Pieces of a Susiana Black-on-Buff ware bowl. 5th millennium BC. Tepe Farukhabad, Iran. Near Eastern Archaeology, UMMA Expedition. UMMAA 60664.

In excavations at Tepe Farukhabad on the Deh Luran Plain of southwestern Iran, curator Henry Wright exposed a small town settlement with a long occupational sequence. The ceramic pieces shown here come from a decorated bowl dating to the site’s earliest occupation, in the 5th millennium BC. The diamond motif on this and other bowls is also found on ceramic serving vessels from the nearby Susiana Plain. These early ceramics, decorated and finely made, contrast with the undecorated mass-produced ceramics of the subsequent Uruk period. Changes in the organization of ceramic production, consumption practices, and the media used to express status likely all contributed to the disappearance of decorated ceramics in sites associated with Uruk period states.

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In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.