Height: 10.000 cm
GR 1868.9-5.18 (Vases C 117)
Room 72: Ancient Cyprus
Double juglet of Base Ring ware
From Cyprus, perhaps from the town of Idalion (modern
About 1650-1450 BC
Probably a container for opium
Base Ring ware takes its name from the ring-shaped bases applied to nearly all the vessels of this group. It was one of the dominant pottery fabrics of the earlier phases of the Late Bronze Age (about 1650-1400 BC). The vessels are handmade, have unusually thin walls, and are normally covered by a highly polished brown slip (specially prepared clay solution used for coating vessels). Other shapes, besides juglets like this, include jugs with tall necks and flaring mouths and bowls with wishbone handles. Some are decorated with relief bands or white lines.
When inverted, these juglets look like opium poppies, which may have inspired their shape. The surviving contents of some of these vessels have been analysed and shown to be opium, confirming the theory that the juglets were indeed containers for this drug. The juglets were widely exported, notably to Egypt, Syria and Palestine, suggesting that opium was one of the island's exports at this time, the first phases of the Late Bronze Age.
V. Tatton-Brown, Ancient Cyprus, 2nd ed. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)