Egyptian Pottery

Egyptian pottery includes all objects of fired clay from Ancient Egypt. First and foremost, ceramics served as household wares for the storage, preparation, transport, and consumption of food, drink, and raw materials. Such items include beer and wine mugs and water jugs, but also bread molds, fire pits, lamps, and stands for holding round vessels, which were all commonly used in the Egyptian household. Other types of pottery served ritual purposes. Ceramics are often found as grave goods.


Egyptian faience is frequently discussed in surveys of ancient pottery, as in stylistic and art-historical terms, objects made of it are closer to pottery styles than Egyptian glass.

William the Faience Hippopotamus, c. 1961–1878 BC. Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Egyptian faience was very widely used for small objects, from beads to small statues, and is found in both elite and popular contexts. It was the most common material for scarabs and other forms of amulet and ushabti figures, and it was used in most forms of Egyptian jewellery, as the glaze made it smooth against the skin.


Egyptian potters employed a broad range of decorative techniques and motifs, many of which are characteristic of specific periods.

Goblet ornated with uraeuses, c. 653–640 BC. Louvre. (c) Rama

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