Permanent Collection of the Archaeological Museum of Agios Nikolaos
This natural ostrich egg shell is preserved almost intact. It has four holes, two of which were probably used to empty its contents. It was found along with the remains of a gold-embroidered cloth and fa?ence vessels in the opulent burial of a teenage girl, and may have served as a perfume bottle. Ostrich eggs were placed in Egyptian, Palestinian and Mesopotamian burials from the 3rd millennium BC onwards. They symbolized birth and the continuation of life, just like ordinary hen's eggs, which often occur in East Cretan burials of this same period. A rare imported object, the ostrich egg and other finds from the same burial illustrate the prosperity of the region, and its active trade and close ties with Egypt during the 2nd century BC.