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  • Place of origin:

    Egypt (made)
    Deir el-Bahari (found)

  • Date:

    c. 1550 BC - c. 1292 BC

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Glazed composition, painted

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Egypt Exploration Fund.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Shallow open bowls made of glazed bowls were popular from the late Middle Kingdom, both as part of tomb equipment and also temple offerings, most notably in relation to the cult of the goddess Hathor. The colour of such bowls made reference to Hathor’s epithet of ‘Lady of Turquoise’. Such bowls, often termed ‘marsh bowls’ or ‘Nun bowls’ (the Egyptian word for the primordial waters), frequently displayed decoration of marsh flora and fauna. Typical images included lotus and papyrus plants, and fish, often arranged symmetrically around a central design representing a pond. Such motifs symbolised themes of fertility and rebirth; for example, the lotus represented regeneration for the opening and closing of its petals each morning and night. Other bowls contained decoration more overtly referencing Hathor and her cult, often displaying the face of the Goddess herself. This bowl was one of many items found deposited at the mortuary temple of Deir el-Bahari during the New Kingdom. They were deposited as votive offerings, placed in the shrine to the goddess Hathor within the temple complex.

Physical description

Body sherd of a blue glazed composition shallow bowl. The interior surface is painted in black with a depiction of the face of the Goddess Hathor.

Place of Origin

Egypt (made)
Deir el-Bahari (found)


c. 1550 BC - c. 1292 BC



Materials and Techniques

Glazed composition, painted


Length: 5 cm, Thickness: 0.6 cm Thickness of fabric

Object history note

Found at Deir el-Bahari, 1904-5 excavation season.

Descriptive line

Fragment of a bowl, blue glazed composition with painted decoration, Deir el-Bahari, Egypt, New Kingdom, likely Dynasty Eighteen

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

G. Pinch, Votive Offerings to Hathor (Oxford: Griffith Institute, 1993): 149
E. Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari III. Egypt Exploration Fund Memoir 32 (London: Egypt Exploration Fund, 1913): Pl. 26, figure top right.

Labels and date

Historic display label:

XVIIIth Dynasty (about 1450-1200 B.C.)
Nos. 1-3, 5-25 given by the Egypt Exploration Fund
No. 4 given by Somers Clarke, Esq. []


Ceramics Collection

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