SMALL HOLY LAND BRONZE AGE 'BILBIL'
Measurements: length – 14.4 cm, width – 7.6 cm
Description: A small burnished dark brown-brown vessel of a piriform shape with a lustrous slip stands on a trumpet base. Tapering long neck terminates with a flared mouth. A strap handle is attached from its neck to the pronounced shoulder. The bulbous body is decorated in a white-buff paint executed in a pattern of four parallel lines crossing over its belly and encircling its neck twice.
The jug belongs to a class of pottery known as Base Ring Ware, which became common in the Late Bronze Age. This period commonly is characterized by close trading relationships between cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East. While such vessels have its origin in Cyprus, these jugs were produced in the Holy Land, with the main difference of being made by hands rather than on the wheel. The name ‘bilbil’ is argued to be connected to the possible use of such a vessel as an opium container and its resemblance to the bulb of the opium poppy.
Reference: Yale University Art Gallery
Amiran, R., Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land, Israel, 1969, pp. 182-183, pl. 56, it. 7-9.
Period: 15st - 13th century BC
Condition: Very fine. Coarse surface due to particles in clay, minor chips and several small areas of incrustation. Intact.
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