This jar (acc. no.: 22.2.33) is part of a set of four that the Met Museum bought in 1922. Because they were purchased there’s no record of where they were found but they are thought to date to the reign of Amenhotep III, because similar ones were found in the tomb of his in-laws.

Each jar has a different carving on the lid, a frog in this case and the others are an ibex, a calf or bull and the god Bes. They are clearly not canopic jars (wrong animals/deities, wrong shape) and because there are no inscriptions I don’t think it’s known what they were for.

The frog has a long history in Egyptian iconography, and a strong association with fertility, rebirth and large numbers. It is associated with Heket, the goddess of childbirth, as well as with the male members of the Ogdoad (central gods in one of the creation myths).

It’s a shame we don’t know more about these jars. Were they just a fleeting fashion in elite circles? Were the contents linked to the decoration? And many more questions!

Jar with Lid Decorated with a Frog. New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, possibly reign of Amenhotep III, c. 1390-1352 BCE. Acc. No.: 32.2.33

See it on my photo site:

I’ve talked about frogs before on the blog:

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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