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Net Jar

Provenance: Caroline Ransom Williams (1872-1952), Toledo, acquired while in Luxor, gifted to The Toledo Museum of Art, 1927, accession no. 1927.146.
Published: K.T. Luckner, 'The Art of Egypt, Part 1', The Toledo Museum of Art Museum News, new series, Vol. 14, no. 1, Spring 1971, p. 6, fig. 5.

It was during the latest phase of the Predynastic period, Naqada III, that the cylindrical form vessel gained in popularity. The shape ultimately derived from ledge-handled oval vessels from Palestine, which were traded into Egypt containing rich olive oil. Over time, the form was reinterpreted by Egyptian artisans into elongated cylindrical vessels of the wavy-handled variety. Eventually, the vestigial wavy handles disappeared, and smooth-walled cylindrical vessels, such as the present example, prevailed. The flavour of the wavy handles was maintained in this example, as the artisan created a series of crescents below the rim with his thumb in the wet clay. He then added a net pattern in dark reddish brown ochre in long sweeping strokes, in imitation of the rope cradles that were often employed to assist in carrying tall handle-less jars. These prestigious jars were commonly found in tombs filled with rich earth, perhaps symbolizing the land owned by the deceased.

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