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Situla with Religious Scenes in Raised Relief

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
Vessels of this shape, known as situlae, were used for carrying liquids during religious ceremonies. These smaller-sized situlae are models of the much larger vessels employed in temple rituals and likely served as temple votive offerings. Each situla depicts a worshipper standing or kneeling before a row of gods led by the ithyphallic god Amun- Min, a symbol of regeneration. Two of these pieces are inscribed with a prayer asking Isis to grant life to a named dedicator. The lotus petals at the bottom symbolize rebirth.
MEDIUM Bronze, gold
  • Place Made: Egypt
  • DATES 305–30 B.C.E.
    PERIOD Ptolemaic Period
    DIMENSIONS 5 3/16 x Diam. 1 3/4 in. (13.1 x 4.4 cm)  (show scale)
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Bronze situla with handle. Decorated in relief and with incised line drawings. Much (it is no longer possible to determine the original extent) of the incised lines were inlaid with gold of which there are remnants here and there. The neck of the vessel is decorated with a register containing an overlapping feather (?) pattern. Below this is a horizontal band divided into a pattern of large and small rectangles. Below this is a larger register decorated with figures as well as a column of inscription as follows: offering stand; Amun-min facing right; priest burning incense and libating facing left; hieroglyphic inscription; Nephthys facing right; Horus facing right; Djed with atef; Isis facing left. Below this register is a narrow horizontal band similar to the one above. The bottom of the vessel which is decorated as if it were a lotus blossom, is provided with a roughly projecting foot. Condition: Slightly rubbed overall; black/brown patina. Some inlaid gold missing. Solid cast. Basically in good condition.
    CAPTION Situla with Religious Scenes in Raised Relief, 305–30 B.C.E. Bronze, gold, 5 3/16 x Diam. 1 3/4 in. (13.1 x 4.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.582E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 37.582E_PS11.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 37.582E_PS11.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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