Name of Object:



Amman, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Jordan Archaeological Museum

About Jordan Archaeological Museum, Amman

Date of Object:

Hegira 8–9th century / AD 14–15th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Ceramic painted black and blue under a transparent glaze


Height 11.1 cm, diameter 25 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Unknown, probably Syria.


The interior of this bowl is divided by bold black and white stripes into eight panels; four large and four small. Each of the four large panels are filled with a stylised tree placed under a poly-lobed arch; the trunk, adorned with small leaves on each side of a vertical axis, and topped by a bulbous leaf, branches out into scrolled and trilobed leaves. Two of the smaller triangles contain scrolled trilobed leaves, while the other two are filled with a repeated single word, possibly a benediction, rendered in a cursive (naskhi) script. This underglaze painted bowl epitomises the rich artistic creativity of the Mamluk period.

View Short Description

An underglaze painted ceramic bowl of Syrian manufacture. The interior is divided by bold black and white stripes into eight panels filled with stylised flora and architecture, as well as a repeated single word in naskhi script, possibly a benediction.

How date and origin were established:

The bowl was dated by stylistic analysis and comparison to similar Syrian bowls discovered in Damascus, Raqqa and Hama, and which are now on display at Damascus National Museum and in the British Museum in London.

How Object was obtained:

The bowl was purchased from an antiquities dealer in 1956, who claimed that the bowl originated in Rabba, near Karak.

How provenance was established:

The provenance of this bowl is unknown, but according to the dealer from whom it was purchased it is from Rabba, south Jordan.

Selected bibliography:

ساري. صالح، الفخار الأيوبي و المملوكي في بلاد الشام 567-923 ه/1171 – 1575 م، رسالة ماجستير، الجامعة الأردنية، 1979، ص 156-157، شكل 57.

Bienkowski, P. (ed.), Treasures from an Ancient Land: The Art of Jordan, Glasgow, 1991, p.84, cat. no. 98.

Hobson, R. L., A Guide to the Islamic Pottery of the Near East, London, 1932, p.60, plate XXI, fig. 75.

Lane, A., Later Islamic Pottery: Persia, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, London, 2nd edition, 1971, p.17, plate 12.A.

La voie royale: 9000 ans d'art au royaume de Jordanie, exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1986, p.284, cat. no. 388.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Bowl" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;jo;Mus01;26;en

Prepared by: Aida NaghawyAida Naghawy

Aida Naghawy is an archaeologist and the Director of Jordan Archaeological Museum. She studied archaeology at the University of Jordan where she gained her MA. She was affiliated to the Jordanian Department of Antiquities from 1974 as a curator of Jordan Archaeological Museum. In 1981 she became inspector of Jerash antiquities and co-ordinator of the Jerash International Rehabilitation project. She was also head of the archaeological awareness section at the Department of Antiquities. Aida is the author of numerous publications on Islamic coins. She has carried out excavation work in Jerash and is the founder of Jerash Archaeological Museum and the Islamic Museum of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs.

Copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: JO 52


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