Slip-painted eggshell-ware (fragment) - ROM2010_11687_29


Slip-painted eggshell-ware (fragment)

Medium:Ceramic (earthenware, wheel-made and turned) with iron-rich slip-paint
Geography: Excavated at Petra, Jordan
Date: 1st century AD
Period: Nabataean - Roman Imperial Period
7.8 x 8 cm
Object number: 963.157.37
On view
Gallery Location:Joey and Toby Tanenbaum Gallery of Rome and the Near East
DescriptionThe Nabataeans were a group of people that controlled the trade from the Levant into Arabia, including the profitable incense trade to the Yemen. They probably spoke a dialect of Arabic, but their written inscriptions are derived from Aramaic. Their wealth was particularly expressed in the chief city of Petra, largely founded in the 6th century BC. One of the most distinctive expressions of their culture is their pottery, which is thrown on a wheel, and then later put back on the wheel when leather hard and turned, like on a lathe, with a sharp tool. This makes the pottery very thin. It is then painted with very distinctive patterns, and then fired at a high temperature for Middle Eastern pottery. The Nabataean kingdom was conquered by the Romans in 106 AD, and subesequently declined progressively, perhaps due to Roman mismanagment, or the development of Tadmor/Palmyra in eastern Syria, which would provide an alternate route to for the incense trade.
Field Collector: Diana Kirkbride
Object History: From the British School of Archaeology at Jerusalem excavations at Petra (1958-59) directed by Diana Kirkbride.
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