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Maker(s) &
Production:

Unknown, potter, Egypt
Unknown, potter, Cyprus, Paphos
Unknown, potter, Byzantine Empire

Production
Note:

Various origins

Category:

glazed earthenware

Name(s):

sherds; category
Islamic pottery; category
sgraffito; category
Cypriot Pottery; category
Byzantine pottery; category

Date:

circa 1100 circa 1399

School/Style(s):

Mamluk; Paphos; Byzantine

Period:

12th – 14th century

Description(s):

Seven earthenware fragments, all with a cream slip incised under yellow, pale yellow and greenish glazes, enhanced with dark brown and green pigments
Wheel-thrown earthenware bowl fragments with various provenances, body tones ranging from reddish to dark brown with inclusions, coated with cream slips and incised under glazes including yellow, pale yellow and greenish glazes, enhanced with dark brown and green pigments

A: Probably Paphos, 13th century
Shape: Vessel fragment, including part of inverted upper body and section of triangular rim, Similar to B
Interior: Pale yellowy-green glaze over a cream slip, with a line of brown pigment running over surface from the rim. Below incised concentric double lines inside the rim and at the carination, the upper body is decorated with a lobed pattern of curving lines over a ground of scrolling decoration and dense scribbles
Exterior: Brown undecorated glaze over a cream slip

B: Probably Paphos, 13th century
Shape: Vessel fragment, including part of inverted upper body and section of triangular rim. Similar to A.
Interior: Pale yellowy-green glaze over a cream slip, with a line of brown pigment running over surface from the rim and another at the lower corner, a sparse pattern of lightly incised scallops is encircled by incised concentric double lines inside the rim and at the carination
Exterior: Brown glaze over a cream slip, an area of yellow glaze from the rim running down in two lines over the body

C: Paphos, 13th century
Shape: Vessel fragment, including part of carinated upper body with a concave vertical wall and section of triangular rim
Interior: Pale yellowy-green transparent glaze over a flecked cream slip, a hatched medallion pattern and one thin line incised on the upper body, concentric lines incised around the rim, with a few splashes of green pigment running over the surface from the rim
Exterior: A splash of cream slip running over from the rim, under a pale green glaze applied directly to the dark body fabric

D: Mamluk sgraffito, late 13th -14th century
Shape: Fragment of slightly inverted rim
Interior: Yellow glaze applied over a cream slip, on the body, a decorative band of angular pseudo script over a background of scribbled spirals is enclosed above and below by double lines
Exterior: Undecorated green glaze over a cream slip, pooling at the rim.

E: Byzantine, possibly 12th century
Shape: Fragment of curved body
Interior: Pale yellowy-green glaze over a cream slip, the slip incised and carved away in places to produce a champlevé decoration of floral and lobed elements, and straight lines
Exterior: Undecorated brown glaze applied directly to the body

F: Byzantine 13th/14th century
Shape: section of slightly curving lower body with approximately half of base and low ring foot
Interior: Yellow glaze over a cream slip, incised concentric circles around base and lower body, possibly produced using a compass, with two thin wavy lines incised between these circles
Exterior: Unglazed and undecorated

G: Probably Mamluk sgrafitto, 14th century
Shape: lower body with curved walls and part of carination at top of lower body, with approximately half of base and flaring ring foot; atypical shape for Mamluk sgrafitto
Interior: Yellow glaze over a cream slip, the base is decorated with an abstract carved and incised pattern of vegetal elements and encircled by an incised double line with one wavy line above
Exterior: Yellow glaze is applied over a cream slip, running over and to the underside of the flaring foot ring

Find Spot:

Kom el Dik, Alexandria, Egypt

Technique(s):

throwing; whole
slip-coating; interior; cream
glazing (coating); interior; yellow, pale yellow and greenish glazes
incising; interior
carving; interior; E and G
splashing; interior; brown (A), green (C)
slip-coating; exterior body; cream
glazing; exterior body; yellow, brown, pale green
splashing; exterior body; cream slip

Material(s):

earthenware; whole
slip; interior; cream
glaze; interior; yellow, pale yellow and greenish glazes
pigment; interior; brown (A), green (C)
slip; exterior body; cream
glaze; exterior body; yellow, brown, pale green

Technique
Description:

Wheel-thrown earthenware bowl fragments with various provenances, body tones ranging from reddish to dark brown with inclusions, coated with cream slips and incised under glazes including yellow, pale yellow and greenish glazes, enhanced with dark brown and green pigments

Dimension(s):

length, A whole, 8.3, cm
width, A whole, 10.5, cm
diameter, A rim, 25, cm, estimated using a radius chart: 8%
weight, A whole, 49, g
length, B whole, 7.2, cm
width, B whole, 9.9, cm
diameter, B rim, 25, cm, estimated using a radius chart: 13.5%
weight, B whole, 71, g
length, C whole, 8.2, cm
width, C whole, 8.8, cm
diameter, C rim, 19, cm, estimated using a radius chart: 7.5%
weight, C whole, 47, g
length, D whole, 4.5, cm
width, D whole, 13, cm
diameter, D rim, 27, cm, estimated using a radius chart: 16%
weight, D whole, 46, cm
length, E whole, 6.5, cm
width, E whole, 5.7, cm
weight, E whole, 30, cm
length, F whole, 8.9, cm
height, F whole, 4.5, cm
width, F whole, 6.5, cm
diameter, F foot ring, 7, cm, estimated using a radius chart: 47%
weight, F whole, 48, g
length, G whole, 12, cm
height, G whole, 6.8, cm
width, G whole, 9.8, cm
diameter, G foot ring, 8.5, cm, estimated using a radius chart: 52%
weight, G whole, 140, g

Provenance:

From Farouk I University Alexandria

Documentation:

Watson, Oliver. 2004. Ceramics from Islamic Lands.London: Thames & Hudsonp. p. 411
Fragment D: Cf for similar scribbled background and chunky decorative shapes, Cat R.18 exterior

François, Véronique. 1999. Céramiques médiévales à Alexandrie. Contribution à l’histoire économiques de la ville.Cairo: Institut Française d'Archéologie Orientalep. pp. 129, 131
Fragment C: Cf. for similar incised hatched medallion, see Fig.27, nos 267 and 269 (p. 129) ‘Incised Cypriot ceramics’ Fragments A and B: Cf. for similar profile, see fig 29 no.320 (p.131) ‘Champlevee Cypriot ceramics’

Avissar, M.. Stern, E.J.. 2005. Pottery of the Crusader, Ayyubid and Mamluk Periods in Israel.Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authorityp. pp. 40-44; 57-62
Fragment F: Cf. on Byzantine Wares (p40-44): Type I.4.3 see ‘Byzantine fine sgrafitto ware’ (p.42). and Fragment E: see I.4.6 ‘Byzantine champlevee’ wares (p.43, also Fig. 16.3 and 4, p. 44) Fragment C: Cf. Cypriot (Paphos) wares (p.57-62): See Fig 23 Type I.8.1 (slip-painted) number 3 (p.59) for parallel with shape, Fig. 24 Type I.8.3 ‘Monochrome sgrafitto’ number 2 (p.61 and plate XIX.1) for parallels with shape, main glaze colour and surface decoration including hatched medallions incised through slip, and see fig. 25 Type I.8.4 ‘One-colour sgrafitto ware’ number 1 (p.62 and plate XIX.2) for parallel with shape and glaze colour which features splashed lines of green glaze

Lane, Arthur. Archaeological Excavations at Kom-el-Dik. A Preliminary Report on the Medieval Pottery.
Source Title: Bulletin of the Faculty of Arts 5 (1949) : 143-147

Describes the excavations which uncovered these sherds, though no pieces are described individually

Walker, Bethany J.. Ceramic Evidence for Political Transformations in Early Mamluk Egypt.
Source Title: Mamluk Studies Review 8 1 (2004) : 1-114
p. pp. 11, 27
Fragment C: Cf. for Cypriot hatched medallion design see Fig 2 (p.11) ‘pseudo-heraldic design’ and fig.10 (p. 27) ‘Cypriot sgrafitto imports from Prastion-Paphos’

Accession:

Object Number: C.18.11-1948
(Applied Arts)
(record id: 72635; input: 2002-11-20; modified: 2012-09-21)

Permanent
Identifier:

http://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/72635





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