Jordanian Artifact Analysis


Pottery in Jordan

For my artifact analysis I chose to examine the image of a Jordanian woman crafting ceramics. The patterns displayed on the quickly caught my attention with both the repetitive patterns and a potential religious influence- I wanted to learn more. Also curious was the woman in the image, I wondered if the entire process of ceramics was dominated by one gender, or if the craft was shared. Life in Jordan and its ancient culture, hold an influence on these ceramic works; extending their significance beyond simple pottery.


Of the Jordanian ceramics that I was able to observe in addition to the supplied image, most of the designs decorating the pieces were not only repetitive in pattern, but often contained plants, natural life, and text. The same style of pattern is present on the woman’s headscarf, other Jordanian clothing. When observing Jordanian art and expression, even from the diaspora communities, these patterns again make themselves known. Tiles used to decorate walls and floor also contain natural or organic representations, portrayed with ornate and geometric patterns to carry consistency. I found that the structure held in their art and expression, while beautiful, was consistent religious aspects and structure that form Jordanian culture and identity.

Seeing a strong religious influence throughout Jordanian culture, it is difficult not to assume that whatever is inscribed on the ceramic pieces is of religious origin. While I cannot read what any of the pieces say, I can gather that the writings hold either historic significance or relay a positive message. Looking deeper the pottery in the image is nearly identical to Palestinian. Though, it should be considered that most pottery of Middle Eastern origin remains traditional and consistent in form throughout history. The strong similarities, specifically in the tiles and their use, drew me to conclude that the woman in the image was a Jordanian-Palestinian.

Ceramics in Jordan may long hold an image to tourist as souvenirs and neat relics. Though after examining the image supplied for this analysis, in conjunction with our class discussions, I was able to deduce that Jordanian ceramics hold a much deeper significance. The daily and almost ritualistic practices and use of ceramics is amazing to imagine in Jordanian culture. These pieces can play a large role in a dining experience that is shared with others- hospitality is over abundant in Jordan. The beautiful painting and designs that cover the ceramic works was fun examine, and create parallels to multiple aspects of their culture. It is clear that ceramics and the function they bring to Jordanians exists because they hold an innate connection to daily life, and work to reflect the not so forgotten past of life in the Jordanian region.




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