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Roman Period 'cosmetic' trays

Small bowls often made in a soft stone (steatite), perhaps produced as votive offerings in the cult of Isis and Serapis. They may have been made in Alexandria, and are decorated on the inside with a variety of motifs: Isis and Serapis, crocodiles, erotic scenes, scorpions, Harpocrates. Some of the trays are pierced, as if to hang from a wall. Petrie identified these as cosmetic dishes, but this is not certain.

These objects show a wide stylistic range. Some of the motifs are executed in a purely classical style, other are Egyptian (such as the child figure on UC 2449).

(click on the images for more information)

UC 2444 UC 2445 UC 2447 UC 2446
UC 2451 UC 2453 UC 2452 UC 2449



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