Decorated pottery vase

From Tomb 106 at Amathus, Cyprus
About 600-500 BC

A typical vase from the potters of Amathus

The potters of Amathus produced vases decorated in a particular style and in certain shapes, notably amphorae like this example, jugs with globular bodies and trefoil mouths, and jars. Many have been found in tombs, but in more recent years some fragments have been discovered in the Temple of Aphrodite on the acropolis. Favourite subjects include heads of the Egyptian goddess Hathor, who at least at Amathus, may have become identified with Aphrodite from 500 BC, sphinxes, and elaborate floral designs together with geometric motifs packed closely together. Amphorae found abroad suggest that, like Egyptian New Year pilgrim flasks, which often also show the head of Hathor, they may have been exported for their contents of a special liquid associated with the fertility cult of Aphrodite.

It was this form of amphora that was copied by the Athenian potter of a black-figured vessel found in Tomb 78 at Amathus, who doubtless had in mind the products of the potters of Amathus.

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More information

Bibliography

A. Hermary, 'Le style d'Amathonte' in Four thousand years of images (A.G. Leventis Foudnation, Brussels-Liège-Nicosia, 1997)

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

V. Karageorghis and J. des Gagniers, La céramique Chypriote de styl (Rome, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per gli studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici, 1974)

Dimensions

Height: 20.500 cm

Museum number

GR 1894.11-1.307 (Vases C 581)

GAA3159

Miss E.T. Turner Bequest excavations

Location

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