Egyptian Bronze Situla and Chain


An Egyptian bronze situla decorated with three registers, detailed with varying scenes and motifs, carved in shallow relief. Two loop attachments have been applied to the rim of the situla, adjoining it to a linked chain. The top register depicts a solar barque pulled by two jackals and flanked by worshipping baboons. The largest, second register displays an offering scene, in which the devotee makes a food offering to various gods, including Horus and Osiris. A table laden with meat joints can be made out. The third and last register depicts a floral motif of multiple lotus flowers.

Date: 712-30 BC
Period: Late Period - Ptolemaic Period
Provenance: Ex SM collection, Isreal. Entire collection exported with an export license.
Condition: Excellent. Unusual to find with the original chain.


The term situla refers to a bucket-like vessel. They were used across multiple cultures, from small Egyptian examples to larger Greek terracotta vessels. A delicate piece such as this was used most likely as an offering vessel within a temple.

The offering scene was an important factor in Egyptian ritual. Scenes offering a standard list of items, including bread, ox, alabaster, beer, fowl and linen, would line the tombs of the deceased. Visual representations of large animal legs, placed on an offering table, accompanied rows of hieroglyphs detailing the offering formula. This is known as the ‘htp-di-nsw’ formula, also the first line of the hieroglyphic text, and translates as ‘an offering which the king gives’.  From the Middle Kingdom this phrase became treated as a fixed expression, relating solely to an offering formula.

The gods portrayed here, Horus and Osiris, were extremely important amongst the Egyptian pantheon. Osiris was closely related to the deceased and came to symbolise the pharaoh in death. Horus, similarly, came to be associated with the pharaoh in life.

Weight 45.2 g
Dimensions L 17.9 cm


Egyptian Mythology




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