Horn for oil, from royal burial

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at Qurneh, Egypt

Postcard of Horn for oil, from royal burial.
© National Museums Scotland

Horn for oil, from royal burial

This oil horn is among the grave goods from the grave of a 17th Dynasty queen and her child at Qurneh in Egypt. It was found in a basket outside the queen's coffin, together with a marble bowl, whetstone, knife or razor, two flints and ball of thread.

This sealed container for special oil consists of a cow's horn, closed at its wide end with a wooden bung covered with a plate of ivory decorated with slips of ebony wood. At the other end is an ivory dove's head with a spout. Its beak is of horn.

This grave, from the burial place of the kings and queens of Thebes, is remarkable as it dates from a time when Egypt was politically divided and relatively poor. The queen and her child have been lavishly equipped for the Afterlife.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-000-281-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  A.1909.527.32
Date: 17th Dynasty
Around 1641 to 1539 BC (2nd Intermediate Period: 17th Dynasty)
Dimensions: 204 mm L (cord)
What: Oil vessel / horn, cow's
Subject: Foreign
Who: Professor W.M. Flinders Petrie (Excavator)
Where: Ancient Egypt, Qurneh
Description: Oil vessel consisting of a cow's horn with the wide end closed with a wooden plug covered with an engraved ivory disk: Ancient Egyptian, excavated at Qurneh, 17th Dynasty
  • Petrie, W.M. Flinders. Qurneh. London: School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1909. 
  • Qurneh / by W.M. Flinders Petrie. London, B.S.A.E. & B. Quaritch, 1909, 6 - 10 
  • Sheridan, J A (ed). Heaven and Hell and Other Worlds of the Dead. Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland, 2000. 
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