Excavated at Tell Brak, Eye Temple fill, Syria
2.83 x 1.65 in. (7.19 x 4.19 cm)
Gift of Colt Archaeological Institute Inc., 1988 (1988.323.7)
Halaf pottery was made by hand (the potter's wheel was not invented until the fourth millennium B.C.) and decorated with very finely executed designs in one or two colors. The surface of the finest pottery was then highly burnished and a glossy effect was achieved by the use of fluxes, which serve to lower the melting point of the pigments, in some cases accidentally achieving true glazes. This fragment of a thin walled vessel has the exterior painted with light and dark brown decoration consisting of a stylized bird in profile with back arched, a long neck, and a large circular head. A vertical zigzag pattern on the left and a dark brown band partly frame the bird. The rim edge has a horizontal band with vertical stripes.