Object of the Month

Pottery lamp, PAKISTAN


This pottery vessel was excavated from Nal in the Indus Valley located in present day Pakistan and dates to around 2500 BC. The container is assumed to be an oil lamp and the corners would have supported wicks. The lamp is very finely made, having been wheel thrown and decoratively painted. The distinctive shape of the square rim was produced by the potter pinching the corners of the vessel after it was thrown. Potters in the Indus Valley were using a wheel to produce vessels several thousand years before it was used in Britain. 

Exchanged with Newbury Museum in 1953. 1953.1.15

Find this object in a new display of Archaeology in the Upper Gallery as part of the VERVE: Need / Make / Use project.