Illustrated introduction to Mesopotamia, £8.99
Diameter: 46.000 cm
Room 52: Ancient Iran
Large pottery jar
Bronze Age, about 2400-2200
Said to be from Tepe Giyan, western Iran
During the third and early second millennium BC, as in other periods, different regional styles characterized pottery made in south-western, western, northern and south-eastern Iran. These seem to reflect different cultures.
This vessel belongs to a long sequence of monochrome painted pottery found at sites in western Iran such as Tepe Giyan and Godin Tepe. This jar is very typical, and was handmade from coils of clay, incised with the fingers when wet, and painted after drying, probably with an iron oxide-based pigment that turned dark brown after firing. It bears an interesting range of intricate geometric designs, along with other motifs. These include spread eagles, which were also popular on late third-millennium pottery made in Susiana to the south.
A. Lane, Style in pottery, 2nd edition (London, Faber, 1973)
T.S. Kawami, Ancient Iranian ceramics from (New York, Abrams, 1992)
J.B. Hennessy, Masterpieces of Western and Ne, vol. 1 (Tokyo, Kodansha, 1979)