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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Masterpieces of Egyptian Art : Ancient Egyptian faience ushabti
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Ancient Egyptian faience ushabti - PH.0161
Origin: Sinai
Circa: 600 BC to 500 BC

Collection: Egyptian Art
Style: Late Dynastic Period


Location: Great Britain
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Description
Egyptian faience is a type of heated quartz ceramic displaying surface vitrification which creates a bright lustre of various colours, with blue-green being the most common. Although faience should not be considered as a category of pottery, as it doesn’t contain any clay and instead contains the major elemental components of glass (silica, or silicon dioxide, or quartz, the primary constituents of sand), faience is frequently discussed in studies relative to ancient pottery. Notably, faience is though considerably more porous than glass and can thus be cast in molds to create vessels or objects. Egyptian faience was widely used for objects of smaller dimensions from beads to figurines and statuettes and faience artefacts have been unearthed in both elite classes and lower classes urban and funerary contexts. It was the most common material for the creation of scarabs and other forms of amulets, including ushabti figures, cosmetic articles, bowls and drinking cups and it was frequently employed in the production of ancient Egyptian jewellery, as the glaze made it smooth against the skin. Egyptian faience was both exported widely in the ancient world and produced in a number of local workshops in numerous locations, and exported faience articles have been retrieved in Mesopotamia, in numerous localities around the Mediterranean basin but also in northern Europe as far away as Scotland. The Late Period of ancient Egypt refers to the last flowering of native Egyptian rulers after from the 26th Saite Dynasty into the Achaemenid Persian conquests and ended with the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great and the establishment of the Ptolemaic Kingdom. This last period lasted from 664 BC until 332 BC. Libyans and Persians alternated rule with native Egyptians, but the arts continued to flourish within traditional conventions. With the Egyptian territories being conquered by the Macedonian army in the latter half of the 4th century, starts the last glorious era for Egypt, the Hellenistic period. - (PH.0161)

 

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