Ancient Egypt is a place of wild beauty and great fascination to many people today. Once, a hotbed of intrigue, commerce, and industry there is much about Egypt that remains dark and mysterious even in the modern world in which we currently live. One thing is certain however, the ancient Egyptians were artisans in their own right and one type of art in which they excelled was pottery. The pottery of ancient Egypt is often imitated today for many reasons.
Scholars have come to some sort of consensus of belief that the ancient Egyptians may have been the first to use enamel in pottery-a practice that adds great beauty and value to the pottery pieces, making them a true work of art. The amazing thing is that this is something that was introduced, we believe, nearly four thousand years ago and is still valued in today’s modern society.
To illustrate just how important pottery was to the ancient Egyptians there are actually pieces of pottery that are included in the ancient hieroglyphics that depicted acts of day to day living in this ancient civilization. Pottery was included in more than a few of these glimpses into history establishing its importance and the commonality of its use.
Pottery in ancient Egypt was almost always made for use rather than made for decoration. Even the smaller pieces were meant to hold perfumes with the larger pieces of pottery holding grains, water, wine, and even meat for later use or consumption. The pottery of ancient Egypt could also be found in many sizes to accommodate the different needs the pottery filled. It was common to find various pieces ranging in sizes from inches tall to three or four feet in height. Pottery was as common to the Egyptians of old as appliances are today and it did serve to make life go much more smoothly for the people who used it.
In ancient Egypt pottery was also used for some of the most sacred rites of burial. Pottery pieces were used to hold certain organs after they were removed from the body during the embalming process to prepare the body for burial. Each of the following: heart and lungs, liver, small intestines, and the stomach were placed in four separate containers made of pottery and buried along with the body. It should be noted that the Egyptians are not the only civilization to use pottery in relation to the dead. The ancient Greeks also stored the ashes of their dead in ceramic containers.