Name of Object:



Madaba, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Madaba Archaeological Museum

Date of Object:

Hegira first half of the 2nd century / AD first half of the 8th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Cast, leaded bronze.


Height 14.8 cm, width 12.5 cm, weight 564 g

Period / Dynasty:



Hallado en Umm al-Walid (Jordania).


An intact, zoomorphic kettle made of leaded bronze. A representation of a camel bearing a load or a seat, a tripod would once have held the kettle in place above a brazier to heat the contents; the mouth of the camel is the spout, and the lid contacted to the handle.

This kettle is an extremely important object not only because of the rarity of metalwork in the Umayyad period, but also symbolically, for the camel is a highly significant creature in the Arab world considering that only a few hundred years ago, caravans of 120,000 camels – up to six miles long – would have travelled across the desert linking Middle Eastern cities from Arabia to Jerusalem.

View Short Description

A kettle of leaded bronze from Umm al-Walid, representing a camel bearing a load or a seat. The mouth of the camel is the spout. A tripod would once have held the kettle in place above a brazier to heat the contents.

How date and origin were established:

The object was dated by its stratigraphic context, and association with Umayyad pottery vessels and shards also found at the site.

How Object was obtained:

This kettle was found during archaeological excavations at Umm al-Walid (15 km south-east of Madaba) in 1992 where, earlier, a palace and a mosque were discovered. Ceramic vessels and other metalwork were also uncovered at this site.

How provenance was established:

Where this kettle was produced is unknown but it was found during an archaeological excavation at Umm al-Walid near Madaba.

Selected bibliography:

Bujard, J., and Schweizer, F., Entre Byzance et l'Islam: Umm er-Rasas et Umm el-Walid – Fouilles genevoises en Jordanie, Geneva, 1992, p.17, fig. 11/4; p.18, fig. 14.
Haldimann, M. A., Les Implantations omeyyades dans la Balqa: l'apport d'Umm el-Walid, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, XXXVI, 1992, pp.307–18 (especially p.315).

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Kettle" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2022.;ISL;jo;Mus01_A;7;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 GomezMandi Gomez

Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.

True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.

MWNF Working Number: JO 09


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Water | Water Usage: Drinking and Washing


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