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0178 Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1
Archaeological Reconnaissances in North-Western India and South-Eastern Īrān : vol.1 / Page 178 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000189
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(a) red, or ordinary terra-cotta, and (b) grey. Between these two there are specimens which exhibit in varying degrees the characters of both.

  1.  The true red pottery is `brick' red, occasionally dressed with a richer red washed or smeared over the surface in a thin film and sometimes imperfectly burnished. The fracture is granular and fairly clean.

The shapes and thicknesses are shown in the diagrams of Pls. XXXII—XXXIV, and it may be seen that the vessels are suitable in these respects for ordinary use, and therefore are not necessarily restricted to funerary purposes.

Except for occasional burnishing the outer surfaces retain the pleasing quality of undulation and slight angularity imparted by the pressure of the potter's hands upon the revolving clay, the inner surfaces showing these features in a more pronounced and rugged degree. The bases are either flat (truncated) as in the small cups B. i. 128, F. i. 267 (Pls. XVI, XVII ), or discal as in F. i. 273 (Pl. XVI), and are frequently slightly concave or `dished', to ensure stability when standing; and this, at times, produces almost the character of a ring base. Flat bases when terminating a stem or foot often tend to spread slightly, as in B. i. 128 (Pl. XVII ), a form that arises from the natural outward flow of the clay as the potter's hands worked downwards and might be increased towards one side by the drag of the cutting string when separating the pot from the wheel. The rugosity caused by the passage of the string across the under surface may be seen on L. i. 286 (Pl. XV), but is generally more or less smoothed out after the vessel has been cut off from the wheel. Disk bases, which have a projecting edge and are smoothed and finished on the under side, require that the vessel, after removal from the wheel, be reversed and reseated on the wheel for the necessary manipulation. The operation is sometimes extended to the lower part of the side, which is scraped and acquires a degree of flatness like the side of a cone. Such treatment may be seen in some of the smaller cups with truncated bases such as L. ii. 293 (Pl. XV) and F. i. 265 (Pl. XVI), and in some of the bowls and jars.

Rims of vessels are almost all simple, that is, unmoulded. Of the few exceptions are the large bowl B. ii. 201 ( Pl. XII I ), which has an outward turned keel-shaped rim, and the tazza L. i. 279 (Pl. XV), with a slightly rolled rim. A pleasing treatment is seen in B. 127 (Pl. XVII) and 246 (Pl. XV), where the upward swelling curve of the wall is checked as though by a cincture, and then continues, leaning outwards, sometimes in a graceful curve as in D. 246.

The only raised ornament occurs in connexion with the leaf garland, as on the bowl B. ii. 201 (Pl. XIII), where the undulating midrib is slightly raised.

  1.  With grey ware is included that which has a buff and brownish tendency, but is of finer texture in the fracture than the red, and is frequently much harder than either the true grey or the red. The true grey, which seems to be almost exclusively confined to bowls, varies from chalky slate to dark grey and is usually not very hard. Like the buff and brownish varieties, the grey is generally dressed with a very light grey wash or slip which does not adhere very well to the body. Most of the grey bowls have been scraped or pared on the outside before firing, and several have a fine comb-like ripple such as is seen on the large bowl L. i. 291, on L. ii. 295 (Pl. XV), and c. 232 (Pl. XII), and found on pottery from Sistân, Anau, and elsewhere. The ripple is caused by the vibration of the scraper held against the pot while revolving on the wheel during the