Pot Discovery 23

"Ebrahim uncovered a large storage jar on his side of the balk, set at the same level as mine, in the angle of a landing at the top of a little staircase. And what ajar! It was the only one of its size and shape found on the dig and it was decorated with the typically Quetta-ware “stepped” motif of the merlons over the colonnade, painted in diamond shapes, one inside the other, in black, white and a bright yellow that rubbed off as soon as it was touched. Only the rim was missing and even that was discovered later, fallen inside the jar. The only other fragment bearing this yellow paint had been a tiny scrap of sherd; here, it always seems to happen on digs, some of the most significant finds had been made within the last few days [near the end of the season], making it that much more disappointing when the time came to stop work." (Matheson, Time off to Dig, London, 1961, pp. 143-44)

1. Matheson Caption: Using a paintbrush our Afghan colleague, Ebrahim, carefully removes the 5,000 years accumulation of sand which had hidden the black, bright yellow and white "stepped" diamond motif decoration of this unique vessel. Inside it were found the broken fragments of the rim, which enabled the jar later to be reconstructed" (facing p. 64).
2. Ceramic from Period IV, 2 [c. 2750-2500 BCE], from Casal, Fouilles de Mundigak, 1961.