Two joining neck fragments of a Fatimid buff-white ware water vessel with incised filter. This fragment is of the water filter, set in the neck of the handled jug sherd. The fabric is characteristically buff with a white/cream slip over the surface. The broken neck flares outwards towards the top and is well preserved on only one side of the profile. The filter is broken through the middle with a fragment missing from the center, but is formed of an incised and pierced six pointed star with a diamond-shaped lattice work between the spokes of the start and a circular band of pierced decoration on the outside. Very little of the vessel's body is preserved below the filter. The designs of the filters vary, this example is pierced with intricate triangular motif.
CH classification ARCHAEOLOGY
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food & Drink Consumption Crockery
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food & Drink Consumption Crockery jug
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food Preparation strainer
10th Century-12th Century CE
H100mm x W90mm x D70mm
Earthenware, unglazed, incised
History and use
This portion of an Islamic strainer was excavated at el-Fustat. This is a small portion of a larger vessel (jug), used to hold liquids. The strainer sat inside the neck of the jug, usually at the juncture of the neck and sholder of the jug. Its function was to protect against insects, dust and other pollution making their way into the liquid, and to strain any which came into contact with the liquid. Strainers vary in their design - many feature highly complex open work, featuring animals, filigree patterns, calligraphic inscriptions, zig-zag lines or zoomorphic motifs. The remaining portion of the strainer is left plain. Being made of unglazed earthenware, it allowed the water to evaporate, keeping the liquid cool. Those strainers from the Fatamid period are the most complex, reaching the pinnacle of design aesthetics in this period.