“Flame-rimmed” deep bowl (kaen doki)


Middle Jomon period (ca. 3500–2500 BCE)

Not on view

The swirling, dynamic appearance of the rim of this bowl is one of the most recognizable characteristics of wares from Japan’s oldest-known civilization. Although most Jōmon containers were cooking vessels, the wildly irregular rim of this type seems unsuitable for practical use and may instead have served a ritual function. Built with coils of clay smoothed by hand and with paddles, the bowl has a dramatically simpler lower body that was impressed with a rough cord before being fired in an open pit.

“Flame-rimmed” deep bowl (kaen doki), Earthenware with cord-marked and incised decoration, Japan

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