The Pitcher on display here is dated to the Iron Age IIa (8th Century BC).
This is the period also known as the First Temple period: this period was one of the most significant periods of the people of Israel in ancient times. It was the period that began with the construction of the First Temple around the year 1000 BC by King Solomon, son of David, as a commandment of God.
Not long after, the kingdom split into two separate kingdoms: the kingdom of Judah in the south (its capital Jerusalem) and the kingdom of Samaria in the north (its capital Samaria- “Shomron” in Hebrew). During this period the great prophets of Israel and Judah acted, among them the prophet Elijah, Isaiah and Jeremiah.
The material culture of the First Temple period was quite diverse and can be divided into two types: one southern characteristic of the Kingdom of Judah and two northern characteristics of the Kingdom of Israel. The pitcher displayed belongs to the second group of pottery vessels that were used in the Northern Kingdom of Israel. The eighth century BC, to which the vessel dates, was a turbulent period in the northern kingdom, when the Assyrian Empire conquered it. The great cities of the kingdom of Israel (like Megiddo and Hatzor) had to deal with the new reality of the Assyrian conquest.
and the priest shall take holy water in an earthenware vessel; and he shall take some of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle and put it into the water.
The pitcher on display has been prepared quite meticulously by wheels, and consists of a rounded body and a flaring neck. It also has a curved rim and a rounded handle that descends from it to the body of the vessel. An important and prominent feature of the vessel is its red cladding, which gave it prestige look.
A vessel identical to this vessel was found in the Megiddo excavations (Stratum 4a), which dated to the eighth century BC, before the Assyrian conquest. It is possible that the morphology of this vessel has an influence from the Phoenician (northern) region, which is consistent with its invention in the ceramic assemblages of the northern kingdom of Israel.
This excellently preserved pitcher is a beautiful testimony to the wealth of the Kingdom of Israel during the First Temple period. It is an everyday clay vessel designed to store water, and was used by the people of Israel in the First Temple Period.