Ritual Vessel, Dynasty I (ca. 3100-2900 B.C.)
Greywacke, W. 5 3/4 in. (14.5 cm), L. 6 7/8 in. (17.5 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.2.16)
Piece to its left:
Dish in the shape of a leaf
Early Dynastic Period, Dynasty 1, ca. 3100–2900 B.C.E.
Greywacke, L. 19.1 x W. 11.3 x D. 2.5 cm (7 1/2 x 4 7/16 x 1 in.)
Rogers Fund, 1919, Accession Number:19.2.17
(From info card)|
"Experimention in carving stone vessels reached its zenith in the Early Dynastic Period. Craftsmen were highly successful at translating the plasticity associated with clay into stone, and this spouted dish is a fine example. The votive dish has two hieroglyphs; the pair of arms reads ka (spirit), and the cross-like symbol offered by the arms translates as ankh (life). The ankh's base serves as the spout, and several interior walls are pierced to allow liquid to flow through the emblem."
It's a marvelous evocation of 'feeding the ka', (aka 'life to thy spirit' as the museum website has it). And the excellent workmanship so early in Egyptian history is amazing.
I found a seal of the First Dynasty king Den illustrated in Petrie's _Royal Tombs II_:
Queen Merneith's tomb also had a sealing with 'life to the spirit', Royal Tombs I