Painting on Egyptian pottery is not very common before the New Kingdom (1550-1069 BC), but appears often in the late 18th Dynasty. This blue-decorated pottery was first recognised on a bigger scale at the palace of king Amenhotep III (1388-1351/50 BC). This sherd probably comes from the palace site at Tell el-Amarna, built by Amenhotep III's son, king Akenaten
Amarna period painted vessels were mostly storage jars made from Nile-silt clay and would originally have contained luxury liquids. The dominant colour was an intense blue, accompanied by red and black, and most patterns are repeated designs in which a prominent element is stylised plant petals. Some blue-painted vessels bore more individual motifs, such as birds and fish. This type of decorated pottery contributed to the range of bright colours that characterized life at Amarna.
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