Some objects from ancient Egypt just make you go, ‘wow’.
This workmanship, so early in Egyptian history, is simply amazing.
This ritual libation dish comes from Egypt’s first dynasty, ca. 3000 B.C.
The dish has two hieroglyphs: a pair of arms that read ‘ka’ (life force), and the cross-like ‘ankh’ which translates as ‘life’. Together they could be interpreted as ‘life to thy spirit’.
Alternatively, ‘Ankh-ka’ may be the name of an official of the first dynasty.
The dish was designed so that the arms would envelop water poured into the dish, which then flowed out through the bottom of the ankh.
The artist had created a never-ending supply of magic water, ritually charged with the force of life.
This dish is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Accession Number: 19.2.16).