POTTERY FRAGMENTS FROM SOUTHERN PERSIA AND THE
By R. L. HOBSON,
Keeper of Ceramics, British Museum
AMONG the ceramic fragments found on the various sites visited in Makran and Kerman were many well-known types of Near-Eastern Islamic pottery. Some of it is difficult
to date as it has been manufactured with little change over a long period and in all parts of Persia, e.g. the red or reddish-buff pottery with a thick silicious glaze varying from leaf-green through dark bottle-green to blue, a type which was current in Sasanian times and has continued almost indefinitely.
Much of it, on the other hand, can be compared with the material found on such key-sites' as Samarra in Mesopotamia and Brahminâbâd in Sind, and can consequently be assigned to a particular period ( viz. the ninth and tenth centuries ) ; and there is a residue of the familiar wares of Persia which were current from the twelfth to the seventeenth century.
On the whole, medieval wares predominate; but the finds are rarely consistent, and prehistoric and relatively modern pottery often appear cheek by jowl with the medieval types.
Much interest attaches to the evidence of local manufacture which emerged in several places, the most important being Tiz and Shahr-i-Dagiantls. Tiz, situated in a large bay on the sea-coast, may even have had an export trade in pottery. It appears, at any rate, to have had an import trade, for the fragments of Chinese porcelain and stoneware found in the neighbourhood must have arrived by sea.
Leaving aside the prehistoric pottery which is discussed elsewhere, the group of sites visited in Makran on the journey from Gwadur to Tiz yielded the following varieties of pottery.
Besides the ubiquitous and indeterminate red ware with green or blue glaze, there were Samarra and Brahminâbâd types which include:
Wares with splashed, or mottled, green and yellow glazes in the style of Chinese Tang pottery.
Graffito wares with red body, a slip dressing and incised designs under a lead glaze coloured green or yellow or splashed with yellow or manganese.
Similar ware decorated with painted designs in slips, the spaces frequently filled with dots, as on the pottery found at Brahminâbâd.
Red ware with slip wash and bold brush painting in manganese under a lead
1 A short explanation of the importance of these sites is given in the B.M. Guide to the Islamic Pottery of the Near East, pp. 2-10.