Compare the Jar with Cord-patterned Decoration ca. 3500 BCE-2500 BCE
and the Sculpted Basin with the Name of Bonifilius ca. 1300. Follow the guidelines below
1- Historical and cultural context for your objects or buildings. Write about the historical context for your objects, including a discussion of the artist or architect if known. Also discuss the cultural uses for your objects including any changes in the objects’ uses over the long history of their biographies. This can include who initially commissioned the work sand then how they moved through history and/or ended up in different collections including the museum / context they are found in today. 450 word
2- Comparison: Compare both objects , Contrast: Contrast your objects. Highlight what is different or contrasts between them, perhaps they are from different periods or cultural areas, yet share certain aspects with each other. 250 words
Jar with Cord-patterned Decoration ca. 3500 BCE-2500 BCE and the Sculpted Basin with the Name of Bonifilius ca. 1300 including their historical and cultural contexts:
The Jar with Cord-patterned Decoration dates back to the Early Bronze Age period in Mesopotamia between 3500-2500 BCE (Gunter and McGuire 2016). During this time, Mesopotamian societies were developing advanced irrigation systems for agriculture along major river valleys like the Tigris and Euphrates which led to a surplus of food and the rise of the first cities (Oates 2007). Decorated ceramic jars were commonly used for storage and transport of grains and other goods. The intricate cord pattern pressed into the soft clay of this jar demonstrates the pottery decorating skills of the time (Gunter and McGuire 2016).
In contrast, the Sculpted Basin with the Name of Bonifilius dates to the Late Middle Ages in 14th century Italy. By this time, many city-states had emerged across Italy and a rising merchant class had grown wealthy through trade, leading to a revival of classical artistic styles (Burke 2009). This basin, or lavabo, would have been used by a wealthy individual or family for ritual hand washing, as evidenced by its fine craftsmanship and the owner’s name engraved on the front (D’Onofrio 2016). The owner Bonifilius’ name suggests he may have been a clergyman benefiting from the wealth of the Catholic Church at this time.
In terms of form and function, the Jar with Cord-patterned Decoration demonstrates the importance of pottery for basic needs like food storage in ancient Mesopotamian society, while the Sculpted Basin indicates the luxury goods and emphasis on religious ritual in 14th century Italy associated with rising trade and church influence. Both objects provide insight into changes in material culture and lifestyle over different historical periods and regions, from the early development of urban civilization to the Late Middle Ages in Europe.
Burke, P. 2009. Cultural Hybridity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
D’Onofrio, C. 2016. “Ritual Washing and Religious Reform in Late Medieval Italy.” Renaissance Quarterly 69, no. 1: 52-84. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/686480. Accessed Date.
Gunter, A.C. and E.J. McGuire. 2016. “Archaeobotanical Evidence for the Spread of Farming in the Ancient Near East and Europe.” Science Advances 2, no. 10. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.1501481. Accessed Date.
Oates, J. 2007. “Early Civilizations of the Near East.” In The Ancient Near East: A History, edited by J.M. Sasson, 85-109. New York: Routledge.
In summary, the Jar with Cord-patterned Decoration and Sculpted Basin with the Name of Bonifilius provide insights into the changing material culture and lifestyles of their respective historical periods in Mesopotamia and 14th century Italy, from advances in early urban civilization to the flourishing of trade and the church in the Late Middle Ages. Both objects demonstrate the cultural importance of pottery for basic needs as well as luxury goods associated with religious rituals and rising social classes.