- Museum number
Fine, thin-walled painted pottery bowl; handmade; plain interior; cream coloured with dark brown matt painted decoration on exterior, design consisting of three standing or dancing figures with stylised heads and raised hands, each separated by a bold geometric design; low foot ring; restored from sherds.
- Production date
Diameter: 5.50 centimetres (base)
Diameter: 27 centimetres (rim)
Height: 16 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Design typical of Sialk III (equivalent to Ubaid-Early Uruk periods of southern Mesopotamia) but in use earlier. The thrice-repeated design of a figure, in each case slightly different, suggests that the bowl should be viewed as it is rotated which thus enhances the visual effect of movement of the figures. The motif of a dancing figure, either single or grouped with others holding hands or arm in arm, was a popular one on prehistoric Iranian painted pottery and is found at the sites of Tepe Musiyan, Khazineh and Tepe Giyan in western Iran, Tepe Sialk on the plateau and Cheshmeh Ali in northern Iran. The figures are depicted with straight or slightly flexed legs and look in the same direction. The fact that they are evenly spaced reinforces an impression of rhythm.
Anne-Elizabeth Dunn-Vaturi, "Dancers in the Louvre. The Iranian and Cypriot Collections", 'Near Eastern Archaeology' 66/3 (September 2003), pp. 106-110.
Yosef Garfinkel, "The Khazineh Painted Style of Western Iran", 'Iran' 38 (2000), pp. 57-70.
Yosef Garfinkel, 'Dancing at the Dawn of Agriculture', Austin: University of Texas, 2003 (review in 'Near Eastern Archaeology').
- On display (G51/dc3)
- Exhibition history
G2/172, from 13 Apr-Dec 2006.
G52/IRAN/1, from official opening 17/11/95.
Iranian Room [IR], wall-case [WC] 17/1, Jul 1975-ca 1990.
- Restored twice or more, once apparently following breakage of this and other vessels while on display during the 1930s (CHECK Reports to Trustees), then again by John Cooper (Ceramic Conservation) in 1995 when the plaster infill was removed.
- Acquisition date
- Middle East
- BM/Big number
- Registration number