Phoenician jugs | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem
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Phoenician jugs

Phoenician jugs

Phoenician jugs

Pottery

H: 19–29 cm

Israel Antiquities Authority
Archaeology/Israelite & Persian Periods

These vessels were uncovered in the excavation of two cemeteries at Akhziv, a site on the northern coastal strip of modern Israel. This region was home to the Phoenicians, political and economic allies of the Israelites and best known for their pursuit of maritime trade. Noted for their precise and clean-cut form, these Phoenician jugs are also distinguished by a highly burnished surface of red slip. They fall into two categories: the first is characterized by its long handle and trefoil mouth, which clearly imitates in pottery the bronze and silver vessels found at Phoenician sites. The jugs of the second type have a long, narrow neck, a small handle, and a broad, splaying mushroom like rim. The body has an angular shoulder and widens towards the bottom, imitating, no doubt, the most popular Israelite jug - the decanter. This last group thus represents a cross between the pottery-making tradition of the Phoenicians and that of their Israelite neighbors.

Vessels similar to the 'Akhziv group' have been found along the Mediterranean coast wherever a Phoenician settlement or trading post existed - on the coast of Phoenicia (now Lebanon and northern Israel), in North Africa, and in Spain.