Wavy-handled jar with spatter decoration

Predynastic Period
Naqada II, 3650–3300 B.C.

Findspot: Egypt, Mesaid, Tomb 109


Height x diameter: 12.7 x 12.7 cm (5 x 5 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Pottery: Marl clay

On View

Egypt: Pre-Dynastic and Dynastic (Gallery 105A)


The Ancient World



As the Predynastic Period progressed, a new style of pottery emerged, made of hard, buff-colored desert clay and decorated with reddish brown paint. The spatter pattern on the jar seen here imitates the mottling of a hard stone such as diorite. The shape of this jar was widely popular, featuring a tall, ovoid body and characteristic wavy, horizontal ledge handles. Wavy-handled jars continued to be produced in both stone and pottery well into the Early Dynastic Period, but they gradually lost their shouldered or ovoid shape, developing into the elegant cylindrical jars of Dynasties 1 and 2.


From Mesaid (Mesa'eed) tomb 109 [M/109]. 1910: excavated by the Harvard University-Museum of Fine Arts Expedition; assigned to the MFA by the government of Egypt.
(Accession Date: March 2, 1911)

Credit Line

Harvard University—Boston Museum of Fine Arts Expedition