Illustrated introduction to Mesopotamia, £8.99
Tripod-footed painted ceramic vessel
Bronze Age, around 1500 BC
From Chigha Sabz, Rumishkan region, western Iran
This fine vessel was acquired by Sir Marc Aurel Stein in the Rumishkan area of southern Luristan. There is some debate about its date. The chequerboard pattern resembles designs, possibly inspired by contemporary textiles, found on Early Iron Age pottery. However, the shape of the vessel is very close to metal types of the mid-second millennium BC, when other pottery forms were also painted with chequerboard patterns, and this would seem to be the most probable date. It thus seems likely that some of the motifs painted on pottery reflect traditional forms passed on from generation to generation through local crafts such as textiles and woodwork.
M.A. Stein, Old routes of Western Iran (London, Macmillan, 1940)
J. Curtis, Ancient Persia (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)