We handcrafted this spectacular Food Vessel Urn in our Northumberland studio using similar tools and techniques to those that the original maker utilised when they first created this vessel around 3600 years ago.
Although very distinctive in form and decoration, there is little known about the use of the stunning and elaborately adorned Bronze Age pottery referred to as Food Vessels.
Archaeologists have discovered and categorised the stunning pottery referred to as Food Vessels in both domestic settings, as part of inhumation burials and in cremation burials.
The vessel gets its moniker of 'Food Vessel' due to an early suggestion that these types of vessels held food for use by the deceased in the afterlife. However, there is little direct evidence to support this theory, and in truth, we know very little about the day to day lives and rituals of the Bronze Age people who first laid this stunning vessel into the ground around 3600 years ago.
In the case of some of the larger Food Vessel Urns, there is evidence that they were used as cinerary urns whilst smaller examples tend to be considered as some form of offering to the departed.
They are also referred to as an Enlarger Food Vessel.
When making this Food Vessel Urn, we based our replica on information from the fabulous book 'The Dating of Food Vessels and Urns In Ireland' by A.L.Brindley. Give to us by Prof. Brenden O'Neill and Prof. Aidan O'Sullivan of UCD School of Archeology.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Approx. 205mm tall 170 mm diameter
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Bronze-Age makers would have used. In keeping with the original pot, the decoration has been applied using hand made lime bast cord
It has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot would have been fired in an open wood fire, in close contact with the fuel, a process that leaves its mark on the clay as variations in the surface colour. However, the very low temperatures achieved in open firings also results in pots that are relatively weak, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a special firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot. The exterior has been finished with beeswax to give a slight sheen.
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