Bridge-spouted jug on tripod stand

Early Iron Age, about 1200-1000 BC
From Hasanlu, north-western Iran

Late Western Grey Ware

In the late second millennium BC a new type of pottery called Late Western Grey Ware emerged in northern Iran. Bridge-spouted vessels such as this one are typical. Similar jars with long spouts are known earlier, but they now have the addition of a bridge between the rim and the spout. Most are handmade but some are wheel-thrown; they were typically fired in bonfire kiln conditions to create relatively low-fired yet practical pots with smokey grey surfaces. The knob under the spout may have been to catch drips; it would have also helped to hold the pot with one hand placed beneath the spout with the other placed on the other side.

Such vessels appear to have been supported, as here, on openwork ceramic tripod supports, with feet ending in cloven hoofs or shoes. These were designed to resemble metal stands. The popularity of beak-spouted jars reflects the wide use of hammered sheet-metal versions of the same vessel shape in Iran during this period.

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More information


J. Curtis, Ancient Persia-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

T.S. Kawami, Ancient Iranian ceramics from (New York, Abrams, 1992)

St J. Simpson, 'Early Iron Age rural ceramic traditions in Iran' in Pottery in the making: world-4 (London, The British Museum Press, 1997), pp. 152-57

A.C.Gunter, 'Ancient Iranian ceramics' in Asian traditions in clay: the (Washington, 2000)


Height: 26.500 cm (jug)
Diameter: 16.500 cm (top)
Height: 26.500 cm (jug)
Diameter: 16.500 cm (top)

Museum number

ME 132819;ME 132820



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