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.