Cylinder vase


Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

This well-preserved cylinder vase bears an inscription in black ink naming one of the oldest known pharaohs of Egypt. This inscription is in a rectangular frame with vertical grid lines above it, a so-called serekh. Standing on the serekh is the falcon of the god Horus. The name is written using the sign for two raised arms. In hieroglyphic script, this sign has the phonetic value ‘ka’, meaning ‘life force’ or ‘identity’. The signs on the right signify: ‘taxes of Upper Egypt’ and the lines under the serekh are probably an indication of quality. Taken together, these signs indicate that oil of good quality had been delivered to King Ka in payment of taxes from the southern part of the kingdom. Some twenty-five cylinder vases are known in total with this king’s name and this inscription, and another nine referring to the payment of taxes by Lower Egypt.

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  • Title: Cylinder vase
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: -2878/-2853
  • Location: Abydos, Egypte
  • Physical Dimensions: h23.2 cm
  • Datering: 2878-2853 BC, Archaische Periode ; Ka
  • Afmetingen: 23,2 cm
  • Type: cylinder vase
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: earthenware