C.2. Questions:

Why are these pots so different and strange? As we have seen above, these vessels differ greatly in content and technique from their only likely ceramic source of inspiration, the ‘Abbasid blue on white wares. They also differ completely in aesthetic from the other popular type of Khurasani pottery of this period: the buff ware. Ceramics of this Samanid type made up the third largest group of glazed earthenware finds in the Metropolitan Museum’s excavations at Nishapur, after buff ware (largest group) and colour-splashed ware. The Samanid pieces found at Nishapur include kiln-wasters, showing that these wares were even produced locally, alongside the aesthetically opposite buff wares. The decoration on the Samanid wares found at Nishapur is sometimes slightly different from those found in other cities, though the overall aesthetic remains. So how can we explain the utter differences between two sets of ceramic types that were equally popular in the same place? This is where we should turn to Bulliet and consider his thesis on the pottery of Khurasan.


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