Silver Libation Stand of King Amenemope

This silver libation stand used to receive water offerings to the dead or the gods. The text includes the name of the king Amenemope, and the words this fresh libation which has come forth from Elephantine and which emerges in the region of Heliopolis. referring to the annual flood of the Nile.

In ancient Egypt, silver ritual libation vessels were not commonly used. The primary material for ritual libation vessels in ancient Egypt was typically pottery or stone. These vessels were used for pouring offerings, such as water, wine, or other liquids, as part of religious ceremonies and rituals.

Libation Stand of King Amenemope
Libation Stand of King Amenemope

Ritual Libation in Ancient Egypt

Ritual libation was an important practice in ancient Egypt. It involved the pouring of liquid offerings, such as water, wine, milk, or oils, as a way to communicate with and honor the gods and goddesses. These libations were typically poured onto altars or into special vessels during religious ceremonies and rituals.

Libations were an integral part of temple rituals, funerary rites, and personal worship. They were believed to nourish and sustain the deities, as well as establish a connection between the human and divine realms. The act of pouring the libation was accompanied by prayers, incantations, and gestures to invoke the presence and blessings of the gods.

The choice of liquid for the libation varied depending on the deity being honored and the specific ritual context. Wine was a common offering, symbolizing joy and abundance. Water represented purity and rejuvenation. Milk was associated with fertility and nourishment. Oils, such as perfumed oils, were used for their aromatic qualities and as a means of purification.

Ritual libations played a significant role in ancient Egyptian religious practices, serving as a means of communication, devotion, and establishing a connection between the human and divine realms.

Silver in Ancient Egypt

Silver was a precious metal in ancient Egypt and was highly valued for its beauty and rarity. It was primarily used for decorative purposes, such as jewelry, amulets, and royal regalia. However, there is limited evidence or documentation suggesting the use of silver vessels specifically for ritual libations in ancient Egyptian religious practices.

It is important to note that ancient Egyptian religious practices varied over time and across different regions, so there may have been exceptions or instances where silver vessels were used for specific rituals. However, based on the available historical and archaeological evidence, silver ritual libation vessels were not a common feature in ancient Egyptian religious practices.

Third Intermediate Period, 21st Dynasty, reign of Amenemope, ca. 1001-992 BC. Silver, from the Tomb of Amenemope at Tanis. Now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. JE 86102