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W490 ?Jar stand

W490aThis item is from house T36.11 in the North Suburb of Amarna (Frankfort and Pendlebury 1933, 25, pls. XII, XX.3). It is 123cm long. The illustration on the left is from Frankfort and Pendlebury 1933, pl. XX. It was found beside the bathroom of the house and said to contain ‘traces of grease’. It is not clear what it was for. A similar item was possibly found at Deir el-Medina (Kemp 1985, 50) and benches with circular receptacles were found in Chapel 528 of the Workmen’s Village (Kemp 1985, 43, fig.4.4). Those from the Workmen’s Village had receptacles too close together to have been used as pottery stands. 

This item was found in the same room as W344, a limestone headrest or a stool on display in the Centre. The house in which the object was found was by far the largest in the North suburb.The block is described thus by Frankfort and Pendelbury (1933, 25): 

The bath is standing behind a screen wall in what we have called the ‘anointing room’ (pl.p.1, 3) because we found a long block of limestone there with three cups with traces of grease; whether ointment or oil was poured into the cups or whether the cups merely served to steady vessels which were put on the blocks we cannot decide. The grease in the cups was not very extensive or deeply sunk in, so the last assumption is the most probable. The block fits exactly on a ridge on seven bricks which are plastered to the floor…which is not quite in line with any wall.  


Frankfort, H. and Pendlebury, J.D.S. 1933. The City of Akhenaten. II. The North Suburb and The Desert Altars. London: Egypt Exploration Society. 

Kemp, B.J. 1985. Report on the 1984 excavations chapel group 528-531. In Kemp, B.J., Amarna Reports II. London: Egypt Exploration Society, 39-50. 

Stevens, A. 2003. The material evidence for domestic religion at Amarna and preliminary remarks on its interpretation. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 89, 144-168.

Other Amarna items in the Egypt Centre