Inscribed beaker

Napatan Period, reign of Aspelta
593–568 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Nuri, Pyramid 8 (tomb of Aspelta), N.W. corner foundation deposit (NW 21)


Height x diameter (rim) x diameter (base): 7.1 x 5.6 x 3.5 cm (2 13/16 x 2 3/16 x 1 3/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World


Foundation deposits

This blue-glazed faience faience votive beaker was found as part of a foundation deposit. It is a flat-based beaker with asymetrical profile (one side somewhat concave and the other straight) and straight rim. The rim has an incised line around it. One side of the exterior is inscribed with two columns of hieroglyphic text, one of which includes a cartouche of Napatan King Aspelta. Some areas of the light blue surface glaze are worn down to the underlying faience paste. The beaker has broken into several pieces but has been mended.

Translation of the text:
Col. 1: “The Good God, Merykare [i.e. Aspelta]”
Col. 2: “Beloved of Ptah, Lord of Ta-Set(i) [i.e. Nubia]”


From Nuri, pyramid 8 (tomb of Aspelta), N.W. corner foundation deposit (NW 21). 1917: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan. (Accession Date: March 1, 1920)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition