A rare terracotta offering chalice of egg-cup shape, with a deep bowl and standing on a hollow foot with sloping sides. The outside of the bowl and stem decorated with a series of grooved bands below the rim.
Oxus Civilization; Bactria: Bronze Age circa 2nd millennium BC.
Condition: Complete and intact; rim just a little irregular; with earthy accretions.
Height 25.6 cms (10 ins).
Bactria was an ancient region in Central Asia covering the flat region that straddles modern-day Afghanistan as well as parts of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, with the Amu Darya flowing west through the centre. In the Neolithic age, it reached as far as India to the south, and Sogdiana and Scythia to the east. Its early stages were influenced by the civilisation of the Mohenjo-daro which were coming up from the Indus Valley, before migrating to the west. The humid climate of the bronze age was very different to the arid one we see in the region today. This permitted a superb urban civilization to develop. Their agriculture flourished to the extent that some people see it as the cradle of the Persian civilization and the Zoroastrian religion. Not only was fine pottery created there, but it was also the site of the development of the first cities with irrigation systems that are still in use today. This form of pottery with their globular form, perched high on their slender pedestals belong to what archaeologists refer to as 'the chalices of Bactria'. Interestingly, similar forms of chalice were in use by the Judaeans a few centuries later, further south in the Holy Lands.
Bactrian Terracotta Offering Chalice
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