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Phoenician Painted Ostrich Egg

An ancient Phoenician ostrich egg painted with four panels divided by cross hatched bands. The scenes include, two lotus buds, a small tree, and an abstract symbol of the goddess Tanit.

Ca. 8th – 6th century BC.

Height: 6 in. (15.4 cm).

The use of the ostrich egg as a vase or decorative object dates back to the earliest Egyptian, Canaanite and Mesopotamian cultures. The painted ostrich egg was, however, especially popular among the Phoenician (Punic) people. Examples have been found in tombs at Carthage and at Punic settlements in Israel, Lebanon, Spain, Sicily, and Sardinia.

cf.: S. Moscati, et al., The Phoenicians, (Milan, 1988), pp. 456-463, no. 726.

Formerly in a Swiss private collection.

Published: E. Gubel, "International Journal of Oriental and Mediterranean Studies," Volume VIII, (2015), pp. 117-123, fig. 5.
Inv#: 9008

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