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Rhyton in the shape of a bull's head


Height: 6.000 inches

Gift of W.R. Paton

GR 1887.5-1.6 (Vases A 971)

Room 12b: Greece: Mycenaeans

    Rhyton in the shape of a bull's head

    Mycenean, about 1300-1200 BC
    From the island of Kárpathos, Aegean Sea

    A ritual pouring vessel

    This clay vessel would have been used for the sprinkling or pouring of liquids as part of a religious ritual. It is hollow, with an opening at the back and a hole in the muzzle.

    Ritual sprinklers or libation (liquid offering) vessels were frequently made in the shape of animals heads with small holes in the mouth to allow the liquid to escape. The bull's head is the most popular form. Bull-head rhyta are also known in other materials, most famously the one carved from serpentine from the Little Palace at Knossos and the example in silver from Shaft Grave IV at Mycenae, both of which had gilded horns.


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    On display: Room 12b: Greece: Mycenaeans

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    History of Greek painted pottery, £12.99

    History of Greek painted pottery, £12.99