Globular black-topped red polished jar with repair holes

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma


Overall: 23.8 x 10 cm (9 3/8 x 3 15/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This globular black-topped red polished jar has has a rounded base, a straight neck, and a folded rim. 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 jar over in the firing process to place the upper portion in an oxygen-reduced atmosphere of burning organics/ash. The majority of the jar in intact. A portion was once broken, half of which has been mended. the other portion remains missing. There are ancient repair holes just above (three) and to one side (one) of the breaks.


From Kerma, likely Cemetery S, possibly grave 421, 424, or 426. Excavated by the Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan.

(Accession date: July 13, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition