Ancient Nubia: A-Group Pottery

A-Group Pottery Display Case

A-Group Nubians produced finely-made pottery

These pots are very early examples of the fine, hand-made pottery that remains a tradition throughout Nubian history. Many designs mimic the weave of baskets or the shapes of gourds. Decorating or finishing a pot often required considerable effort. The potter might coat a surface with ochre, or paint, incise, or puncture designs, then carefully burnish the pot by smoothing it with a pebble before it was fired. When set mouth downward in the firing pit, the rim and interior of the pot was darkened. Sometimes the entire vessel was blackened by stirring it in the hot ash.

Nubian pottery traditions continue into modern times

Incised designs and dark burnished finishes are features of Nubian hand-made pottery even today? In modern times, this pottery is produced by women, suggesting that these A-Group pots, too, may have been made by women, either for household use or as an extension of women’s domestic crafts.