Spouted globular red polished jar (pitcher) with handle and incised decoration

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, Tumulus III, grave 316


Overall: 22.4 x 16.5 cm (8 13/16 x 6 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



This red-polished, symmetrical globular jar has a rounded base and a wide mouth. It has a wide, slightly flaring spout on one side. A large handle spans the length of the mouth. An incised line border has been added running along each side of the handle down around the rim, effectively creating a modelled effect on the rim. The outer edges of the handle and the top of the rim have slanting bands of short incised lines that create a cord/rope-like design. The red surface of the jar was created by application of ochre prior to firing in an oxidizing atmosphere and polishing with smooth stones/pebbles. The jar was broken but has been mended, with only small fragments missing.


From Kerma, Cemetery S, Tumulus III, grave 316. 1913: 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 17, 2006)

Credit Line

Harvard University–Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition