Ancient Egyptian Pottery
Naqada II clay jar (Egypt, 3500 BC)
Metropolitan Museum, NYC
People in Egypt were among the first people to make pottery, beginning about 4000 BC. Probably people started to make clay pots in order to have something to keep wheat and barley in so it wouldn't get wet and go moldy. The earliest Egyptian pottery has geometric designs on it. Pottery built these early pots by hand, making long coils of clay and spiraling them around to build the walls of the pot.
Predynastic Egyptian pot with feet
(ca. 3750 BC)
People have always thought of pots as being like people in their shape - the part the pot stands on is the foot, the main part is the body, the part where the pot curves in is the shoulder, the narrow part near the top is the neck, and the very edge is the lip. But some early potters took this idea more literally than later potters. I just love this one with feet!
By about 3500 BC, Egyptian pottery has designs on it that are very much like the designs on earlier rock carvings. They show people, boats, and animals, and they look enough like later Egyptian painting that we can see they're related to each other artistically.
To find out more about Egyptian art, check out these books from Amazon or from your library:
Eyewitness: Ancient Egypt, by George Hart. For kids.
Ancient Egyptian Art, by Susie Hodge (1998). Shows kids how Egyptian art relates to Egyptian religion and culture.
Hands-On Ancient People, Volume 1: Art Activities about Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Islam, by Yvonne Merrill and Mary Simpson. Art projects for kids, though the directions are really aimed at teachers or parents.
The Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt (Yale University Press Pelican History of Art), by William Stevenson Smith and William Kelly Simpson (revised edition 1999). The standard for college courses.
Egyptian Art, by Cyril Aldred (1985). Another standard.
Old Kingdom Egyptian Art
Middle Kingdom Egyptian Art
New Kingdom Egyptian Art
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