Egyptian faience (also known as Egyptian paste) is the oldest known type of glazed ceramic. The Egyptian word for faience was tjehenet which means 'gleaming’ or 'shining’ and the faience was thought to reflect the light of immortality. So closely was faience associated with the Egyptian after-life that the tiles for the chamber walls of tombs were made of faience as was seen at King Djoser’s tomb at Saqqara
Djoser was the first king of the 3rd Dynasty at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. His Step Pyramid and the surrounding structures are the earliest preserved stone buildings in Egypt. Djoser’s Step Pyramid began as a traditional, flat-roofed mastaba, but by the end of his nineteen-year reign it had risen to over 204 feet. As in earlier mastaba tombs, a subterranean complex, a large maze of corridors and burial chamber were dug. Faience tiles mounted between sculpted limestone ledges decorated the walls of the galleries underneath Djoser's Step Pyramid. The decoration was meant to imitate the reed matting that covered the walls of his palace.
Egyptian faience is a non-clay based ceramic made by grinding quartz or sand crystals together with various amounts of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and copper oxide.
Simple glaze with copper pigments is applied to create a bright blue-green luster
Types of objects formed out of ancient faience include tile, amulets, beads, rings, scarabs, and even some bowls.It was used throughout Egypt and the Near East beginning about 3500 BC. Forms of faience are found throughout the Bronze Age Mediterranean, and faience objects have been recovered from archaeological sites of the Indus, Mesopotamian, Minoan, and Egyptian civilizations.