• Site: Zemun, Šljunkara
  • Period: Prehistory, Early Iron Age
  • Date: 9th-8th centuries BC
  • Material: baked clay
  • Dimensions: h: 33 cm
  • Inventory number: AP 9129

Unlike the late Bronze Age that preceded it, and the fully developed Iron Age that followed, the early Iron Age is characterized by pottery forms which are completely subordinated to the function of the vessels. This fact is admirably illustrated by this firepot used for the preparation of food. It has a grill between the lower part, in which fire was made, and the conical stand for the vessel in which the food was cooked. It is simple, void of all decorative details and strictly functional. Vessels of the stove-pot type are characteristic products of several Bronze Age and early Iron Age cultures in the Carpathian-Danubian region. They were usually found in dwellings, near the hearth, which indicates that they were used for the warming of food. The fact that they are easily portable may indicate, however, that they also had a broader use. It seems that the basic idea when they were first made was to ensure that members of the community, when absent from home (shepherds tending flocks on distant pastures, travelling traders), had always with them a part of their home ambience – the hearth. One can only surmise what feelings did the warmth of the fire and the pleasant odour of the food being cooked in a familiar vessel inspire in a man during the nights and days spent far from his home.

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