Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ancient Times

While browsing the net and reading about pottery techniques, I happened across a little votive figurine of an ancient Egyptian potter. The Egyptians had a sense of humor, I can imagine them having a little joke - and we know this from pottery shards! Artisans in villages that decorated the tombs of kings amused themselves by painting much more earthly things on the backs of broken shards - many of them wild party scenes. Also shards were put to more mundane uses - people kept track of household expenses, supplies and random complaints. Really, pottery shards were the post it note of their day.

Here's the little votive figure. That position looks so uncomfortable, no wonder he appears a little grumpy. The oldest wheels were hand turned, with kick wheels possibly being an innovation from India. The image is from an educational site that did not say where/when this piece came from, which is disappointing since I am curious how old it might be.

I also enjoyed reading about Khnum, who was a creator god in the Egyptian pantheon. He created babies on his potter's wheel and placed them into the womb. Apparently Khnum had back problems because he gets a nicer chair. He was ram headed, you can just make out the horns under the huge, fancy headdress.

This image is from wiki creative commons.

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