Vessel with Suspension Lugs

5th millennium BCE
Ceramic, paint
5 × 5 3/4 × 4 in. (12.7 × 14.61 × 10.16 cm)
Classical Art
Not On View
Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark

General Description

The early growth of Neolithic farming communities in Anatolia is indicated by elaborate traditions of pottery dating back to the 6th millennium B.C.E. This example of handmade pottery, painted in red over a cream-colored slip, is one of many examples of painted pottery from the Neolithic/Early Chalcolithic site of Hacilar in southwestern Anatolia. Both the shape and the decoration of such vessels vary considerably.

The Dallas Museum of Art example is an ovoid cylindrical vessel with two bands of painted chevron designs formed by reserved bands. The lip is marked by red and white bands, and there is a triangular chevron decoration inside the rim. The two chevron bands on the outside of the vessel are separated by a median band of three lines, which is level with the attached lugs on the sides. Such lugs may have been used to suspend the pot. The subtle use of single reserved lines to accent half of each chevron triangle creates a lively rhythm. This piece exemplifies the rapid growth of arts and crafts in farming villages that could amass a surplus food supply and so could support craftspeople such as potters.

Adapted from

Anne R. Bromberg and Karl Kilinski II, Gods, Men, and Heroes: Ancient Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996. 29.

Fun Facts

This is the oldest object in the DMA's collection.