Saturday, February 6, 2010

Pottery Shards from 7,000 Miles Apart

These ancient pottery shards are from 400 to 4,000 years old. They come from sites which are 7,000 miles apart; New Mexico to the lands of the Old Testament of the Bible in Israel. I have been picking up pottery for almost 50 years.

This small pottery vase (3 1/2" x 2 1/4" x 1 3/4") was found on the shore of the Bay of Nicomedia, Bithynia (now Turkey). A friend of mine found it and I paid him a few dollars for it in 1961. So I have had it for almost 48 years. During the reign of Roman Emperor Diocletian, over 20,000 Christians died as a result of their persecution. Diocletian detested Rome and made Nicomedia, east of Constantinople, his capital. In 1961, the Air Force sent me to Karamursel, which is about half way between Constantinople and Nicomedia across the narrow bay.

It is remarkable to me how the Native American pottery of American is almost identical to the pottery of Asia Minor and Asia. The color and material varies slightly, but it is often difficult to tell the difference between the shards of pottery from opposite sides of the world.

It is February 6, 2010 and it is snowing. I am sorting through the ancient pottery that I have. Some I have had since the 1960s and some I purchased. I have two pots which are almost 50% complete from the Roanoke River below Smith Mountain and below Buggs Island Lake near where the Roanoke River enters North Carolina. The pot below at right was 22 pieces which I put together like a puzzle.

Pottery shards and photographs from our November 2009 trip to Israel.

We were in Asia Minor in 1993. This pottery is from the Roman city of Aphrodisias.

Pottery from Pergamon, one of the seven cities of Asia in Revelations. The ancient library here was the largest outside of Alexandria in Egypt.

Ephesus is another of the seven cities. Ancient Roman ruins are well preserved and pottery shards are scattered all over the ground.

This is the King's Seat at Tel Dan. Here next to the gate to the ancient city, the King sat with the elders of the city on a rock bench to the right. Some of the Tel Dan pottery was found at this gate. Below is a photograph of a pottery shard on the ground here before I picked it up.

Israelite rock wall near the Tel Dan gate to the the old city.

Ancient pottery shards from Megiddo. One is a part of a handle for a large clay vessel. Megiddo was last destroyed at the same time as the Temple in Jerusalem (Circa 586 B.C.). All these shards would predate that event. The city was abandoned and knowledge of its location was lost for centuries.

Pottery shards from Tel Dan in northern Israel. It was here that Abraham rescued his nephew Lot from capture in the 18th century B.C.

Here is gravel in the courtyard outside the gate to the ancient city of Dan. The pottery shard shown here "in situ" (Latin for "in the place") in the center is also shown mounted above.