Elamite Schist Chlorite Vessel with Geometric Decorations


An Elamite vessel produced from schist chlorite stone, featuring incised geometric decorations. The vessel is cylindrical with concave sides, pinched in at the waist, and a rounded base. The interior features a central tubal compartment and four radiating fan shaped partitions. The exterior is decorated with incised horizontal bands of geometric decorations. These include a row of hatched triangles followed by a row of concentric circles, a row of herringbone below and finally another row of hatched triangles. The surface is polished to a smooth finishing.

Date: 3rd-2nd millennium BC
Provenance: From an important Cambridgeshire estate, acquired on the UK art market before 2000, hence by descent.
Condition: Very fine condition. Minor chips to the edges.

In stock

The name Elam originated from Sumerian and Akkadian for “highlands”. The capital of Elam is Susa from which its Greek name Susiana derived. Not much is known about Elamite history as the Elamite language has not yet been deciphered and most of what we know is pieced together from Mesopotamian sources.

Vessels made of grey-green stone, such as this fine example, have been found in the archaeological site of Jiroft dated to the early Bronze age (3rd Millennium BC), corresponding to the Proto-Elamite Period. These vessels are decorated with vegetal, architectural, and abstract motifs or naturalistic representations of people and animals. This style is known as the “Intercultural Style” or Jiroft style as the Jiroft area was thought to be an important cross-cultural bridge between the Elam civilisation in the west and Indus valley civilisation into the east. These vessels were found across the ancient Near East across to Indus Valley, suggesting flourishing trade.


Weight 748 g
Dimensions W 11.5 x H 7.3 cm



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