Iron Age Iran ceramic vessels

Twelve ceramic vessels from northwestern Iran made during the Iron Age (1250–550 BCE) significantly increase our understanding of ancient ceramic production techniques and their uses.
The vessels, which include jars, jugs, juglets, plates, a cup, and a lid, represent a variety of formal characteristics and technical processes. As is typical of ancient Near Iranian ceramics, the bodies were first shaped on a wheel, and additional elements like handles and legs were completed by hand. A notable feature of the vessels is their burnished appearance, which was achieved by polishing the surface with a smooth tool. Burnishing was used for decorative purposes but also to reduce the porosity of vessels and allow them to hold liquids. Many of the objects were found in tombs, suggesting that they were buried with the deceased for use in the afterlife.

Jar with spout and side handle
Northwestern Iran, Iron Age I–II, 1250–800 BCE
Gift of Mattiebelle Stimson Gittinger and J. Price Gittinger II
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S2021.6.1