What's to love about ancient pottery from the Near East?

Here's why we love these fantastic objects from the earliest civilisations!



The Fertile Crescent

Pottery - a new invention

Age or beauty?

Let's focus - some key features

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References & further information

The Fertile Crescent


The term Ancient Near East originated from British Empire days to refer to a vast area of South West Asia from modern day Turkey to Iran to Sudan, including Israel and Palestine, also known as the Holy Land or Bible Lands. Cutting across this region was what is sometimes called the Fertile Crescent or the Cradle of Civilisation, so named for its rich soils and relatively abundant access to water. The development of agriculture and the domestication of animals allowed the earliest civilisations to emerge in a few parts of the world in the fourth millennium BC.


Pottery - a new invention


Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, however, its production and use accelerated greatly in line with the growth of these centres of civilisation; as grave goods to accompany the dead in the afterlife, as a result of the growth in cultural affluence, as well as to store grains and for general household use.


Amongst the earliest of civilisations to flourish in the Bible lands, the peoples of the Early Bronze Age who built the first cities produced pottery, without knowledge of the wheel, which was beautifully and simply crafted and is one of our major sources of information about this period which started towards the end of the fourth millennium BC.