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Black-Topped Jar
Period: Predynastic Period, Naqada II, 3500-3200 BC
Culture: Egyptian
Material: Pottery
Dimensions: 12.7 cm H
 
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Black-topped red-ware jars hail from the earliest eras of ancient Egyptian civilization, from the very dawn of Egyptian prehistory. By the early Naqada II period, in the fourth millennium BC, the production of black-topped vessels reached its apogee. These jars were fashioned by hand, arranging coils of Nile silt that were then coated with iron oxide (to achieve the red hue) and polished with a smooth stone before being fired. The rim edge was then burnished with carbonized material to bring it to a dark black. These vessels were functional, but would also often accompany the proprietor into his next life by being placed in the tomb.  he simple form, tactile surface, and rich colours of these black-topped jars are elements that have guaranteed their enduring appeal, more than five thousand years after they were first created. 

Provenance

Caroline Ransom Williams (1872-1952), Toledo, acquired in Luxor in 1926.
Gifted to The Toledo Museum of Art, 1927, accession no. 1927.148.
Toledo Museum of Art, 1927-2017.