Black-figured amphora decorated with a winged Nike

From tomb 78, at Amathus, Cyprus
Made in Athens, about 540-520 BC

Made specifically for the Cypriot market

This pottery vessel is typically Cypriot in shape. What it held is not apparent: it could have been a container for a special liquid, for the storage of wine, or for honey, olive oil or water. Although Cypriot in shape, this example is certainly Greek and was made in Athens in the black-figure technique specifically for the Cypriot market. A few other such Greek vases in Cypriot shapes are known. They show how the Greeks employed some sophisticated marketing techniques.

In the seventh and earlier sixth century Cyprus' relations with the Greek world were strongest with the East Greek cities established on the west coast of Asia Minor (Turkey) and the neighbouring islands. But gradually, and by the time the island was included in the Persian Empire from 526/5 BC, Athens had won all the foreign markets for pottery. As a result, Greek pottery from Cyprus is mostly Attic after this date.

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More information

Bibliography

L.P. di Cesnola, Cyprus: its ancient cities, to (London, John Murray, 1877)

E. Gjerstad, 'Greek Geometric and Archaic pottery found in Cyprus', Acta Instituti Atheniensis Reg, 26 (1977)

Dimensions

Height: 25.500 cm

Museum number

GR 1894.11-1.161

GAA3160

Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations

Location

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