Painted globular jar

Meroitic Period
about A.D.100-199

Findspot: Sudan, Meroe, W 284


Overall: 10.7 x 11 cm (4 3/16 x 4 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Fine drab ware globular pot with very short neck. Painted decoration of naturalistic plant forms in red and brown. Cracked and chipped. Painted decoration is uncommon in the Nile Valley, but an exuberant style emerged in the area of Lower Nubia in the Late Meroitic period, around the end of the first century A.D. The motifs were influenced both locally and by Egyptian and Hellenistic prototypes. Only a limited range of earth pigments were used in the manufacture of Meroitic vessels, namely black, red, white and occasionally yellow. These were applied to weelmade vessels fo a fine, thin and highly fired clay. The decoration varied from simple to intricate and could be pictorial or naturalistic. The leaves on vines represented on this pot are an example of the naturalistic style. (RCK V, pg. 140, Fig. G pg. 343).


From Meroe, W. 284. 1923: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Sudan.

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition