This small carved alabaster jar, or 'alabastron' is a new addition to the Bible Museum collection. It is from Canaan and is around 2,000 to 2,500 years old.
The jar is possibly similar to that used by Mary, the sister of Lazarus. She had an alabaster box of costly spikenard oil, with which she anointed Jesus. The story from the Gospels is told below:
"And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he [Jesus] sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her.
And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, [this] also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. "
Mark 14:3-9 King James Version.