Many are the uses of ceramic as we all know. Here is one we probably were blissfully unaware of that has been displayed, on and off but always upside down, in the British Museum for many years as a ‘vase’. Imagine the below image turned around and you can understand how that came about…
So, what actually is it? It is a mace-head.
A mace is a heavy club of something (latterly metal and often spiked) that was used as a weapon of death. First, the enemy would be immobilised by a thrown mesh net and then executed with a mace. This one is fired clay. Once the inscribed cuneiform was translated it became evident this was made for King Gishakidu of Umma – an ancient city-state in Sumeria (Mesopotamia – what is now the ‘middle east’ ). It dates from the Early Dynastic period, c.2400BC.
Who would know? Ceramic’s uses are manifold!