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Squat Jar

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.
MEDIUM Clay, pigment
  • Possible Place Collected: Esna, Egypt
  • DATES ca. 1479–1400 B.C.E.
    DYNASTY Dynasty 18
    PERIOD New Kingdom
    DIMENSIONS 4 1/2 x Diam. 4 13/16 in. (11.4 x 12.2 cm)  (show scale)
    ACCESSION NUMBER 07.447.470
    CREDIT LINE Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Vase with squat globular body; low ring-foot, around rounded, slightly protruding bottom; sharp ridge on waist, wide, straight mouth; rather low neck, very slightly flaring, offset from body and from flat-topped disk-lip. Asymmetrical. Red polish. Decoration of purple painted waist, a group of three on lower half of neck, and of seven radiating lines on lip, rather regularly disposed. Condition: Surface of upper part pitted.
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Egyptian Orientation Gallery, 3rd Floor
    CAPTION Squat Jar, ca. 1479–1400 B.C.E. Clay, pigment, 4 1/2 x Diam. 4 13/16 in. (11.4 x 12.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 07.447.470. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.07.447.470_NegA_print_bw.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.07.447.470_NegA_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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