Name of Object:

Ablution jug


Madaba, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Madaba Archaeological Museum

Date of Object:

Hegira 2nd century / AD 8th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Leaded bronze; four parts joined together.


Height 41.8 cm, diameter (of neck) 7 cm

Period / Dynasty:



Objeto hallado en Umm al-Walid.


A cylindrical jug of leaded bronze without a handle and with a tall neck divided into two unequal parts by a decorative 'rope' band. The cylindrical body is plain, although the shoulder is divided into narrow bands that are filled with short vertical strokes.

This vessel may once have been used as an ablution jug for ritual washing before prayer; many other such metal and ceramic jugs have been found associated with this ritual. This particular jug was found during archaeological excavations in the hammam that was part of the qasr (palace) at Umm al-Walid.

View Short Description

A jug of leaded bronze, without a handle and made from four parts welded together. Found during excavations at the baths of the Umayyad qasr at Umm al-Walid, it may have been used as an ablution jug for ritual washing before prayer.

How date and origin were established:

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

How Object was obtained:

The object was recovered during archaeological excavations at Umm al-Walid in 1992.

How provenance was established:

Where this vessel was produced is unknown but it was recovered during archaeological excavations 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. 11/6.
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.
Joguin, M., 'Des pots et des hommes; l'exemple d'Umm el-Walid', Studies in the History and Archaeology of Jordan, Vol. VII, 2001, pp.641–5, fig. 5.

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Ablution jug" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2022.;ISL;jo;Mus01_A;8;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 10


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