Name of Object:

Water jug


Mértola, Beja, Portugal

Holding Museum:

Mértola Museum

About Mértola Museum, Mértola.

Date of Object:

Hegira end 5th – beginning 6th century / AD end 11th – beginning 12th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Common ceramic made from fairly coarse reddish paste, modelled on a wheel and fired in an oxidising atmosphere.


Height 22.5 cm, width 19 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Taifa or Almoravid


Fragment of a water jug with a curved everted rim, circular mouth and neck shaped as an inverted truncated cone with a central moulding, which is joined to the body by a vertical handle with an oval cross-section. The body is globular with a zoomorphic tubular spout rising from its shoulder. The overall design suggests the shape of an animal with a long narrow neck such as a camel or dromedary, whose hunched back forms the neck of the vessel. It is decorated with fine lines of white painted plant forms on a reddish background.

View Short Description

Spout and neck from a water jug, whose shape is reminiscent of an animal with a long, thin neck such as a camel or a dromedary, with the hump being the neck of the jug. It is decorated with fine, phytomorphic lines in white paint on the red background of the piece.

How date and origin were established:

The stratigraphic context in which the object was found was very disordered, which led to its being dated to the 6th / 12th century by comparison with objects with similar decoration in the west of the Al-Andalus region.

How Object was obtained:

It was found in the archaeological excavations carried out by the Campo Arqueológico de Mértola in the citadel of the Castle of Mértola.

Selected bibliography:

Gómez Martínez, S., “Catálogo da Cerâmica”, in Museu de Mértola. Arte Islâmica, ed. S. Macias, Mértola, 2001, p.110.
Torres, C. and Macias, S. (eds.), O Portugal Islâmico, Lisbon, 1998, p.108.

Citation of this web page:

Susana Gómez Martínez "Water jug" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;pt;Mus01;47;en

Prepared by: Susana Gómez MartínezSusana Gómez Martínez

Susana Gómez Martínez é historiadora e arqueóloga especializada no período medieval. Estudou Geografia e História na Universidade Complutense de Madrid onde se doutorou em Historia com uma tese intitulada “Cerámica islámica de Mértola. Producción y comercio” (no prelo). É investigadora do Campo Arqueológico de Mértola desde 1993. Autora de várias publicações, de entre as quais se destacam “Cerâmica em Corda Seca de Mértola” (Mértola, Campo Arqueológico de Mértola, 2002); Cerámica Islámica de Medinaceli, in "Boletín de Arqueología Medieval", n.º 9, pp. 123-182, Madrid, Asociación Española de Arqueología Medieval, 1996). É membro do comité científico do Itinerário/exposição “Terras da Moura Encantada” (Lisboa, PICT e Museu sem Fronteiras, 1999) e do Comité Científico da Association International pour l'étude de la Céramique Médiévale en Méditerranée (AIECM2).

Translation by: Gilla Evans
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: PT 66


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