Predynastic Rock Crystal Vial

SKU X.0628

4000 BC to 3000 BC


3″ (7.6cm) high x 1.25″ (3.2cm) wide


Rock Crystal



Gallery Location



Rock crystal is a variety of clear, colorless quartz that is considered a semiprecious gemstone. Due to both its beauty and ease of cutting, it has frequently been employed in art and jewelry since the earliest days of history. Sometimes it is used to imitate diamonds. In Ancient Egypt, rock crystal was mined in the Western part of the kingdom. The stone was used in jewelry, and rock crystal beads appear quite frequently in tombs finds, laying alongside the remains of the deceased. To heighten the illusion of naturalism, ancient sculptors commonly inlaid the eyes of their works with rock crystal. This magnificent vial shows that rock crystal was also used by itself. Here, the stone has been carved into a tiny container which would have once held some precious substance such as oil or fragrant perfume. While the valuable contents has long since disappeared with the ages, the vial still sparkles with the luminosity of a diamond. – (X.0628)

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