LARGE HOLY LAND BRONZE AGE ‘BILBIL’
Measurements: length – 22.7 cm, width – 12 cm
Description: A burnished dark brown vessel of piriform shape with a lustrous slip, standing on a trumpet base. The long neck terminates with a flared mouth. A strap handle decorated with incised parallel lines is attached from its neck to the pronounced shoulder. The bulbous body is decorated in white-buff paint executed in a group of a parallel lines, some encircling around the neck and others crossing over its belly.
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 this type of vessel has its origin in Cyprus, these jugs were produced in the Holy Land, with the main difference of being made by hand rather than on a 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.
Provenance: From a German collection; acquired on the German art market before 1990.
Period: 15th - 13th century BC
Condition: Very fine. A small chip to the base. Coarse surface due to particles in clay and minor chips, scratch to the side of the body. Intact.
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