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Pottery in the New Kingdom (about 1550-1069 BC)

The following presentation of New Kingdom pottery offers an idea of types, forms and decoration of the period. The arrangement of pottery types is mainly based on the typology published in 1977 (Holthoer 1977) for some New Kingdom Nubian sites, which is one of the most comprehensive summaries for the period (mainly 18th Dynasty pottery) from the evidence of one region. The development of pottery is relatively well-known for the 18th Dynasty. The development in the 19th and 20th Dynasties are not yet so deeply researched. The main reason may lie in a change of burial customs: in the 18th Dynasty pottery was placed into tombs, whereas in the 19th and 20th Dynasty this custom was not anymore so common. Settlement archaeology should in future help to fill this gap.

(click on the images for a larger picture or for the archaeological context)


UC 15937 UC 18425 UC 66724 UC 21752 UC 19195 UC 19194

'beer bottle'

slender bottles


pot stands




roundbased ovoid


funnel-necked jars


deep bowls ('flower pots')

simple bowls

juglets and flasks (some are Cypriote)

ordinary jars

carinated vessels with a broad neck

double vases

Painted Pottery

Painting on pottery is not very common before the New Kingdom, but appears often in the New Kingdom. Especially in the late 18th Dynasty vessels can be colourfully decorated with floral motifs; a popular and distinctive colour in this production was cobalt blue. This blue-decorated pottery was first recognised on a bigger scale at the Malqata (palace of Amenhotep III), therefore it is sometimes called 'Malqata ware'.

UC 15939 UC 16727 UC 24553
UC 2299 UC 24556 UC 24595 UC 24660

Closely dated groups of New Kingdom pottery on Digital Egypt for Universities

Thutmose III | before Thutmose IV | Amenhotep II | Merenptah

compare foreign pottery in Egypt

Cypriot | Greek

Further reading:

  • Aston 1998 (the publication of pottery found at Piramesses, important for 19th and 20th Dynasty pottery)
  • Holthoer 1977 (the pottery of an 18th Dynasty Nubian cemetery)
  • Hope 1987 (general introduction to Egyptian pottery)
  • Hope 1991 (on polychrome pottery found at Amarna)



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