Since the Predynastic Period, Egyptian craftsmen have expertly employed alabaster for use as vessels. During the Ptolemaic Period, especially in Alexandria, the tradition continued. The hydria is a distinctively Greek vessel type, and is well represented in Egypt by the many pottery examples found in Alexandria, the so-called Hadra hydriai. The pottery versions, probably made near Knossos on Crete, were mainly used as cinerary urns during the 3rd century B.C. The profile of the alabaster hydria recalls the more common pottery type, and thus confirms a 3rd century date. Alabaster hydriai are comparatively rare, and must have been commissioned by wealthy Greeks who preferred the more exotic, native material. For other examples see pp. 2-3, fig. 5 in Pagenstecher, Die griechisch-ägyptische Sammlung E. Von Sieglin, vol. III: Die Gefässe in Stein und Ton, Knochenschnitzereien, and p. 23, pl. XVI in Breccia, Le Musée Gréco-Romain d'Alexandrié, 1925-1931.