Jar with Zigzag Panels
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Writing first appeared in Egypt about 3200 B.C.E. Many scholars have long believed that writing came to Egypt from western Asia. Inscribed objects recently excavated at Abydos in Upper Egypt may predate extensive contact between Egypt and the Near East, which would mean that writing developed in both places independently. Many signs and pictures that evolved into writing initially served decorative purposes. The zigzag lines on the sides of this jar, made at least a century before writing began, later became the hieroglyph for “water.”
ca. 3500-3300 B.C.E.
Predynastic Period, Naqada II Period
6 3/8 x greatest diam. 5 5/16 in. (16.2 x 13.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Jar with Zigzag Panels, ca. 3500-3300 B.C.E. Clay, pigment, 6 3/8 x greatest diam. 5 5/16 in. (16.2 x 13.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 09.889.402. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.09.889.402_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/5/2007
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