Thursday, 19 June 2014

Black Basalt Libation Bowl

Black Basalt Libation Bowl - British Museum EA1386, 26th Dynasty, Gift of R Golf 1848
The rim of the bowl is decorated with two heads of the goddess Hathor who like Sekhmet was the goddess of childbirth.
This piece is assumed to be a libation bowl but Rosalind Park, who I respect very much as a person and for her outstanding research and articles, suggests the following use of the bowl:

" I was once told by a BM curator, that it is assumed that this splendid piece is a "libation" bowl. It is unusual that inside, the base slopes down to a middle circle. My feeling is some sort of optical appliance? When it is filled with liquid to the brim, it becomes a sort of mirror (Mirrors were a favourite offering to the goddess at Dendera). I would boldly suggest that it could be called a "scrying" vessel" (Rosalind Park).

Picture taken by me

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