Early Dynastic Multi-Compartmented Cosmetic Container


A finely engraved two compartment stone container, dating to the Early Dynastic II-III period, circa 2700-2350 BC. It features two evenly executed, rounded receptacles on the top. Its squat, rectangular body is supported by stands. A raised ridge, embellished with a basket pattern and incisions, has been sculpted below the rim.

Date: Circa 2700-2334 BC
Period: Early Dynastic II-III
Condition: Fine condition, with cracks to the encrusted rim.


SKU: HL-13 Category:

Stone compartmented containers are one of the most significant objects yielded from temples of the Early Dynastic II-III period (circa 2700-2350 BC), and have been found extensively across both Sumerian and Akkadian cultural areas. These multi-compartmented kohl containers appear either inscribed with donors and deities’ names or sculpted with naturalistic zoomorphic motifs in relief, and are believed to have been executed as an offering dedicated to specific deities. The fashion of dedicating cosmetic containers to the deities was closely associated with god Enlil’s praise for Inanna’s beautifully painted eyes. On this object, the sculptured basket pattern, with incised lines under the rim, is one of the represented decorative repertories seen on the paralleled stone containers from Inanna’s Temple at Nippur, dating to the Early Dynastic II-III period.

Weight 147.3 g
Dimensions L 7 x W 4.2 x H 3.5 cm



Time Period

Reference: The Metropolitan Museum of Art , item 62.70.13

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