"Raqqa type" ceramics

Rare and precious ceramic fragments have been unearthed from inside the Palace of Baldu and its ruins, among them the "Raqqa type" ones (fig. 1), produced in the Middle East.

Fig. 1 - Luogosanto, Palace of Baldu: "Raqqa type" ceramic fragments (photo by F. Pinna).
Fig. 2 - Luogosanto, Palace of Baldu: "Raqqa type" ceramic fragments, inner surface (photo by F. Pinna).

Such fragments are characterised by their mixture and by the painted decoration under the glaze; they date back to the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries and are catalogued as "Raqqa type" ceramics: the name comes from the Syrian town where this typology was first discovered by archaeologists. The pieces found in the Palace of Baldu show a turquoise and transparent glazing which is placed over the floral paintings and inscriptions. Both open forms such as bowls, and closed, such as jars, have been documented (see figures 3-4): the fragments found in Luogosanto may belong to the latter.

Fig. 3 - Raqqa-type Syrian ceramic jar from the Ayyubid dynasty (fifteenth century), (from
Fig. 4 - Raqqa-type Syrian ceramic jar from the Abbasid dynasty (thirteenth century A.D.), (from

These artefacts indicate the intensification of relations between Sardinia and the Eastern, Byzantine and Islamic areas between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, through the privileged trade routes of Pisa and Genoa.


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