'Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware' juglet

British Museum

British Museum

Vessels of this type were first identified by the excavator Sir Flinders Petrie at the site of Tell el-Yahudiyeh in Egypt, hence the name still used for the ware. It is now clear, however, that they were manufactured by Canaanites as containers for luxury items such as perfumed oils. Mostly juglets, they are characteristically covered with a very dark brown, almost black, burnished slip. The decoration is incised and punctuated, and the resulting lines and holes are filled with white chalk to contrast with the vessel's surface. Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware is widely found in Egypt and Canaan. Such interconnections between the two areas reflect the fact that Egypt was again strong politically and economically. After a period of instability (the First Intermediate Period), Egypt was reunified around 2000 BC with the start of the Middle Kingdom (about 2040-1750 BC). With a strong, centralized administration, trade routes could be re-opened. This encouraged a return to urban life in Canaan, and renewed demand for luxury products such as the perfumed oils transported in these jars.

Show lessRead more


  • Title: 'Tell el-Yahudiyeh ware' juglet
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 11.60cm; Diameter: 11.00cm (maximum)
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: wheel-made; slipped; burnished
  • Registration number: 1980,1214.10881
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Lachish
  • Period/culture: Middle Bronze Age
  • Material: pottery
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Institute of Archaeology. Excavated by Starkey, J L