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HOME : Egyptian Antiquities : Middle Kingdom : An Egyptian Red-Burnished Pottery Alabastron Cup
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An Egyptian Red-Burnished Pottery Alabastron Cup - SK.028
Origin: Egypt
Circa: 2050 BC to 1786 BC
Dimensions: 7" (17.8cm) high
Collection: Egyptian
Medium: Terracotta

Location: UAE
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This delicate cylindrical vessel belongs to a type of pottery that was produced as early as the pre- dynastic period (c. 4000-3000 BC). Fashioned from local clay, the surfaces were burnished with stones and either left in their natural state or covered with a thin layer of pigment. The two- toned effect was produced by up-ending the pot in a layer of slow-burning coals. The lack of oxygen had the effect of carbonising the surface and blackening the clay. By the Middle Kingdom period, to which this piece dates, the same effect was created by painting the upper section with a band of black slip. The vessel tapers to a point and was probably used to hold liquids, perhaps wine or oils. Such items were often placed in tombs as part of the funerary paraphernalia. (AM) - (SK.028)


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