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 Museum Explorer

Birds and beasts in Ancient Greece

Jar with an octopus

Height: 18.000 inches

GR 1896.2-1.265 (Vases C 501)

Jar with an octopus

From: Kourion, Cyprus (Minoan)
Date: about 1300-1200 BC

The ancient Greeks were mainly farmers, but some would also try to fish for extra food from the sea, although they had to be careful along the rocky coasts.

The Mediterranean Sea was full of a variety of sea-creatures like this octopus. The artist has painted him with goggle eyes and long waving tentacles. Octopuses and many other sea creatures still live in the Mediterranean today. The pot was made on the island of Crete which did a lot of trade by sea.