|Decorative Chalices - Prunkgefäße|
List of Karnak Treasures in English|
Liste der Karnak Schaetze auf Deutsch
The Age of Ramses II
The City List of Thutmose III|
Caravans - Plundering the Holy Land
Precious Display Vessels|
Syrien Craters from the tomb of Imisiba
Upper row right to left: 1. Amphora with conical, lotus blossom plug. At the bottom are the heads of two mountain goats. 2. Next to it we see a wide, three-rowed gold belt with an enamel buckel. and the breast ornament of the head of a panther. 3. Two Situlae with parted pattern, tied neck and rifelt top. 4. Amphora similar to the first one with buck heads and rosette handles.
5. Metal baskets in the shape of a flower pod, border with rosettes containing brass or precious stones. On top are ostrich feathers and a panther skin, two of woven material. 6. A large, richly ornamented amphora similar to the first with heads of horses at its base.|
Second row: 1. Crater with horse heads to support its structure. On top is a bull in a papyrus thicket. 2. Amphora with a lid of duck and Bes heads. 3. Richly ornated cup with a top of papyrus stalks. 4. Libation vessel in the shape of the ankh sign. The body with the lines of a lotus blossom topped by rosettes, on the horizontal piece are seated captives and it is topped with a conical lid. 5. Full bags of unknown contents.
Third row: 1. Large crater with flower handles, inside two handled vessels with a common top featuring Bes and duck heads. 2. Large vessel with conical top and horse heads and ostrich feathers as handles. 3. A rhyton with Bes head. 4. Craters born by captives. 5. Baskets.
Studies have shown that papyrus plants can only grow in areas of uncultivated land where stagnant water with little change in depth can be found. [See A.Nibbi, `The Sea Peoples and Egypt', p. 10-12.]
Ornate Craters from the Tomb of Ipu-imre|
The crater on the left sports a tray of drinking cups and flowers of the blue lotus. The middle crater sports Hathor capitals between blue lotus flowers and the crater on the right was never finished.
Precious Display Vessels|
Finding ornate metal vessels has always been a rare event for archaeologists most likely due to the habit of melting them down after their useful, functional life. However, several hordes of `plate' have been discovered in Egypt over the years. Mostly these were found in temple precincts in the delta region. One of the first reported by Emil Brugsch (1871) was the so-called treasure of Tell Timai (the ancient Greek Thmuis) consisting of five silver vessels of the early 3rd century BC. [Cairo: CG 3581-85/53267, 53274-7; See N. Reeves, `Ancient Egypt', p. 125.]
Ornate Vessels from the Tomb of Sebekhotep
In the upper left we see a crater in the form of a lotus blossom with a low stand, gazelle heads as handles and duck heads decorating the upper border. Inside stands a second vessel of the same make including rosettes at the top. The ducks seem to be swimming inside and only their long necks show. - On the right side we see a similar crater with a scales decorated stand. Its wide cup is made in the form of a flower blossom topped by a spiral band and a neck decorated with vertical lines topped like the vessel to the left.
|Discussion: The art of producing ornately decorated vessels for various functions, fit for kings, we found already illustrated by the artists of Thutmose III at Karnak. We see here that numerous later nobles and kings also favored such utensils and loved to show them off to impress people with their wealth. While we have no actual remains of such ornate vessels from Palestine, we do have some from the 1st century BC-1st century AD found in Jerusalem near the temple mount in a house known as that of the `Kathros family' which most likely was the home of a high priest of the Herodian temple.|
[For the story and images see: `Biblical Archaeology Review', May/June, 1992, p. 22-39-40]
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