In Ancient Egypt, alabaster jars were used as containers for ointment, perfume, and other cosmetic products, such as kohl. The alabaster used by ancient civilisations in the wider Middle Eastern region including Egypt and Mesopotamia is often referred to as “oriental alabaster”, which is a type of calcite. Due to its easy carving characteristic and resemblance to marble, many ancient peoples used alabaster for decoration. Although alabaster’s soft and slightly porous stone made it easy to carve, the upshot was that it would not survive for significant periods of time when exposed to the natural elements. The name “alabaster” is thought to have derived from the Ancient Egyptian, ‘a-labaste‘, which refers to the vessels of the goddess, Bast. She is usually depicted as a lioness, her figure often sitting atop alabaster vessels.