"Tell Minis" style bowl with human-headed winged lion - ROM2006_8511_2


"Tell Minis" style bowl with human-headed winged lion

Medium:Ceramic (stonepaste, thrown), with tin-opacified glaze, and lustre-painted
Geography: Western Syria
Date: Late 11th century AD
Period: Fatimid period
6.8 x 19.8 cm
Object number: 960.219.2
On view
Gallery Location:Wirth Gallery of the Middle East
DescriptionMetallic lustre-painting and glazes made opaque with tin are two of the great inventions of the potters of the Islamic world, technologies which later spread to Europe. Both first appeared on pottery in Iraq in the 8th century AD/CE, but their origins were in glass-making in Syria, and the glazing technology of ancient Mesopotamia. Such syntheses of knowledge leading to new ideas was very typical of this period of Islamic civilisation. This particular object represents the re-introduction of these technologies into Syria around 1075 AD. We don’t know exactly where this bowl was made, but it belongs to a group associated with the town of Tell Minis in western Syria where a large cache of vessels found in a cave. Production was short-lived (c. 1075 to 1100), probably because of the arrival of the Crusaders, and the potters moved to safer regions.
Object History: Purchased from Elias (Elie) Bustros, an antiquities dealer in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1960.
If you see an error or have additional information, please contact us by clicking here.