Pharaonic Egypt   :|:   Document

Three boats on a painted pottery vase, Nagada II

ref. : en.914.2014 | 29 September 2014 | by Francis Leveque
céramique | Third quarter of IVe millennium BC
Egypte (Haute Egypte) ( Egypte )
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Painted pottery vase, Nagada II, with a procession of animals, a boat with shrine, occupants and palm fonds.

The decoration is rare but of those of this type the decoration is similar. Boats with people with women, larger than men, possibly identified as goddesses or dancer. People could be taking part in a ritual. Other motifs are standards with recognisable hieroglyphic representations. The scene are not fully understood but it is likely that they represent a funerary ritual. Similar scenes have been found painted onto walls of a tomb and also on the Gebelain shroud (Museo Egizio di Turino).

Boats are crescent shaped, possess many oars. They have 2 cabins with corner stakes continue to form at the top of the arches. The aft cabin is topped by a sign. at the bow is a long branch consisting of 8 palm leaves. A kind of rope hangs from the bow.

On one of the boats (1), two characters to overcome the static appearance of the cabin right under a canopy. A smaller structure is attached to the cabin from right and is surmounted by a sign consists of a mast, two oblique lines in the middle and the top ring.

On another boat (2) the "dancer" is one of the cabin. Three identical characters are featured on the back. The chain consists of a mast, two oblique lines in the middle and a circular arc at the top.

On the last boat (3) 3 people (including 2 women?) are standing on the cabin and left a fourth character is on the booth right. The company consists of a mast with two oblique lines in the middle, and a growing topped with a triangle at the top.

Predynastic boat as depicted on pottery vase in "Ancient Egyptian Ships and Shipping" by William F. Edgerton. Private Edition as distributed by University of Chicago Libraries, reprinted from American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature, Vol. XXXIX, No.2, January, 1923.


Bibliography :

  • W.F. Edgerton, Ancient Egyptian Ships and Shipping, in American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literature, vol. XXXIX, University of Chicago Libraries, Chicago , 1923
  • W. Davis, Masking the Blow: The Scene of Representation in Late Prehistoric Egyptian Art, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS, Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford , 1992