New Year's flask
The Egyptian New Year's flask is an exceptional piece of the Iberian Peninsula. It was manufactured around 600 BC in Sais, the capital of Egypt in Dynasty XXVI. It is made of sandy-clay (faience) and was covered in a green-blue glaze, barely preserved, which represents the water of the river Nile.
On the sides of the flask it has hieroglyphic inscriptions that say: “May the god Ptah open a happy new year to its owner” (left) and “May the goddess Neit give life and health to its owner” (right). Ptah, “the Lord of magic” was a healing god; Neit, the “mother goddess” attended the dead on the journey to the afterlife and was the patroness of Sais. On each side of the neck there is a baboon, the animal of the god Thoth, the “Lord of Time.”
The day of the Nile flood was a very important event, since it marked the Egyptian calendar and the beginning of the harvest period. It took place in late July and was the first day that the Sirius star could be seen early in the morning from the west. On that day, the water of the Nile was considered miraculous, and whoever drank it could cure his illnesses. So, at that time, thousands of flasks were filled with water to sell to the faithful people. This copy from Vilamuseu was brought by the Phoenicians and deposited in a tomb in the Casetes cemetery to favor the eternal life of the deceased.
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Necropolis of Les Casetes
Alt.:161 mm; Width: 129 mm; diam. boca: 35,9 mm
Nº inv. Vilamuseu: 003367