Funnel-necked jar with petal decoration - 933.11.1_1


Funnel-necked jar with petal decoration

Medium:Ceramic (blue-painted earthenware)
Geography: Excavated at Amarna, Egypt
Date: c. 1352-1327 BC
Period: Amarna Period, 18th Dynasty, New Kingdom
61 x 42 cm
Object number: 933.11.1
Not on view

Large funnel necked jar with a biconical body with three bands of painted blue pendant petal decoration. This type of decorated pottery is characteristic of the later New Kingdom in Egypt. This vessel came from the Egypt Exploration Society’s excavations at the site of Amarna through the British Museum. On the neck of this vessel is written in ink "XXIII 23/109." The XXIII refers to the jar type in the pottery corpus published in City of Akhenaten I (1023) p. 138 (pl. XLIX). The 23 indicates the year of excavation and 109 is the individual pot number. The entire rim and much of the neck is missing, but the piece has been restored to its original appearance. One sherd from the neck of the vessel preserves traces of a blue horizontal band decorating the neck of the vessel; presumably this was originally a band of petal decoration. The jar was probably used to hold water or another liquid at banquets or other festive occasions. The burnishing would make the vessel less permeable and the wide mouth would allow easy access to the contents.

The vessel is made of a Nile silt clay with a burnished red slip. In many places on the vessel the top painting has worn away revealing this red undercoating. Frequent limestone inclusions can be seen on the surface. On the body of the vessel three cream bands were added first, then the petals were painted in blue, and finally the petals and bands were outlined in black. Most likely the origin of Egyptian blue-painted petal ornamentation lies in the practice of decorating vessels with garlands of flowers on festive occasions. 

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