Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Available materials, construction technique, and even social status all played a role in the manufacture of pottery.
Most ancient Egyptian towns had at least one skilled potter who served the entire community. Palaces, estates, and temples employed dozens of craftsmen to fashion luxury and ritual wares.
Potters used two principal materials: alluvial silt (soil deposited by the floodwaters of the Nile) and soft desert shale called marl. Silt contains iron oxides and fires red; marl, rich in calcium carbonate, fires to a buff color. To make both clays more workable, potters added straw, crushed stone, or pulverized pottery.
Potters constructed vessels by hand or on a wheel. Hand building involved shaping the clay manually and with simple tools. To create vessels on a wheel, artisans rotated the clay rapidly on a low, flat turntable and let centrifugal force pull it into shape. Spiral marks, evident on several examples in this case, indicate wheel manufacture.
ca. 1426-1390 B.C.E.
16 15/16 × Diam. 9 1/4 in. (43 × 23.5 cm) (show scale)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
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Storage Jar, ca. 1426-1390 B.C.E. Clay, painted, 16 15/16 × Diam. 9 1/4 in. (43 × 23.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.347E. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.37.347E_erg456.jpg)
. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 9/5/2007
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Tall pottery cordiform jar with rounded rim, tall neck, and pointed base. The neck and upper part of the body are decorated with painted geometric and floral motifs. The colors used are red and deep red. The pot is of a red-orange ware with a buff slip (?).
Condition: Line of oval-shaped depressions running around body which appear to have been made with a cord but after the pot was completed. The paint and slip are chipping off and most of the lower part of the body is red where the slip is gone. Most of the pot is dirty and there are cracks in the bottom in which there are the remains of glue; otherwise good.
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