Black-topped red polished beaker
about 1700–1550 B.C.
Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, K 439
height x Diameter: 8.5 x 13.1 cm (3 3/8 x 5 3/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
This bell-shaped (or ‘tulip’) beaker is of a type characteristic of the classic phase of Kerma pottery. The red surface was created by application of ochre prior to firing in an oxidizing atmosphere and polishing with smooth stones/pebbles. The black top was attained by turning the beaker over to place the upper portion in an oxygen-reduced atmosphere of burning organics/ash. The flaring shape of this example is unusual.
(Accession Date: December 4, 1913)
From Kerma, tomb K 439. 1914: excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of Sudan.
(Accession date: September 22, 1993)
Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition