Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fragment of a Closed Vessel

Object Name:
Fragment of a vessel
probably 7th–9th century
Found/excavated Iraq, Ctesiphon
Earthenware; glazed and applied
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1932
Accession Number:
Not on view
This ceramic fragment was excavated in Ctesiphon, the Sasanian metropolis and administrative capital conquered by Arab Muslim armies in 637. The city was known in Arabic as al-Mada’in, or "the cities", for its extended area. Arab historians indulge in describing al-Mada’in/Ctesiphon’s grand monuments, which obsessed Muslim rulers and may have acquired a symbolic meaning related to its imperial past. This was the case of the Taq-i Kisra, an impressively-sized ivan (a vaulted hall with one side open) partially dismantled to reuse its bricks in caliphal buildings in the new capital Baghdad.

This fragment belongs to a long-standing tradition of turquoise-glazed ceramics made in Mesopotamia since the Parthian period, of which it represents a late Sasanian or Early Islamic evolution. The vegetal applied motifs are similar to those on 32.150.267.
Excavated at West Mound or Selman Pak in Ctesiphon, Iraq, by the Joint Expedition of the Staatlichen Museen of Berlin and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931–32. Acquired by the Museum in the division of finds and accessioned, 1932

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