Nabataean Red Terracotta Ribbed Juglet


A finely potted Nabataean bright red terracotta juglet, featuring a ribbed decoration across the central body. The juglet consists of a short, circular foot leading to a wide, globular body and a cylindrical neck with an inverted rim. A single applied handle extends from the rim to the vessel’s shoulder. The bright orange colour of the terracotta, as seen on this fine example, is a characteristic of Nabataean pottery and it is caused by the high level of iron in the clay. This terracotta was probably produced soon after the conquest of the region by the Romans and used in a private context. Some earthly encrustation covers the surface.

Date: Circa 1st Century AD
Provenance: From the collection of a deceased gentleman prior to 1988; thence by descent.
Condition: Very Fine condition.


SKU: SA-83 Category: Tag:

The Nabataean tribes first encroached upon Jordan and the surrounding area sometime in the 6th century BC. Thought of originally as a nomadic people they settled in the area, existing as an autonomous kingdom until the 2nd century AD, when they were finally defeated by the Romans. Since the 1st century BC, the Nabateans developed a specific and characteristic style in their pottery production, without any reference to the Hellenistic artistic tradition. Nabataean pottery is characterised by a bright red terracotta, a fine modelling and by a painted decoration, and displays a smooth and matte finishing. Many different shapes have been recovered, including huge jars, pots, flacons for storage of perfumes and ointments, and bowls, usually the most painted forms. One of the most interesting and most recognisable aspects of Nabatean terracotta wares is the thinness of the vessels’ walls, known as egg-shell vessels. Such vessels, featuring a thickness of 1-3 mm and a metallic hardness, were mostly shallow open bowls, extremely difficult to be potted on the potter’s wheel. With the Roman conquest of the area around 150 AD, Nabataean pottery production started losing its thinness and polychrome decoration, becoming more crude and simple.

Weight 135.8 g
Dimensions W 7 x H 11 cm


Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For Similar: The Metropolitan Museum, Item 67.246.25

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