Globular black-topped red polished jar

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, grave 1625


Overall: 23.5 x 9.8 cm (9 1/4 x 3 7/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This squat globular jar, of black-topped red polished ware, has a rounded base, a long concave neck, and a slightly pulled striaght rim. The red surface was created by application of ochre prior to firing in an oxidizing atmosphere and burnishing/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 surface treatment is somewhat worn.


From Kerma, Cemetery S, grave 1625. 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: July 14, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition