Three-footed black-topped red polished bowl

Classic Kerma
about 1700–1550 B.C.

Findspot: Nubia (Sudan), Kerma, Cemetery S, Tumulus III, grave 330


Height x diameter: 11.1 x 18.5 cm (4 3/8 x 7 5/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique


Not On View


The Ancient World



Through the addition of three short feet, this semicircular bowl with modeled, bulging rim resembles the figure vessels from Kerma (cat. 98). (Sudan catalogue) Black-topped red-polished basin with three feet; thickened rim. (Card)

This bell-shaped (or ‘tulip’) beaker is made of red polished ware. The shape is characteristic of the classic phase of Kerma pottery, of which the majority of such beakers are black-topped and red polished. The red surface was created by application of ochre prior to firing in an oxidizing atmosphere and polishing with smooth stones/pebbles. The beaker’s walls a thin. The sides are not straight, but are ribbed with four grooves that may be indicatative of forming by a coil method.


From Kerma, Tumulus III, grave 330. February, 1914: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; 1920: assigned to the MFA in the division of finds by the government of the Sudan.

(Accession Date: February 1, 1914)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition