An Egyptian Redware Vessel, Pre-Dynastic Period, Naqada II, ca. 3200-2800 BC


This fine polished-red ware vessel comes from the Naqada II period. Categorized as "P ware," this jar-like vessel has an elongated oval body, a carinated neck with an extended rim, and a pointed base. "P ware" clay is a mixture of Nile alluvium, sand, and organic matter and was shaped by hand. Red ochre was applied to the clay and then polished using a stone to create a burnished, polished exterior. The polishing brought the red color out of the natural brownish-gray clay.

Background:  "P ware" is extremely similar to the black-topped "B ware" of the same period; the clay material, the basic surface color, and the polish are the same. While "B ware" required simpler, more open mouths tp create the blackening, both types were probably created by the same potters. "P ware" was more flexible in its shape, which may have led to its dominance over "B ware" during the late PreDynastic period. The flexibility of "P ware" shaping led to experimentation on more sophisticated forms and the improvement of the clay mixture.

Ref: Winifred Needler, Predynastic and Archaic Egypt in The Brooklyn Museum, New York: The Brooklyn Museum (1984), pg 179.

Dimensions:  Height: 5 3/4 inches (14.6 cm)

Condition:  Intact and in excellent condition overall

Provenance:  Keeler private collection, Washington DC, acquired  from Sloan and Kenyon, MD, in 2006.

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