Pottery fragment

This fragment of a ceramic bowl was made at Faras, in the northern part of Nubia. It has a typical radial pattern on a white background - other popular motifs included Christian iconographic symbols such as fish, doves, crosses and palm fronds. Stamped impressions were also sometimes used for decoration.

The long period of relative peace from the mid-seventh century AD onwards enabled Nubian artistic expression to flower. This took various forms, the most notable other than ceramic production being wall painting. Traces of brightly coloured wall paintings have been found in over fifty churches in Nubia, as well as in some private houses. Black paint was usually derived from charcoal, and yellow and brown from ochre. Textile production became more advanced during this period and basket-making, leatherworking and metalworking were practised to a high standard.