Ancient Egyptian customs called for a variety of ceremonies and rituals to appease their fickle gods. This alabaster offering vessel dates from Egypt’s Old Kingdom era of the 3rd millennium B.C.E. when Egypt attained its first unified structures of civilization. The natural bands of dark and light that stripe this piece highlight the rich umber of this alabaster vessel, its smooth surface perfectly polished and in such good condition as to be almost deceiving.

Egypt’s Old Kingdom was the first of the three so-called kingdom periods. This vessel would have belonged to an Egyptian looking to the gods for guidance in one of the many rituals or ceremonies that dominated this ancient era. This piece is made of alabaster, a widely used mineral whose attractive appearance was easy to carve. As we see here, alabaster holds up quite well, allowing for the excellent condition of this piece today.