The Phoenicians were a maritime trade culture and later became known for their opulent pottery, jewelry, and silks. However, in the Early Iron Age, most Phoenician pottery was simple, unglazed, and undecorated. This globular jug, measuring 22cm in height and dating back to 1000 B.C.E. – 800 B.C.E., is spectacular not in its décor, but in its craftsmanship and subtle attention to detail.
The striations of color in along the side give insight into how this jug was made, layers of clay folded over each other. The artist’s hand is still present, even after 3,000 years: the seamless cylindrical shape indicates immense skill and sense of proportion. One can imagine how impressive this perfectly cylindrical jug must’ve appeared seated atop its base in the middle of a banquet table, the serpent coiled around the handle, staring as wine filled their cups.