A. Fusaro, V. Allegranzi, “A Treasure of Lustrewares from Ghazni”

Posted on 2023-08-15

August 2023

Fusaro, Agnese and Viola Allegranzi, “A Treasure of Lustrewares from Ghazni (Afghanistan, Mid-12th–Early 13th Century)”. Annali dell'Università degli studi di Napoli “L’Orientale”. Sezione Orientale 83/1-2 (2023): 61–98. 

Agnese Fusaro and Viola Allegranzi combined their expertise on Islamic ceramics and Arabic and Persian epigraphy to produce the first in-depth study on the exceptional treasure of lustre-painted vessels retrieved during the first Italian excavation campaign in Ghazni. In addition, comparative research on the lot of lustrewares led Agnese Fusaro to ascertaining that two specimens, previously exhibited at the Rawza Museum (1978) and considered lost, are currently kept in a public and private collection respectively.


In 1957, eight intact and well-preserved lustre-painted ceramics were found in a cache during the excavation of a private residence at Ghazni by the Italian Archaeological Mission in Afghanistan. The lustre-painted stonepaste specimens were retrieved from a sealed archaeological context. They were certainly imported from Iran between the mid-12th and the early 13th century and therefore constitute an exceptional example of a collection of lustrewares assembled shortly after their production date. However, the vessels remain understudied and got lost during the second half of the 20th century, as it happened to many other finds from the same site. For the first time, the present paper offers a thorough analysis of this lot, its stylistic and epigraphic features, based on the graphic and photographic documentation dating from the time of the excavation and on extensive comparisons with specimens kept in international collections.