This two-tone earthenware
beaker is close on 6,000 years old. It was made in the Badarian era (ca. 4000-3400
B.C.) and was shaped by hand. The potters wheel had yet to be invented.
The pot was fired upside down in an open fire, and its interior, as well as
the rims exterior buried in the hot ashes, were denied oxygen and so
turned black. The outside base and sides, which were exposed to the air, burned
red. The knowledge that color could be deliberately controlled in this way
would be exploited by Josiah Wedgwood some 5,750 years later when he made
his red rosso antico and black basaltes wares.
1. Beaker, earthenware. Egypt, ca. 40003400 B.C.