Sketch of the Week: Face Pots

When I was studying abroad in London in 2007 (has it been 10 years already?), one of my favorite places to visit was the Museum of London. Spanning from prehistory to the present, this museum is all about the wild and wonderful history of London. I always liked bringing my sketchbook along to draw different artifacts there, including these:

Created between the first and second century CE, these pots date from the Roman occupation of Britain, and were recovered from the Walbrook stream. They have primarily been excavated around cemetery sites, suggesting that these might have contained votive offerings. Scholars debate what the faces actually represent, whether they're supposed to represent humans, gods, or even theater masks, but I love these abstract visages. They remind me of vernacular traditions around the world, from 20th-century face pottery traditions of the American South to current projects being worked on by various students at the Museum.