Vessels such as this contained small amounts of oil or perfume used for cosmetic purposes. The primary decoration—papyrus plants rising from a lotus flower—may allude to the creation of the universe. According to one account of creation, the lotus was the first thing to emerge from the primordial waters of chaos at the dawn of time. The papyrus was the heraldic plant of Lower, or northern, Egypt.
One pale green alabastron with papyrus painted upon it in black. The base of the vessel is decorated with an open lotus (?). Condition: Abraided and discolored; rim chipped.