A delicate Nabataean cup, featuring a large oval-shaped body and small inverted rim. The base is flattened and a small handle is attached to the body. Ridged linear decoration crosses the body. This small vessel has very fine walls, categorising it as fine ware.
The Nabataean tribes first encroached upon Jordan and the surrounding area sometime in the 6th century BC. Thought of originally as a nomadic people they settled in the area, existing as an autonomous kingdom until the 2nd century AD, when they were finally defeated by the Romans. Nabataean pottery can roughly be grouped into two large categories; Fine ware and course ware. These two groups were then split into subcategories, including the fine ware bowls with painted decoration that exemplify the style. Fine ware Nabataean pottery, made exclusively in and around Petra, is categorised by its very thin walls (known as egg-shell pottery), its deep red colouring and painted floral patterns. Course ware remained thicker in its measurements and undecorated.
Date: Circa 1st-2nd century AD