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Collection Highlights

Water jar

Water jar
© BA Antiquities Museum/C. Gerigk

Registration Number(s)
BAAM Serial Bibliotheca Alexandrina Antiquities Museum Number 0614

Inv.Inventory
 (Al Ashmunin storerooms) 4372

where to find


showcase 33

Water jar

Category:
Containers and related objects, vessels, jars
Date:
Ancient Egyptian period, New Kingdom (1550-1069 BCE)
Provenance:
Upper Egypt, Minya, Tell El-Amarna
Material(s):
Man made material, pottery (terracotta)
Height:
54 cm
Hall:
Extension, showcase 33


Description

New Kingdom "blue-painted" water jug from el-Amarna.
 

Pottery

Pottery was an essential element in Egyptian society that was used widely in many aspects, and at all social levels. It was employed in innumerable domestic and agricultural tasks, especially the processing, the preparation, serving and storage of food. Pottery also played a key role in ancient industry and trade: ceramic vessels were used to hold, store and transport commodities and, on occasion, the pot rather than the contents were the desired commodity. Furthermore, public ceremonies, religious and funerary rituals, and magical rites all used ceramics for various purposes.

Categories

Egyptian pottery can be divided into two broad groups according to the clay used. The first is “Nile silt ware”. These were pots made from the alluvial deposits of the Nile valley and were fired to a red-brown colour. This group is most commonly used for the coarse utilitarian wares, although it may be decorated as in the case of the “blue painted” pottery during the New Kingdom. The second group is the “marl clay” vessels. These are made from calcareous clays which have limited occurrence in Egypt.  Marl clays were usually employed for better-quality wares.

Predynastic pottery was handmade. By the end of the Old Kingdom, the true potter’s wheel was developed and allowed vessels to be made more quickly in a simple form of mass production, alongside with handmade types.


The information given here is subject to modification/update as a result of ongoing research.

Bibliography
  • “Ceramics”. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, edited by Donald B. Redford. Vol. III. London : Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • Shaw, Ian and Paul Nicholson. The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum, 1997.
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