Two-colored jar without handles


Detailed information of ArtWork


Two-colored jar without handles


H: 25.5 cm

This type of small jar with a slender, ogival body is one of the most largely spread and elegant forms of the Naqada repertoire. The finely curved, very regular outline (it was probably achieved on a spinner) is only interrupted by the engraved line that marks the lip. The flat, circular base is too narrow to provide the vessel with good balance.

The Naqada phase, to which this jar belongs, is among the best documented periods of pre-Pharaonic Egypt, in the 4th millennium B.C., when the Nile region was not unified and did not depend on a strong central power.

The brick/red-black bichromy, a distinctive feature of the Naqada tableware that makes it still attractive to the modern eye, became very popular and was perpetuated for almost a millennium. The painted pottery of the Naqada phase is characterized by a specific firing technique: after coating the whole surface with a red ocher slip, the vessels were placed vertically in a kiln, whose atmosphere was oxidized. They were then turned upside down and their rims submerged in the ashes of the kiln. The black color was obtained through reduction of oxygen.

Often found in inhabited sites, such potteries are nevertheless more common in tombs (they were an important part of the funerary furniture), which demonstrates the high value placed on these everyday objects in ancient Egypt.

A complete vase; almost intact, except for a fragment of the lip, now lost. Chips, superficial wear on the surface. Traces of polishing clearly visible on the outer surface.

Unique work



Genève Switzerland

Rue Etienne-Dumont 9, Geneva, Switzerland