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Bahrain - Bahrain's Traditional Craft - Jaffer AlShoughel Pottery

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The pottery industry is one of the industries that Bahrain has been famous for since old times and whose outspread since thousands of years has been substantiated by archeological research. Bahrain's potters believe that the craft originated in the country, during the time it was known as Dilmun. True or not, what is certainly beyond question is that people from the Dilmun era - which dates back to 2300 BC - loved beautiful pottery.


In 1996, archaeologists recovered from a necropolis at Riffa a jar with rounded shoulders topped by a broad neck, whose shape places it among the masterpieces of early Middle Eastern pottery. A couple of years earlier, an archaeological dig recovered a gorgeous ovoid jar in red clay painted with black bands to simulate horizontal grooves. And a tall ribbed jar from around 2000 BC reveals a sense for style with speckled shell fragments shooting through the brownish red clay. Many more impressive pieces have been recovered from the thousands of Dilmun era burial mounds, revealing the love residents of the time had for pottery.


Amazingly enough, this craft is still being practiced in almost exactly the same way it used to be, with little or no resort to modern devices. The skills have been passed down, generation by generation, and although the number of craftsmen has declined, the potters still in the trade have remained true to their tradition. The potters still use the old fashioned wheel, operated by foot, and the finished pieces are often baked in kilns built into nearby burial mounds.


Camera Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, , Photo Focal length: 200.00 mm, Aperture: 4.0, Exposure time: 1/125 s, ISO: 1000


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Taken on May 29, 2009