Tiny one-handled pot with thumb marks

Contributed by The Hunterian

Tiny one-handled pot with thumb marks

This tiny pot comes from the ancient and important biblical site of Jericho. These little jugs were popular as tomb goods during the Middle Bronze Age in Jericho and probably contained expensive oils or perfumes; their shape made them easy to seal and their size required only a little of these expensive liquids to fill them. This object comes from the excavations of Professor John Garstang (1876-1956) who directed excavations at Jericho between 1930 and 1936.

The curator asked members of staff in the Hunterian Museum to nominate their favourite object for the BBC's "A History of the World" website. This object was picked by the curator, Sally-Anne, who says "We have had a lot of fun in the Hunterian Museum participating in this project and after spending ages adding on everyone else's objects I wanted to pick one! I love this little pot. It is a small, very modest, everyday object but just seeing the marks where someone has used their thumbs to press it into shape makes it very special to me. You can imagine the person making this tiny pot as a labour of love to send perfume to the afterlife for their family member who has passed away".

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