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Archeological Object


Water - clock

The object has all the characteristics of the water-clock: the truncated cone shape, the outflow hole at the centre of the base, a flat bottom and the inside surface with circular notches that mark the hours during the months. The decoration of the outer surface consisted of six squares with figures, in each of which the same iconography was repeated: the king who makes offerings to a god, a patron of a month, while he is assisted by another goddess, who is also the protectress of a month. At present only three squares are intact, the first, the fifth and the sixth, while of the other squares (the second, the third and thefourth) a few fragments remain.
In the first panel the king gives a vase of holy water to the god Ptah, the patron of the II (2nd) month; the image of the king is accompanied by an inscription that defines him: "Son of Ra, Ptolemy, the beloved of Tehit”. The goddess Tehit follows the pharaoh and she is accompanied by the inscription: "To say the words I give you all life and the power while you appear on the throne of Horus for ever."
The fifth scene represents the king wearing the white crown while he is making offerings to Khonsu, the patron of the IX (9th) month; behind the shoulder of the god the inscription reads:
"To say the words: I give you all kinds of drinks with serenity and joy in front of the ka of the living for eternity." The king is assisted by Horo Khenti-Kheti, the protector of the X (10th) month, behind whom there is the inscription: "To say the words, I give you the royalty of Ra, the power of his house, with the joy of heart."
Finally, in the VI (6th) box, Ptolemy is portrayed while he is offering incense and holy water to Ra - Harakhti. The god, the patron of the XII (12th) month is accompanied by the inscription: "To say the words I give you all life, power, health and joy, like Ra for ever." The pharaoh is assisted by the goddess Ipet - Hemetes, patroness of the XI (11th) month and is shown with a red crown. "

The decoration is completed by two inscriptions placed above the illustrated scene and gives an inscription underneath: each line is made up of two identical inscriptions:
1 - "Can Horus live, the vigorous young man , the Two Ladies, great of strength, the Golden Horus, the one who makes the kingship appear [... ...]"
2 - "Can the King of Upper and Lower Egypt live, the Lord of the Two Lands, the Userkara Merimen, the son of Ra, the lord of the apparitions, Ptolemy, may he live for eternity. He made (as) his monument for his father Osiris, the lord of the West, to make for him a black stone pot filled with water, whose width is in excess of six palms [... ...] "
3 - "Can the perfect god live, the lord of the Two Lands, the lord of making rituals, the Userkara Merimen, the son of Ra, the lord of appearances, Ptolemy loved by Khepri and Hathor, the lady of the Sixteen, endowed with life, stability and power like [... ...] "


Further information
Identificazione (Label is not translated)
  Inventory number: inv. 27
Place of discovery
  Place of discovery:

Found in Rome in the Iseo Campense area

  Title or subject:


Cronologia (Label is not translated)
  Period: Ptolemain period - reign of Ptolomy II Philadelfus
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  Material: Basalt
  Height: 36,4
  Diameter: 27,8
  Varie: Conservation status: fragmentary and reconstructed with seven pieces. The base and part of the side remain.
Restauri (Label is not translated)

Reconstructed with seven pieces.


1986, Mengoli P., “La clessidra egizia del Museo Barracco”, in “Vicino Oriente” 6, pp.193-218 
1996, Sist L. ,  “Museo Barracco. Arte Egizia” Quaderno - 3, Roma, pp. 71-74