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Storage Vessel with Simple Incised Decoration

Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art

On View: Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
Pottery Manufacture

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.
  • Place Excavated: Kelabieh, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1539–1425 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 19 15/16 x Diam. 8 9/16 in. (50.6 x 21.7 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 07.447.444
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    PROVENANCE Kelabieh, Egypt (Kelabsheh, Ramessid); 1907, excavated by Henri de Morgan of Francescas, France and New York, NY for the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Large gourd-shaped jar of pinkish pottery. Slender graceful shape, with bluntly pointed bottom, ovoid body with deep waist, very slightly spreading neck, its beginning marked by a four-coiled spiral incised line; torus-lip, well offset. Rather wide straight mouth. Condition: A crack runs from rim down to waist, through a rather large hole in center. Slight chips on rim.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Storage Vessel with Simple Incised Decoration, ca. 1539–1425 B.C.E. Clay, 19 15/16 x Diam. 8 9/16 in. (50.6 x 21.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.444. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.07.447.444_NegL1012_19_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.07.447.444_NegL1012_19_print_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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