Pictorial Style bowl (krater)

Mycenaean Greek, about 1400-1300 BC
From Ialysos (modern Triánda), Rhodes, Aegean Sea

A fine octopus

During the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BC fine Mycenaean vessels were in demand in the whole of the eastern Mediterranean. Their appeal no doubt lay in the fact that they were generally skilfully made, of good quality clay, and enterprisingly painted. Some naturally accompanied Mycenaean occupation of various areas, others were spread by trade.

This krater comes from a cemetery of Mycenaean chamber-tombs on the island of Rhodes, and was therefore presumably buried with a Mycenaean resident of the island. It is decorated on both sides by a large, goggle-eyed octopus with extravagantly waving tentacles. Decoration based on marine motifs was popular in Minoan Crete, and enthusiastically adopted by the Mycenaeans of the Greek mainland. Such sea-creatures were no doubt as familiar to the ancient inhabitants of the Greek islands as they are to their modern counterparts today.

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Height: 41.000 cm

Museum number

GR 1959.11-4.1


Excavated by Sir Auguste Salzmann and Alfred Biliotti


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