A fine Near Eastern Grayware Vessel, Middle Bronze Age, ca. 3000-2250 BCE
A fine Near Eastern Grayware Vessel, Middle Bronze Age, ca. 3000-2250 BCE
A fine Near Eastern Grayware Vessel, Middle Bronze Age, ca. 3000-2250 BCE

A fine Near Eastern Grayware Vessel, Middle Bronze Age, ca. 3000-2250 BCE


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a fine greyware burnished vessel, the elegant rhombus shape with wide neck, out-turned flat rim and flat base, the neck interior and overall exterior burnished with the upper surface of the shoulder carefully incised by a sophisticated horizontal and vertical wave pattern.

This form suggests a strong influence from contemporary metal working for the metallic appearance of this ceramic is enhanced by the burnished surface and the subtle pattern. Similar examples have been excavated at Tureng Tepe, and Yarim Tepe (see: Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY (63.102.10). For at least the next two thousand years, and probably longer, fine gray wares were made across the entire northern section of Iran, and burnishing remained an element in the Iranian pottery technical repertory even longer. The appearance of pattern-burnished gray wares stimulated scholars to search for the source of such distinctive ceramics. Some writers associated these pots with the arrival of Iranian-speaking people from central Asia. Iranians had already been linked to the later gray-ware of northwestern Iran and it was assumed that the grayware of the third millennium signaled the first wave of these people.

Bibliography: Kawami, T, 'Ancient Iranian ceramics from the Arthur M Sackler Collections ' (Sackler Foundation, 1991) pages 19 - 20 and Gunter, Ann et al 'Asian Traditions in Clay: Ancient Iranian Ceramics ' Smithsonian Institution, (2000) page 24, #9 for a very close parallel, donated by the Hauge family.

Condition: Intact and in very good condition overall.

Dimensions: Diameter: 3-1/2 inches (8.9 cm)

Provenance: Private Maryland collection, brought from Iran in the 1960s when relocating to the USA, then a private Virginia collection, acquired by inheritance.

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