Black-on-Red ware flask in the form of an ox

From Kourion (modern Episkopí), Cyprus
About 750-600 BC

A typical product of the western and northern areas of Cyprus

Black-on-Red ware was introduced to Cyprus from Phoenicia (modern Lebanon), but from the mid-ninth century BC the Cypriots made their own versions. As the name suggests, the designs are painted in black on a red ground. The shapes in the local repertoire included some of Phoenician origin such as deep bowls with linear decoration and flat-bottomed juglets, while others imitated those made in other local fabrics.

This flask may be described by the Greek name askos, meaning wineskin. Most Greek askoi are smaller and flatter and more suitable as dispensers of oil for lamps, but this example could have been a wine flask.

This vessel was made when the pottery styles show regional variations. It comes from Kourion in the west of the island and it was here and in the north that potters specialized in intricate shapes decorated with elaborate patterns of circles.

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More information


V. Tatton-Brown, Ancient Cyprus, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)


Height: 19.000 cm

Museum number

GR 1896.2-1.195 (Vases C 904)


Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations


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