Elongated alabaster chalice with slightly everted
rim, the sides straight, the long stem slightly
splayed at the base.
Through the regions of Margiana and Bactria
local stone carvers experienced no shortage in
material; the main raw material was soft steatite
or a dark soapstone, but also various kinds of
marble and white-veined alabaster. The main
source for these stones, including semi-precious
lapis-lazuli, was in Bactria, at Badakhshan in
north-western Afghanistan, which provided
material not only for the Bactrian and Margian
carvers but also farther to the west into
Mesopotamia, for the Assyrian kings. White-
veined alabaster was indeed used for varied
vessels, including small vases with
disproportionately long stems and low capacity,
such as the one here illustrated.
For a comparable Bactrian example see, V.
Sarianidi, Margus, Turkmenistan, 2002: p.136.