Name of Object:

Portable stove


Mértola, Beja, Portugal

Holding Museum:

Museum of Mértola

 About Museum of Mértola, Mértola.

Date of Object:

Hegira early 7th century / AD early 13th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Common ceramic made from moderately fine reddish paste, modelled on a potter’s wheel and fired in an alternating oxidising and reducing atmosphere.


Height 22.2 cm, width 33.5 cm, diameter (of mouth) 29.2 cm, diameter (of base) 15.6 cm

Period / Dynasty:





A portable stove consisting of an upper or fire chamber, a grate and a lower chamber or ash collector. The upper chamber has a vertical rim or moulding into which another object is fitted, a circular mouth, a cylindrical body with sharp carination, holes to ventilate the fire and two vertical strap handles with a conical protuberance at the top. The grate is convex with circular openings between the upper chamber and the ash collector, which is almost cylindrical with an oval opening and flat base. It is decorated with a cord of impressed fingernail marks at the point of carination, three parallel wavy incised lines and white paint on a reddish background which traces interlacing vertical and horizontal lines. The object has many fire marks from its use as a portable stove for cooking or heating. The object has been restored.

View Short Description

Kitchen utensil from the Almohad era, probably produced locally. The stove consists of an upper (or fire) chamber, a grill and a lower (or ash) chamber. This type of item has been used up to the present day in this region.

How date and origin were established:

It was dated to the Almohad period on the basis of stratigraphy, since it was found in the abandoned levels of one of the houses of the citadel vacated after the Christian conquest of Mértola in AH 635–6 / AD 1238.

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:

This type of object was usually traded locally. Moreover it is a very common form in the region, with technical and formal characteristics typical of items produced in Mértola.

Selected bibliography:

Gómez Martínez, S., “Catálogo da Cerâmica”, in Museu de Mértola. Arte Islâmica, ed. S. Macias, Mértola, 2001, pp.107–67.
Gómez Martínez, S., “La Cerámica Decorada Islámica de Mértola”, in VI Colloque International sur la Céramique Médiévale en Méditerranée, Aix-en-Provence, 1995, Aix-en-Provence, 1997, pp.311–25.
Gómez Martínez, S., “Contenedores de Fuego en el Garb al-Andalus”, in Actas do III Congresso de Arqueologia Peninsular. Vila Real de Trás-os-Montes, Setembro de 1999, vol. VII: Arqueologia da Idade Média da Península Ibérica, Porto, 2000, pp.421–34.
Torres, C. and Macias, S. (eds.), O Portugal Islâmico, Lisbon, 1998, p.155.

Citation of this web page:

Susana Gómez Martínez "Portable stove" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020.;ISL;pt;Mus01;3;en

Prepared by: Susana Gómez Martínez
Translation by: Gilla Evans
Translation copyedited by: Monica Allen

MWNF Working Number: PT 05