Egyptian Pottery


Egyptian Black Pot

National Museum of Natural History

Wahington DC

Glazed Faience  Pottery Vessel Roman Period Egypt

Glazed Faience  Pottery Vessel Roman Period Egypt

Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California.

  History Of Egyptian Pottery : The ancient Egyptians were gifted artisans and pottery was an art where they excelled. Egypt in the pre dynastic period produced pottery of very high quality.  Egypt made pottery before  building  the Pyramids. This is evident from the presence of  older hieroglyphic writing with characters which have images of earthen vessels. Pictures of pottery vessels and small pieces of pottery have been found in tombs of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Dynasties, contemporary with and after the building of the Great Pyramid. From 3000BC on  their pottery was decorated with depictions of animals, humans, boats and various other patterns and symbols. Two main veins of pottery existed during this period, pottery from Nile clay ( red/brown after firing ) and pottery from marl clay ( usually polished to give a lustrous look )

    Ancient Egyptian pottery was originally made  for functional reasons rather than for decorative  purposes. The different forms of Egyptian pottery had a multitude of applications.. The amphora, in Egypt as in all ancient countries was the most common and most useful vase, and was made in all sizes, from the three-inch oil or perfume holder to the immense jar of three or four feet in height, for holding water, wine, oil, or grain. The reason the amphora vessels had a tapered end was so they could be pushed into the earth and stand on their own when used for storage. The pithos (so called by the Greeks), was an immense tub, cask, or vase of pottery,  made in Egypt as in all the Oriental countries. It was used in the household cellar, where meats and provisions were stored. This was sometimes six feet in diameter, always made of coarse unglazed pottery. The later artistic Egyptian pottery was siliceous, (  between earthenware and porcelain ), possessing a fine grain and being able to resist high temperatures.  It was  generally covered with a thin glaze, colored blue or green by oxides of copper. As Egyptian pottery became more decorated it also became an expression of religious sentiment and an expression of revered symbols.


Enameled pottery of Egypt : The art of covering pottery with enamel was invented by the Egyptians at a very early date. Steatite (or soapstone, as some varieties are called) is easily worked, and bears great heat without cracking. From this material the Egyptians carved small pieces–vases, amulets, images of deities, animals and other objects–and covered them with green, blue, and occasionally red, yellow, and white enamel, which when baked became brilliant and enduring. Objects in enamelled steatite were  known from the very early periods. A small cylinder from the Trumbull-Prime collection, obtained at Thebes bears the cartouche of a king, Amunmhe III., of the Twelfth Dynasty, whose date is placed at about 2000 B.C. The enamel is pale-green, almost white, except in the engraved lines, where, being thicker, it shows more color.

Ancient Egyptian Lotus Chalice 1479 -1353  BCE

(  Museum of Fine Arts Boston )

  The beauty of the enamel on these pottery objects has been the envy of potters in modern times. The blue has never been surpassed, if, indeed, it has ever been equaled. Objects three thousand years old retain the splendor of their original color; and this leads to the inference that the variety of the shades of blue found on them is not the result of time, but the original intent of the makers. These shades vary from the most intense bleu-de-roi and pure turquoise to pale-blue tints approaching white. The color is usually remarkably uniform on the object. Several of the rare colors of old Chinese porcelain are thus found in ancient Egyptian enamels. The same enamel was occasionally applied to soft pottery. The Egyptians were the first to employ the potters wheel ( hand turned ) and some believe they were the first to implement glazing. They are also credited with being the first to use crockery ware  ( 1500 BC ) .

Covering pottery with enamel was invented by the Egyptians at a very early date. Steatite (or soapstone, as some varieties are called) is easily worked, and bears great heat without cracking. Many  small carved objects were covered with green, blue, and occasionally red, yellow, and white enamel, which when baked became brilliant and enduring.

Egyptian Pottery , Lourve

Hand painted Egyptian pottery

Egyotian green ceramic vessel, Louvre

  • Ancient Egyptian faience – Louvre, Paris

Egyptian cobalt blue glaze pottery

Egyptian cobalt blue glaze vessel , Louvre

Egypt pot

Egyptian  pot

Egyptian Chalice Lourve

Egyptian Lotus Chalice (siliceous faience) 22nd Dynasty, 945-715 BC Louvre

Egyptian pottery with hiroglyphics, Lourve

The vase reads, center line, then left, then right, top to bottom: center :

The good god, Nebmaatre, given life; left: the son of Re, Amenhotep, Ruler of (Wast-Uast)(Thebes), eternally; right: the king’s great wife, Tiye

( Louvre Paris )

Egyptian Pottery with hieroglyphics

Egyptian pottery with hieroglyphs


Neolithic Egyptian pottery bird

The sovereign’s sphinx Amenothep III bidder to the gods

Faience hippopotamus, Middle Kingdom, Dynasty 11-12

In ancient Egypt blue (irtyu) was the colour of the heavens and hence represented the universe.

Egyptian Pots lourve

Egyptian Isis Ceramic Statue

Woman with child. Terracotta phial, New Kingdom (16th-11th BCE), Egypt.

Ancient Egyptian Bowl

Musician. Blue faience glaze bowl (about 1300 BCE), 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom, Egypt.

Ushebti figure (servant of the defunct) of Pharaoh Seti I (1301-1290 BCE).19th dynasty. Blue faience. N 472

Louvre, Departement des Antiquites Egyptiennes, Paris, France

Eye Of Horus

Ouadjet eye, the Sacred Eye of Horus; Uraeus snake and falcon (Horus). Faience fragment (about 600 BCE), Late Period, Egypt.

National Maritime Museum, Haifa, Israel

Egyptian pot with a carved geometrical surface.

Egyptian Amulet

Faience amulet in the shape of an ankh, 25th dynasty to Late Period, about 700-500 BCE.

It represents a wish, probably for the king, of  ” life, power and stability for millions of years “.

The amulet was acquired by Lord Kitchener in the Sudan, probably at Gebel Barkal and originated in a temple.

( lessing Archive )

Egyptian Yoga

Egyptian Yoga ?  ( Lessing Archive )

Egyptian Long necked vessel

An Egyptian long necked vessel,  found at Abydos and dates from the New Kingdom period, ca. 1570 – 1070 BCE.

The ancient Egyptian potters were adept at using different colors of Egyptian paste to create patterns of color on the fired ware.

Ceramic Canopic Jars


Egyptian Bronze Head – Louvre, Paris

Canopic Shrine

King Tut Canopic Shrine

Museum of Antiquities in Cairo, Egypt

( Hans Ollermann – Flickr )


Osiris wall painting in the vaulted tomb of Sennedjem , Luxor, Egypt

( Lessing Photo Archive )

l44arge kneeling statue of Hatshepsut   Flickr   Photo Sharing

Dynasty 18, joint reign of Hatshepsut and Thutmose III  – (ca. 1473-1458 B.C.)

From Thebes, originally from Hatshepsut’s temple at Deir el-Bahri

According to the inscription on the base, “Maatkare” (Hatshepsut) is represented here as “the one who gives Maat to Amun”. Maat was the goddess of order, balance and justice. When a pharaoh offered an image of Maat to another deity, it was a reaffirmation that honor was the guiding principle of his/her rule.

The Met, New York

( ggnyc – flickr )


Blue painted terracotta jar decorated with flowers and grapes, and a jar lid. – Tell el-Amarna.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


Faience Vessel with procession of four bulls and lotus flowers.

( Brooklyn Museum )

Libation vase, Egypt

Egyptian Libation vase bearing the name of Thutmose IV.

( Brooklyn Museum )

Pilgrim flask -- Egyptian

Pilgrim flask – Egyptian New Kingdom Period  1570-1070 BC

Polychrome glass cup - Egyptian

Polychrome glass cup, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18. 1370–1335 BCE. Egypt, El-Amarna

Water bottle from Tutankham, Egypt

Water bottle from Tutankhamun’s embalming cache, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, reign of Tutankhamun, ca. 1336–1327 B.C

Egyptian alabaster jar

Egyptian alabaster jar

Update 13/5/2014
Jar with male figures Probably late Naqada I – early Naqada II (ca. 3700–3450 BC) Provenance: unknown; purchased in Luxor by Jean Capart, 1909 

Ritual vessel (hes-jar) Egyptian, Early Dynastic Period to Old Kingdom,-Dynasty-1–,-2960–2465-B.C

Egyptian, Early Dynastic (Egyptian); Dynasty2, Squat-jar, 2770-2152-BC

Egyptian, Early Dynastic (Egyptian); Dynasty 2, Squat-jar, 2770-2152-BC

Canopic Jar with an Image Representing the Hieroglyph for Face Period New Kingdom Dynasty-18
Canopic Jar with an Image Representing the Hieroglyph for Face Period New Kingdom Dynasty-18
Boeotian Late Geometric pyxis with depiction of a lion-fighter

Boeotian Late Geometric pyxis with depiction of a lion-fighter


An Egyptian veined serpentine vessel. Predynastic---Early Dynastic Period,-circa-3200-3000-B.C

An Egyptian veined serpentine vessel. Predynastic—Early Dynastic Period,-circa-3200-3000-B.C

Egyptian painted pottery jar. NewKingdom-1391-1307-BC

Egyptian painted pottery jar. NewKingdom-1391-1307-BC


Egyptian Memphis Situla-Reliaf    –  DYNASTY XXV XXVI

Egyptian Andesite Porphry Jar--,-2920-2649-B.C

Egyptian Andesite Porphry Jar – 2920-2649-B.C

Calcite Jug 18th Dynasty,-reign of Tuthmosis III - Amenhotep-III,-1479-1353

Calcite Jug 18th Dynasty,-reign of Tuthmosis III – Amenhotep III

1479-1353 BC

Egyptian Faience Cat- Sadigh Gallery

Egyptian Blue Faience Cat –  26th Dynasty

Sadigh Gallery

Vase, Coptic period-7thn century.-Egypt

Vase, Coptic period-7th century. Egypt

 The differences between the quality of ceramics owned by the rich and the poor were significant. Pottery found in the environs of the palaces at Amarna and Malqata and therefore sometimes referred to as “palace ware”, was more often than not elaborately decorated or made of beautifully polished marl looking a bit like alabaster, while the crockery in the near-by villages was mostly red earthenware made of Nile mud.

Egyptian Storage Jar with floral decorations

Large storage jar with floral decoration Period: Ptolemaic Period Date: late 3rd–2nd century B.C.

Blue Painted Ibex Amphora from Malqata.-Ca.-1390–1353-B.C.,-Egypt,-Upper-Egypt;-Thebes,-Malqata

Blue-Painted Ibex Amphora from Malqata. Ca. 1390–1353 B.C., Egypt, Upper Egypt; Thebes, Malqata.

This vese in excellent condition was found during the excavations of the palace of Amenhotep III




Bowl with scene of a man hunting a hippopotami-Late Naqada-I–-early Naqada-II

Egyptian bowl with scene of a man hunting a hippopotamis

Late Naqada-I–-early Naqada-II




The sidelock of youth was protective in nature,-inspired by-the young god Horus' hairstyle

Carved relief based on the sidelock of youth which was protective in nature, inspired by the young god Horus’ hairstyle. It involved shaving the head, leaving only a single, plaited lock, sometimes shaped like a S, hanging down on the side of the head which had sacred amulets attached to it.




Perfume Vase Egypt,-New Kingdom, late Dynasty  18, ca. 1350-1309 BC

Small perfume vase Egypt.  Blue and black petals are arranged like a collar around the neck of this white faience vase.

New Kingdom, late Dynasty  18, ca. 1350-1309 BC

peterjr1961 on Flickr (cc)

More ancient Egyptian art HERE   ( veniceclayartists post )

More posts:


  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 12, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Very awesome ;)

  2. Posted July 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for posting these images. I would like to use some of them when I teach a course in the history of art and architecture around the world. will give you a chance to see some of my ceramics under Meet Katherine.

  3. Jasmine S
    Posted March 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these images. I am trying to find ancient egyptian PORCELAIN ceramic vessels for my visual arts assignment. These are not labelled the materials.. can anyone help me?

  4. ekoju isaac
    Posted May 18, 2012 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    there nature and real ceramic

  5. Kate Sharp
    Posted May 20, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this, it’ll help with my year 12 assesment for art. I’m basing all my work on just one theme which is egyptian and these pictures can be a real inspiration.

  6. Ian
    Posted August 5, 2012 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    I am trying to use art to build a chronology.

  7. sad face
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 4:41 am | Permalink

    didnt help :(

  8. jake
    Posted November 2, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    This really helped me out alot thanks who made this see you later

  9. Anonymous
    Posted December 1, 2012 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    this did not help me but the pottery was really cool

  10. Mr. herman
    Posted December 5, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    this site is most excellent ever so much thanks my students thought this site was marvelous !

  11. Nicole
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I am doing a coil pot in my beginner ceramics class and I am doing a Egyptian design and needed a base color and this helped me a lot even though I didn’t have to make it accurate but want to anyway being that type of student

  12. Ragab El-Nigoly
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    الحضارة المصريه القديمه مصدر لحضارات العالم أجمع في مجالات مختلفه لأبمانهم بما يفعلون والطاعه والأتقان المذهل دليل دامغ
    رجب النجولي – فرانكفورت

  13. robbie robbie
    Posted April 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Comment above translation – Ancient Egyptian civilization, the source of the civilizations of the world in various fields Ibmanam what they do and obedience and perfection stunning hard evidence
    July Alnjula – Frankfurt

  14. guy
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    nice pot but it did not help thitn my highness thx

  15. Posted July 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    nice …I see good ancient art site….on my link {search my name on google and link my site}you will find some items not in any museum at all….

  16. Anonymous
    Posted August 21, 2013 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    It’s great! It didn’t help me, but I enjoyed looking at the picures. But—could you Please fix the “Louvre” typos everywhere??

  17. cute girl
    Posted October 13, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    thx helped with my project a lot!!!!!!

  18. Anonymous
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    this didn’t help, but cool pictures

  19. N
    Posted October 28, 2013 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    this didn’t help, but cool pictures

  20. Tikky
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    What is the history of the small clay bowl with feet?

  21. robbie robbie
    Posted October 29, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Clay bowl with feet …..Go to this link here, this is the best explanation I have come across.

  22. seemi
    Posted November 7, 2013 at 4:54 am | Permalink


  23. haya
    Posted January 11, 2014 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    need way more information

  24. big baller
    Posted March 14, 2014 at 12:50 pm | Permalink


  25. Posted May 13, 2014 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    perty good stuff butt not at all what im looking for that is junk comparid to what im looking for

  26. Than Than Si Thein
    Posted July 13, 2014 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Thanks for Egyptian Arts.

  27. Anonymous
    Posted July 24, 2014 at 9:03 pm | Permalink


  28. Anonymous
    Posted August 13, 2014 at 12:08 am | Permalink

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking a few minutes
    and actual effort to generate a very good article…
    but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to get anything done.

  29. Jesse Ingram
    Posted August 29, 2014 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    i am from fannin county high school

  30. goldenfish577@yahoo.
    Posted August 31, 2014 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    very very nice art

  31. ragab el-ngoly
    Posted October 26, 2014 at 3:41 am | Permalink


  32. Annie
    Posted October 29, 2014 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    This is very helpful! Thank you so much! I have a school project and this is perfect *reference included*

  33. Selida
    Posted December 16, 2014 at 9:23 am | Permalink


  34. Anonymous
    Posted January 4, 2015 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

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