Name of Object:

Storage jar


Umm Qays, Jordan

Holding Museum:

Umm Qays Archaeological Museum

Date of Object:

Hegira, second half of the 1st century / AD 2nd half of the 7th century

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Wheel-thrown ceramic.


Height 47.5 cm, diameter (of rim) 10 cm; diameter (of base) 22 cm

Period / Dynasty:

Early Umayyad


Umm Qays, Jordan.


A small, dark-gray storage jar of beautiful form, with a ribbed body and linear geometric pattern, painted with a single and a multiple-headed brush prior to firing, which covers the entire vessel. The extent of decoration on this jar means that it was probably a costly item.

The jar has a triangular rim, two loop handles and a round umbilical base. It was made of two parts joined by pressing the clay together, as there is a flange between the shoulder and the ribbed body. The jar was broken into pieces when recovered and has been subsequently mended.

View Short Description

A small storage jar from the nymphaeum at Umm Qays with a geometric pattern painted before firing. It was made of two parts, joined at the flange between the shoulder and body. The extent of decoration probably made it a costly item.

How date and origin were established:

The jar was dated by stratigraphic context and comparison with similar vessels uncovered at other sites.

How Object was obtained:

The jar was uncovered in the course of an archaeological excavation carried out at the nymphaeum (a pleasure garden) at Umm-Qays in 2001.

How provenance was established:

The jar was found at the nymphaeum of Umm-Qays during excavation, but the original place of production is not known.

Selected bibliography:

Harding, G. L., 'Excavations on the Citadel, Amman', Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, Vol. I, 1951, pp.7–16, fig. 4.41 (for similar jars).

Smith, R. H., Pella of the Decapolis, Vol. I, London 1973, p.233, object no. 281, plate 45, photo 85 (for similar jars).

Citation of this web page:

Aida Naghawy "Storage jar" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2024.;ISL;jo;Mus01_E;20;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 39


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