Object Image

Goblet decorated with a frieze of birds

This goblet comes from a site near Kashan called Tepe Sialk. Excavations conducted at the site in 1933, 1934, and 1937 uncovered large amounts of prehistoric pottery which have provided important evidence for the early chronology of the central Iranian plateau. Like much of the pottery from Iran in the Chalcolithic Period (ca. 5500-3000 B.C.), this piece is very skillfully made, with thin walls and a crisply formed, symmetrical profile. It was likely created or finished using a tournette, the precursor to the potter’s wheel, which is a flat disc balanced on a central pivot that can be spun with one hand while the other hand is used to smooth and shape a pot in the center of the wheel. The desig ...
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c. early 4th millennium B.C.
Ceramic, paint
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection