Lekythion

  • Collection Number Ζ0600a
  • Date Cypro-Archaic I
    750 b.C. - 600 b.C.
  • Description Small lekythoi were used mainly as containers for perfumed oils. They are found both on domestic contexts and in shrines, where they were deposited as offerings. The illustrated example is decorated with images of fish and dates to the very beginning of the Cypro-Archaic period. It belongs to "Bichrome ware", a pottery style characterised by painted decoration on bright black and red colours upon a white slip. Figured representation are rare in Cypriot pottery of the Geometric, Archaic and Classical periods. As a rule, vases were decorated with plain linear motifs. The few example which bear figured scenes depict animals, birds and fish, but it is not clear whether these representations carried any symbolic meaning or were simply decorative. As for the fish - the decoration of this vase - we know that in Near Eastern religion it was associated with the goddess Astarte as a symbol of life and its source, the water of life. It is possible that similar associations were made in Cyprus - where Astarte was worshiped, too, in that period.
  • Culture Cypriot
  • Period Archaic period
  • Material clay
  • Dimensions H: 10.5 cm / D: 7 cm
  • Exhbition Gallery 3rd floor / Cypriot Art
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