Central Asia, Bactrian, ca. 2500 to 2250 BCE. Skillfully carved from grey-green schist, an ornately incised vessel of a cylindrical form that rises to a slightly flared, everted rim and mirrors that subtle flare at the base. Its surface was meticulously incised with three registers of cross-hatched inverted triangular forms that alternate with plain triangular forms. Incised linear bands separate/frame these registers. Polished stone vessels are common grave goods from this time period, and they often were left in the tomb with a food offering; however, ancient Mesopotamian vessels with more elaborate decorative/iconographic programs like this example may have contained prized possessions or luxury products, and given their impressive aesthetic qualities as well as the fact that archaeologists have typically found them in temple, grave, and palace sites, must have been regarded as precious objects themselves. Size: 2.375" in diameter x 3.875" H (6 cm x 9.8 cm)
Provenance: ex-J.M.E. collection; acquired in Paris, France, April 1993
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