Bactrian Alabaster Chalice

SKU LO.1007

2000 BC to 1500 BC


9.2″ (23.4cm) high x 5.1″ (13.0cm) wide




Central Asia

Gallery Location



Elongated alabaster chalice with splayed foot and everted flattened rim, the sides straight, the long stem slightly splayed at the base.
Through the regions of Margiana and Bactria local stone carvers experienced no shortage in material; the main raw material was soft steatite or a dark soapstone, but also various kinds of marble and white-veined alabaster. The main source for these stones, including semi-precious lapis-lazuli, was in Bactria, at Badakhshan in north-western Afghanistan, which provided material not only for the Bactrian and Margian carvers but also farther to the west into Mesopotamia, for the Assyrian kings. White- veined alabaster was indeed used for varied vessels, including small vases with disproportionately long stems and low capacity, such as the one here illustrated.

For a comparable Bactrian example see, V. Sarianidi, Margus, Turkmenistan, 2002: p.136.

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