Ritual Basins from Abu Erteila: the Uniformity of Temple Rites in Meroe

Malykh Svetlana E.

In 2013–2015, during the excavations of the temple in Abu Erteila by the Joint ItalianRussian Archaeological Mission (Republic of Sudan), fragments of two rectangular pottery vessels were found, one of which with traces of ankh-sign inside. Similar objects both of ceramics and sandstone were discovered in other sites of the Meroitic region. Comparative analysis made it possible to establish that the vessels were basins for the ritual libation of water and other liquids in Meroitic temples and pyramid chapels of different dedication. This indicates a partial uniformity of the temple ceremonies in the Meroitic Kingdom, which did not belong to the cult of a certain deity or a king. Such utensils for cult activities were probably made in local workshops near the temples. It can also be assumed that the form of the ritual of water libation ritual using special vessels takes its origins in the ancient Egyptian temple practice.

Keywords: ancient Sudan, ancient Egypt, Meroe, Abu Erteila, Meroitic pottery, ancient Sudanese pottery, ritual

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