made in Egypt, Abu Mena

Medium: Earthenware; molded

Dimensions: H. 3 1/4 in. (8.3 cm)
W. 3 in. (7.6 cm)

Classification: Ceramics

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1927

Accession Number: 27.94.27


Ampullae like this one were used by pilgrims to bring home water or oil from the great pilgrimage site for Saint Menas, said to be a late-third-century Egyptian Roman soldier who was martyred for his Christian faith. He is shown between the two camels who returned his body to Egypt for burial.