Pottery vessel from Tomb 86 at Esna (86E). Ovaloid shaped jar made of Nile Silt with deep reddish-brown paste, orange in parts, fine slightly sandy texture, micaceous inclusions. The body of the vessel has a small flat base, short neck and straight flat rim with a prominent join visible between the shoulder and neck. A rim & neck portion is broken away (missing) down to the shoulder of the vessel. Five roughly equidistant holes are punched through the neck . The vessel is rough and pitted, with extensive white, powdery encrustation around the rim and shoulder. Patterned 'wave' incision banding decorates the neck, shoulder and upper part of the body.
ARCHAEOLOGY Egyptian pot
1795 BCE-1650 BCE
L115mm x W90mm X D90mm
Pottery, Nile Silt
Pottery vessel made of fired clay, complete or fragmented
Inclusions to make the clay less sticky, reduce shrinkage, increase resistance to thermal shock and strength prior to firing.
History and use
One of the most important uses of clay in Ancient Egypt was the production of pottery vessels. Pottery manufacture goes back some 5000 years, and vessels include those used for everyday cooking and domestic purposes, storage of cosmetics and oils, storage and transport of food and drink, and use in temple and funerary rituals. Most pottery is plain and utilitarian, however Egyptian potters were highly skilled and produced vessels decorated with elaborate designs, with a variety of vessel shapes.
Queensland Museum holds a selection of pottery from the ancient Egyptian city of Esna. This archaeologically significant group of pottery came from a large cemetery, where the deceased were buried with goods for use in the afterlife. 385 tombs were excavated by John Garstang and assistant E. Harold Jones in 1905, under the auspices of the Service de Antiquities on behalf of the University of Liverpool. To support the excavations Garstang assembled excavation committees of wealthy donors who provided funds for his fieldwork in Egypt. In return for their donations committee members received a selection of the best objects from the excavations. More than 2000 pieces of pottery were excavated, and tombs also containing funeral stelae, beads, shells, scarabs, other small objects.