Sherd of a New Year vessel

Accession Number
Current Location
House of Death (ground floor), Domestic piety case
Object Type
Receptacle/vessel, New year vessel
Late Period
Twenty-sixth Dynasty
Height: 60mm
Number of Elements

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This is the body of a New Year Vessel made of faience. The inscription can be read as 'wpt rnpt nfr' (Good New Year's day), and the determinative consists of three water lines. The agricultural year began with the annual Nile-flood, which both irrigated and fertilised the arable land besides the river. During the Late Dynastic period a special type of flask was made to contain liquid, perhaps water from the flood. The text on the side of these vessels expresses the wish for a rejuvenating commencement to the year, and both the material of which they were made and the details of their decoration evoke the new life of plants and animals that the overflowing river made possible. The faience material is associated with rebirth as are the lotus flowers and the baboons each side of the neck. The slightly squashed appearance of the shape of the flask body, is symbolic of the sun coming up above the horizon. Some were included in burials.


See C-H Blanquet 'Typologie de la bouteille de nouvel an' in Cl. Obsomer, A-L. Oosthoek (ed) ""Amosiades Melanges offerts au professeur Claude Vanderslyen par ses anciens etudiants"", Louvain-la-Neuve, 1992, p49-54; Yamani, S. 2002 New Year's bottles from Tell Marqula (Dakhla Oasis). Bulletin De L'Instit Francais D'Archeologie Orientale Vol. 102, 425-436.

Last modified: 14 Dec 2022

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