Public Defence of Ph.D Research Scholars at College of Home Economics

Ms. Zile Huma Mujeeb, a Ph.D. Research Scholar at the College of Home Economics, University of Peshawar has  submitted her thesis entitled "Ancient Ceramic Motifs, Their Modification and Re-application: A Study of the Decorative Designs on Pottery of Gandi Umar Khan"  to the University of Peshawar, in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of degree of  Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D) in the discipline of Home Economics.

The oral examination (Public Defence) is scheduled to be held on 13th July, 2015 at 10:00 a.m in the Video Conference Hall, University of Peshawar.

All those having interest in the said research work, are cordially invited to attend the occasion. The participants would be allowed to raise relevant questions after the presentation by the scholar for further judgment and evaluation of the examiners.


The research is conducted on the designs of ceramics from the archaeological site of Gandi Umar Khan, located inDera Ismail Khan, Pakistan. It is a Bronze Age site tentatively dated from 3300 to 1900 BC. Research has been conducted on the pottery of the Gomal Plain region but the present one is specifically focused on the modification of motifs and color schemes of the pottery of Gandi Umar Khan, which in this regard is entirely different. More than 800 designs complete or incomplete, found on the pottery has been categorized according to their motifs that fall in six categories including geometric, floral, faunal, anthropomorphic, miscellaneous, structural and plain. The main categories are further sub-divided into sub categories for detailed analysis. The geometrical motifs are either simple or complex. The former includes vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, circular, loop, dot and wavy pattern whereas the latter has mixed, intersecting circles, net, triangle, chevron and step patterns.

The floral design is having simple floral, hatched floral and leave patterns. Likewise, the faunal motifs include bird, goat, fish scale and horn of animals. In the anthropomorphic designs, a human face and eye motif in few are found. The category of miscellaneous designs includes heart, radiating sun and basket weave motifs. Next important category of designs is based on structural motifs, basically made during the process when the vessels were still wet.Thesedesigns are grouped as grooved, impressed, perforated, roughened, undulating, slurry and textured.

The traditional style of pottery designing is very impressive in its concept but a free hand arrangement of lines and shapes effect the beauty as a whole. The concept of old motifs with a new style of construction is helpful in overcoming the gap. The pottery designs of Gandi Umar Khan are mostly stereotyped and weak in their structure and colors. Therefore, the present research is focusing on design structure and suggesting innovative color schemes.

The designs were modified to improve the quality of work in short available time and according to the new standards and for the sake of better technological methods such as the use of computer software, frequently used for designing. These new designs are further applied on different decorative vases and pots.

Modification of designs on ancient pottery is very helpful for future work in the field of domestic pottery. It enables the potters to improve their quality of work. In Pakistan, pottery at domestic level is still very weak from designing and coloring point of view. But the workmanship and skills of these potters are very good. The present research can definitely help the traditional potters for improving their quality of work with new techniques and in developing innovative designs and color schemes in less time.