No. G 212
Date Range: Early Cypriote II – Middle Cypriote I (approx. 2075-1800 BC), Red Polished II
Diam. 16 cm
Material: Pottery
Provenance: “Cyprus”, bought 1940

  • Schale der Red Polished Ware
  • Schale der Red Polished Ware
  • Schale der Red Polished Ware

This artifact is a complete preserved, hemispheric and handmade bowl with a circular bottom and an inbound rim. It also has a lug with a horizontal eyelet that was used to hang the bowl up. The surface at the outside is radiant red, but the exterior of the rim and the inner surface is black polished. This Red Polished Pottery or Red Polished Ware is an index fossil of the Cypriote early Bronze Age from the 3rd millennium on and reaches up to the middle Bronze Age. The vessels were handmade and more or less polished before firing, what sometimes gave them a strong glance. High polished vessels, like the G 212, seem to come from the north of Cyprus, while vessels with a matt surface are located in central and southern Cyprus. The vessels could stay undecorated, but in many cases they were ornate with geometric and linear patterns, which were additionally highlighted with lime incrustations. There was a wide range of vessel forms, such as open forms like different bowls or closed forms like bottles and jars. In some cases the vessels were additionally decorated by attaching single figures or whole groups of figures. There are composite vessels, which were maybe only manufactured for graves, like the Red Polished Pottery is mainly known from graves so far. The typical color results from the high ironed clay and with certain firing techniques it was possible to create reddish-black spots. If a red polished vessel has a black rim like the bowl G 212, it is called Red Polished Black Topped. This technique has its beginning in early Cypriote up to middle Cypriote II. It was not only limited to Cyprus, but was also used in predynastic Egypt (Naqada culture) and in Canaan in early Bronze Age III. This technique probably came over northern Syria from Anatolia. A second bowl of this type is missing today.

(G.K.)

Bibliography

CVA Wien, Kunsthistorisches Museum (4) Taf. 2, 2
P. Dikaios - J. R. Stewart, The Stone Ages and the Early Bronze Age in Cyprus, SCE
IV 1A (Lund 1962) 225-227 Abb.  139, 2-19 bes. 9
http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~semitic/hsm/FSCypBronzeAge.htm

Topics > Cyprus - Aphrodite's smile