Requires Photography

Black-topped red polished Bowl

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, Tumulus III, grave 317


Height x max. diameter: 6.7 x 14.7 cm (2 5/8 x 5 13/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This bowl is of characteristic Kerma black-topped red polished ware. 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 bowl’s rim is cracked, but it is otherwise complete.


From Kerma, Cemetery S, Tumulus III, grave 317. 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 the Sudan.
(Accession Date: January 1, 1914)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition