Kohl Jar, Alabaster
2050 BCE-1652 BCE Country
Egypt See full details
Kohl Jar, body of which is undecorated. Wide base, rounded body, short neck exanding to a wide disk rim for the lip. In the Middle Kingdom, the preferred shape was a squat jar and wide, flat rim.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY Egyptian pot
H70mm x W68mm x D68mm
Calcite. Also known as alabaster or travertine
History and use
In ancient Egypt, both men and women used a dark substance called kohl, as eye make-up. Kohl is a black powder made of crushed lead ore (galena) and fat. It was used not only to highlight the eyes, to reduce glare, repel flies or drawing protective amulets on the skin. Such containers were included in tombs and burials, indicating that the ancient Egyptians believed that kohl would also be required in the afterlife. Kohl was applied via the finger, glass rod or reed. In the Middle Kingdom, the preferred shape for kohl jars was a squat jar and wide, flat rim. A small piece of cloth bound the lid to the body of the vessel. Alabaster was a precious and sought after material, indicating that the owner of this jar was wealthy. In the Middle Kingdom, the preferred shape was a squat jar with wide, flat rim.