Model of a covered wagon


  • Title

    Model of a covered wagon

  • Associated place

    Hamman (find spot)
    Osheriyeh (place of purchase)
  • Date

    c. 2000 BC
  • Material and technique

    terracotta, hand-modelled and with incised decoration

  • Object type

  • Dimensions

    with wheels 15 cm (height)
    without wheels 13 cm (height)
    19 cm (length)
    across axle tubes 10 cm (width)
    over floor 8.5 cm (width)
  • No. of items


  • Credit line

    Purchased, 1913.

  • Museum location

  • Museum department


  • Accession no.


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  • Catalogue text

    Handmodelled; greenish-buff fabric; surface roughly smoothed with a blade for firing; some encrustation on the back. The U-shaped tilt is closed at the back and has low breastwork at the front, where there is a small projection pierced vertically with a hole through which string might be passed to pull the model. The inside is left roughly modelled and no fittings are indicated. A carelessly executed pattern of cross hatching is shallowly incised over the entire upper part of the tilt, except for the back which has been left plain. A narrow band of denser and more deeply incised cross-hatching, framed by horizontal incisions, runs around the lower part and rear of the wagon, probably representing the lower sides above which the tilt was stretched. The front breastwork is incised with three pairs of vertical lines. A single horizontally pierced lug at the front provides the only evidence for a system of draught. In order to accommodate the original wooden or metal axles (now restored in wood); tubular shafts were set beneath the front and rear edges of the rectangular floor. They extend slightly beyond the floor on either side. There are now four heavy wheels, over 2cm. thick (dia. c.6.8cm), and unlike the thinner disk wheels with hubs normally found on chariot or lighter wagon models; their appearance is different one from the other and from the body of the vehicle. Littauer and Crouwel (1974, 20); described them thus: "The wheels ... which are not original, but which have been added to the model in recent times to make it more intelligible".

    In: Moorey, P. R. S., Ancient Near Eastern Terracottas (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2005)

Further reading

Moorey, P. R. S., Ancient Near Eastern Terracottas (Oxford: Ashmolean Museum, 2005), 253, p.168, illus. p.168

Reference URL

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