Magic bottle

Old Kingdom, Dynasty 4, reign of Khufu (Cheops)
2551–2528 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Giza, Menkaura Valley Temple


Height x diameter: 10.4 x 4.9 cm (4 1/8 x 1 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Travertine (Egyptian alabaster)

On View

Ancient Egyptian Large Sculpture (Mycerinus) (Gallery 108)


The Ancient World


Religious and cult objects

Fine-grained ritual vessel with a wavy-lined surface. The inside was not hollowed out; thus its designation as a “dummy” vessel. It would have been used in the “opening of the mouth” ceremony performed on the statues of Menkaura in his valley temple.


From Giza, Menkaura Valley Temple. March 2, 1911: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1911: assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.
(Accession Date: March 2, 1911)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition