Amorite pottery juglet

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Illustration

by Trustees of the British Museum
published on 26 April 2012
Amorite, about 2400-2000 BC
From the Middle Euphrates region, Syria

This juglet, with its applied figurine, is pierced at the base and may have been a strainer. Alternatively it could have been used a sprinkler, by clamping a thumb over the top when the vessel was filled with liquid, then withdrawing it gently and so releasing the pressure.

Much of the Middle Euphrates region now lies beneath the waters of a lake. Between 1963 and 1973 an international rescue mission excavated many sites in the area, which was threatened by flooding as a result of the construction of the Tabqa dam. These excavations revealed a distinctive regional culture.

During the period from about 2400 to 2000 BC, northern Mesopotamia and Syria appear to have been dominated by a number of expanding sites. Mari on the Euphrates and Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh, south-west of Aleppo) were among the most important. Over 8000 inscribed clay tablets discovered at Ebla show close contact with Mari and indicate that the site wielded extensive political power. Contacts with cities in the south of Mesopotamia were also significant. At the end of the third millennium BC King Sargon, or Naram-Sin, who was ruler of Agade, one of these southern cities, campaigned into the north and destroyed Ebla, thus changing the balance of power

© Trustees of the British Museum. Republished under the British Museum Standard Terms of Use for non-profit educational purposes. Original image by Trustees of the British Museum. Uploaded by , published on under the following license: Copyright. You cannot use, copy, distribute, or modify this item without explicit permission from the author.

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