Name of Object:

Glazed bowl


Mértola, Beja, Portugal

Holding Museum:

Museum of Mértola

About Museum of Mértola, Mértola.

Date of Object:

Hegira 6th century / AD 12th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Ceramic made from medium-grained orange-coloured paste, modelled on a potter’s wheel, fired in an oxidising atmosphere and glazed using the cuerda seca technique throughout.


Height 8.5 cm, diameter (of mouth) 26 cm, diameter (of base) 10.5 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Almoravid or Almohad


Almería or Málaga, Spain.


Glazed bowl with rounded rim, circular mouth, slightly carinate hemispherical body and convex base with diagonal foot-ring. The exterior is glazed in honey-coloured monochrome and the interior is decorated in the cuerda seca technique in which the white, green and honey colours of the glaze are separated by lines of manganese. The decorative theme is a large flower created by a radial geometric composition which occupies all of the decorated space and which may correspond to a lotus flower viewed from above. Examples identical to this object have been found in various parts of the western Mediterranean, in particular in the citadel of Málaga, in Cartagena, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Pisa (Italy) and Ceuta (Morocco). The object has been restored.

View Short Description

Bowl decorated entirely using cuerda seca and decorated with a large flower created by a geometric radial pattern that occupies all of the decorative space. The central motif is a lotus flower seen from above. Similar pieces have been found around the western Mediterranean.

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 of similar shape and decorative technique from Málaga and Almería.

How Object was obtained:

Found in the archaeological excavations carried out by the Campo Arqueológico de Mértola in the citadel of the Castle of Mértola.

How provenance was established:

The abundance of this type of ceramic in Málaga and Almería (Spain), where kilns have been found in which they were made, has led researchers to attribute its production to these towns.

Selected bibliography:

Gómez Martínez, S., A Cerâmica em Corda Seca de Mértola, Mértola, 2002.
Torres, C., “Um Lote Cerâmico da Mértola Islâmica, in I Congreso de Arqueología Medieval Española. Huesca, 1985, vol. IV, Saragossa, 1986, pp.193–228 .
Torres, C. and Gómez, S., “Le Vert et Brun au Portugal”, in Le Vert et le Brun de Kairouan à Avignon: Céramiques du Xe au XVe Siècle,exhibition catalogue, Marseilles, 1995, pp.98–102.
Torres, C. and Macias, S. (eds.), O Portugal Islâmico, Lisbon, 1998, p.92.

Citation of this web page:

Susana Gómez Martínez "Glazed bowl" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2018.;ISL;pt;Mus01;5;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 08


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