Pitcher Imitating Cypriot and Western Asiatic Jug
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. 1470-1400 B.C.E.
7 1/16 x Diam. 4 15/16 in. (17.9 x 12.5 cm)
Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund
Pitcher. Pear-shaped body. Ring-foot around slightly protruding rounded bottom. High wide neck, offset from body, lower half cylindrical, upper half gently spreading. Wide mouth. Lip rounded on top, slightly rolled back on underside. Well-shaped, oval handle on one side, from shoulder to neck, its upper part forming a sharp angle with neck. Light pinkish buff pottery, unpainted. Decoration in purple painting: Two horizontal lines around bottom of neck. Four vertical tassels, regularly disposed, consisting of three nearly parallel lines running from lower ring-line to near foot, crossed by dots down through three quarters of length. Eleven narrow radiating lines on lip.
Condition: A long horizontal crack on waist, with vertical ramifications.
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