Diameter: 9.700 cm
Height: 3.800 cm
Weight: 835.000 g
GR 1892.5-20.1 (Jewellery 768)
Room 12a: Greece Minoans
Gold cup from the Aigina treasure
Minoan, about 1850-1550 BC
From Aigina, off the south-east coast of Greece, Aegean Sea
The gold cup is decorated with four running spirals, a very popular pattern with Minoan artists. The decoration is in relief on the interior of the cup, the metal being pushed in from the outside. The cup originally had a single handle, for which the rivet holes remain.
Vessels in gold and silver rarely survive from Minoan Crete. However, there are pottery vessels that survive which seem to copy metal examples in form, suggesting that they existed in some numbers in palaces and the houses of the rich.
When vessels made of precious metals are found, it is usually in graves. The same is true of jewellery, and for this reason it seems likely that the Aigina treasure originates from a burial or a number of burials.
R. Higgins, The Aegina Treasure: an archae (London, 1979)
R. Higgins, 'The Aigina treasure reconsidered', Annual of the British School-1, 52 (1957), pp. 42-57