Egyptian Middle Kingdom Redware Pottery Jar


An Egyptian, Middle Kingdom, redware pottery jar with a globular body. The dominant bowl leads to a short concave neck and small rim. The vessel rests on a rounded base. The fabric of the vessel is coarse and porous, consistent with the quality of household wares. The horizontal striations left along the vessel’s surface suggested that it was possibly made with a shaping technique that involved spinning, such as a potter’s wheel. The red, brick-colour of the vessel usually presents in ceramics made from silt clay. Comes with a custom-made black metal stand.

Date: Circa 2030–1650 BC
Period: Middle Kingdom
Provenance: From a Private Dorset collection, 1980s-1990s. This vessel is reportedly found in near the temple of Hatshepsut in Deir-el-Bahri. Photos of the alleged findspot is included - under the wooden boards in the foreground of the photos.
Condition: Fair condition. Chips to the rim. Air bubbles in the fabric. Encrustation and small cavities to the surface.

In stock

SKU: XJ-47 Category: Tag:

Pottery is one of the most ubiquitous artifacts of antiquity, due to its widespread use and durability. In daily life, pottery mainly functioned as household wares for the storage, preparation, transport, and consumption of food and drinks. Pottery, however, also had ritual purposes, often found as grave goods and votive offerings. In ancient Egypt, pottery were predominantly made from either silt or marl. Silt comes readily from the Nile River. In comparison, marl contained at least 10% calcium carbonate and had to be quarried from the desert. Silt clay turns a red or brown colour when fired, while marl clay usually turned a lighter cream colour. Our vessel is likely made from the former. Once the raw material was obtained, they had to be made malleable in preparation for modelling. This was done by adding water to the clay, treading on the clay with feet to soften and kneading with hands. The shaping of clay could be done through various techniques – hand-forming, using a potter’s wheel or by moulding. The final step – firing could be performed in the open or in kilns. The technique used largely dependent on the fabric of the vessel and its function. Silt clays could be fired in a relatively uncontrolled way and the resultant porosity was advantageous for its use as houseware. When used making water vessels, the porous vessel allowed for gradual evaporation, which kept the remaining water cool. When used in cooking vessels, the porosity  prevented the formation of larger cracks during the heating process.

Pottery production in ancient Egypt is undeniably important in ancient Egypt- the whole process is depicted on tomb paintings at Beni-Hassan. In modern times, ancient pottery continues to be valuable evidence for archaeologists. The famed Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie used the seriation of pottery to construct the relative chronology of ancient Egypt.

Weight 996.8 g
Dimensions W 13.2 x H 13.6 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, The British Museum, London, item EA45260

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