Requires Photography

Squat lotiform cup

Napatan Period (?)
about 750–270 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Gebel Barkal, Building (temple) 100


Overall: 5.1 x 10 cm (2 x 3 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This cup is made of a somewhat coarse, light reddish clay fabric. It has a lotiform body of squat proportions with straight to very slightly concave sides, expanding towards the top to a flaring straight rim. The base is rounded.

Very small vessels are common in grave, tomb, and temple contexts where they could be presented with offerings or as model offerings in and of themselves. They are thus often called “model vessels” or, also because of their use in offering contexts, “libation cups.” They are most often made of medium to coarse grades of clay, and both hand-made and wheel-made examples (as with this example) occur. Shaping is often poor and irregular even when formed on a wheel. Frequent irregularities and asymmetry reflect fast work and mass production.


From Nubia (Sudan) Gebel Barkal, Building (temple) 100). 1916: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan.

(Accession Date: August 21, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition