Ancient Near East

Powerballs

Egyptian balls

See more of these Egyptian balls on Open F|S.

Now, THESE are powerballs. Made of glass in Egypt, each one dates to the Ptolemaic dynasty or Roman period (305 BCE–14 CE). That’s not 1.5 billion years, but we’ll take 2,300! We’re not sure what they were for, though women may have used the larger ones to cool their hands after the balls soaked in melted snow.

Joelle Seligson

Joelle Seligson

Joelle Seligson is digital editor at the Freer|Sackler.