Kohl jar

New Kingdom, Dynasty 14–18
1700–1295 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Possibly from Rifeh


Height x diameter: 6 x 5.3 cm (2 3/8 x 2 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

Not On View


The Ancient World


Cosmetic and medical

This kohl jar of travertine (Egyptian alabaster) is of generally squat proporitions with high shoulders, a flaring rim (with thinning profile), and a flat, splayed base. The rim is broken around the entire circumference. Some dark discolorations appear in the stone, and paint/grime appears particularly around the base.

Stone palettes are identified particularly with earlier periods of ancient Egyptian history. Non-functional (in the utilitarian sense), often elaborately decorated “ceremonial” examples are known. Often simpler, functional examples were used to grind and mix mineral-based pigments (including ocher, malachite, hematite) that were often mixed with other substances to make cosmetics or other decorative media.


Possibly from Deir Rifa. By 1907: with the Egyptian Research Account. 1907: Given to the MFA by the Egyptian Research Account.
(Accession Date: October 10, 1907)

Credit Line

Egyptian Research Account by subscription