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Egyptian basalt vessel for eye black cosmetic “Kohl”, Middle Empire, 2050-1750 B.C

Conservation:  Good condition
Material:  Basalt
Dimensions:  5,2 cm
Provenance:  Private collection, Florida (USA), adquired in 1970 / Archaeological Gallery, Spain, 2015


Ref jba105 Category Tag

This type of container was used to contain the ointments typical of mummification. Its stylization and design make it one of the most stylized ointments preserved from Egyptian antiquity, as well as kohl. It was a cosmetic made from a mineral called galena, grayish in appearance, which ground and mixed with other minerals is a kind of ash. This cosmetic was used for two main reasons, ritual and ornamental, women makeup, dress and put wigs in rituals, and even daily. In addition, this mineral has great bactericidal properties, so in addition to protecting the eyes from the sun, was also used as medication and eye protection.

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