Cosmetic Vessel Lid

M11872
Siltstone lid of a container in the form of a Nile Talapia fish, with two holes for fastening pegs. Details of eye, gill, fins and tail incised. Tilapia fish were symbols of fertility and rebirth. This is due to the spawning habits of these fish, who take up the newly laid eggs into their mouth until they are hatched. The appearance of the young fish from the mother’s mouth must have suggested self-propagation to the Egyptians and hence the association with rebirth.