Painted vessel with bridge-spout

Early Iron Age, about 1000-800 BC
Probably from Tepe Sialk, central Iran

This type of painted pottery is a local central Iranian variation of the Grey Ware typical of sites of this period in northern Iran. In the early centuries of the first millennium BC new forms of a type of pottery called Late Western Grey Ware emerged. This bridge-spouted vessel is typical. Similar jars with long spouts are known earlier, but now have the addition of a bridge between the rim and the spout. The popularity of bridge-spouted jars in pottery is probably a reflection of the widespread use of sheet-metal versions during this period in Iran.

They were used for poring liquids, possibly wine. The painted decoration on this vessel combines bold animal designs with a chequered panel that may be inspired by contemporary patterned textiles such as rugs. Sadly, however, organic materials such as cloth rarely survive from ancient periods in Iran. 

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More information


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


Height: 19.400 cm

Museum number

ME 129072



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