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Everyday life Household objects

Introduction to Ancient Cookware and Storage

This kitchen inventory gives you a small overview over cooking pots, storage vessels and what people in earlier times thought useful and perhaps beautiful for their households. The distinction from modern equipment is not very big and lies mainly in the materials used: Today our cooking pots are made of aluminium, stainless steel or copper, and sieves are from plastic or stainless steel. But even today in many cuisines around the world are people convinced that some dishes will only taste when prepared in a clay pot!

Although we nowadays use electric blenders instead of grinding stones we still use mortars and pestles of basalt, granite or marble - and use the same methods as 7000 years ago (Nos. 531, 472, 575). To keep tools and knives sharp whetstones were used, also much the same as today (No. 453).

The selection of vessels follows no chronological aspects, but only their functionality. We have open forms, like bowls, and closed shapes like bottles, vases and jugs. Vessels without foot, but very rounded bottoms needed support: If it was not possible to place them in the sand you could hang them on strings (No. 238) or put them on stands (No. 165).

The dates of the objects here range from 3rd millennium BC to Abbasid 9th century AD. Except for the drinking glass and the grinding stones the material of the vessels is baked clay.

A marked difference can be observed between the rather plain objects for every-day use and the more sophisticated jug and wine-glass from the setting of the Abbasid court. The large pottery jug (No. 776) is put together from moulded hemispheres to which a long neck, a handle and a foot are added. The wine-glass (No. 690) is made of turquois-coloured glass which was very popular in Abbasid Raqqa as can be seen here:

No. 160 Bowl with a small foot. Provenance unknown. 2nd millennium B.C. H: 5,5 cm; Dm: 13,3 cm; Th: 0,5 cm
No. 528 Footed goblet. Provenance unknown. Roman. H: 13 cm; Dm: 18,1 cm; Th. 0,7
No. 238 Small bowl with loop handles. Tall Bi’a. 3rd/2nd millennium B.C. H: 5,4 cm; Th: 0,4 cm

No. 195 Jar. Provenance unknown. 3rd/2nd millennium B.C. H: 9,5 cm; Dm: 9,3 cm; Th: 0,2 cm

No. 197. Bottle. Provenance unknown. 3rd/2nd millennium B.C. H: 11,7 cm; Dm: 8,5 cm; Th: 0,6 cm
No. 165. Stand. Provenance unknown. 3rd/2nd millennium B.C. H: 6 cm; Dm: 8,6 & 9 cm; Th: 0,7 cm
No. 428. Bottle. Tall Chuera. 3rd millennium BC. H: 16,9 cm; Dm: 7,8 cm; Th: 0,7 cm
No. 560 Sieve. Provenance unknown. 2nd millennium B.C. H: 6 cm; Dm: 11,9 cm; Th: 0,4 cm
No. 183 Lid. Provenance unknown. 3rd/2nd millennium B.C. H: 3,7 cm; Dm: 11,5 cm
No. 531 Tripod vessel / Grinding bowl? Baked clay. H: 7,2 cm; Dm: 22,5 cm; Th: 1,5 cm
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