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bowl

Pottery: drabware dish; one pierced lug-handle on rim; incised Cypriote characters on underside.

AN335806001001

© The Trustees of the British Museum

  • Full: FrontFull: Front
  • Detail: InscriptionDetail: Inscription
  • Detail: OtherDetail: Other

Department: Greek & Roman Antiquities

Registration number: 1899,1229.27

Bibliographic reference
Kiely 2011d A14.3
Ferrara 2013 no. 231, pp. 119-120 and pls XLVII-XLVIII

Location:
G72/dc2

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Object types
bowl (all objects)

Materials
pottery (scope note | all objects)
Ware
Plain White Wheel-made Ware (scope note | all objects)
Techniques
wheel-made (scope note | all objects)
incised (scope note | all objects)
Production place
Made in Cyprus (all objects)
(Europe,Cyprus)
Place (findspot)
Excavated/Findspot Klavdia, tomb A14 (?) (possibly) (all objects)
(Europe,Cyprus,Larnaka (district),Klavdia)
Excavated/Findspot Kouklia, tomb (?) (all objects)
(Europe,Cyprus,Paphos (district),Kouklia)
Date
1650BC-1200BC
Period/Culture
Late Cypriot (LCI-II (- IIIA)) (scope note | all objects)


Description
Pottery bowl in Plain White Wheel-made ware; wheel-made; wide hemispherical body on a low disc base; plain rim; single pool-like lug-handle on rim, pierced longitudinally; two Cypro-Minoan characters on the underside of the base, incised after firing; made of gritty buff-orange clay with a buff-cream slip; several portions of the upper body and rim are missing, while the rim is chipped and worn throughout; slip missing in places.

Inscriptions
Inscription Type: inscription
Inscription Script: Cypro-Minoan
Inscription Position: base
Inscription Language: Cypro-Minoan
Inscription Comment: According to Dr Silvia Ferara, the signs are 033 and 098 (or a variant of 099)


Dimensions
Diameter: 22.5 centimetres


Curator's comments
Provenance: The exact provenance of this vessel is somewhat unclear. In the GR register, it sits between the sequence of material from Kouklia (explicitly stated to be GR 1899,12-29.1-26 in a note written opposite the first entry by H.B. Walters) and the Klavdhia group that follows - entry no. 28 onwards which is also clearly identified by Walters. The two groups are separated by a line in the Register drawn after the present item, implying it belongs in the Kouklia groups - despite Walters' statement that this sequence of material stopped at no. 26.

However, a much later marginal note added by Don Bailey observed that the 'A14' and '116' pencilled on the base of the vessel may indicate a Klavdia provenance given the use of alphabetic prefixes for what are believed to be tomb groups at this site. The significance of the secon number '116' is unclear, as the numbers on the Klavdia objects prefixed by the letter A only go as far as 33, though it is possible that the first digit is actually part of a letter that has worn away (perhaps an 'A', therefore 'A16'). At the same time, no tomb inventories have survived for either excavation, and the reports from Kouklia explicitly state that none were kept for this site. There is a somewhat more evidence to suggest that rudimentary lists were kept for Klavdhia to distinguish finds from the two areas explored, though the surviving numbers are only written on the objects or included in Walters' vase catalogue, never in the Register. Walters seems to have mistaken numbers written on the Kouklia material as indications of tombs (see comments on GR 1899,12-29.1-3) and it is possible that he made the same mistake with the Klavdhia objects.

Parallels: It is also possible that the bowl arrived in the Museum without a record of its exact provenance and was simply placed between the two groups for convenience without comment. Yet when for some reason Walters registered a pair of Roman earrings from Kouklia (GR 1899,12-29.47) in the middle of the Klavdhia sequence, he carefully noted the provenance in the margin. If the Kouklia rather than Klavdhia was the findspot, this further confuses the significance of the numbers written on the objeccts from the former site.

The specific combination of shape, raised disc base and horizontal string hole is somewhat unusual. For parallels of the general shape see SCE IV/1C, 237ff, Type IV ('Wide bowl'), figs LIX-LXI: The closests is perhaps fig. LXI, 12. Many examples of the general type have been found at Enkomi (Dikaios 1969-71, passim) but also at Kalavasos-Ayios-Dhimitrios (Keswani in South et al. 1989, 19-21).

The handle was probably made of rope, animal fibre or metal. A pierced lug from a similar vessel found in Tomb 19 of the BM excavations at Maroni-Tsaroukkas in 1897 (GR 1898,12-1.152) still has its twisted bronze handle attached (see ). This would also have allowed the the inscription to be visible if hung on a wall, though the inscription is not aligned with the main axis of the bowl and would appear at an angle when hung on a wall.

Inscription: In addition to her corpus of Cypro-Minoan inscriptions (2013), see Ferrara 2012 for a modern overview of the script and the significance of short inscriptions such as the one on this bowl which is probably a formula denoting onwership.

Bibliography:
Dikaios P. 1969-71, Enkomi. Excavations 1948-58 (Mainz: von Zabern).

Ferrara S. 2012, Cypro-Minoan insciptions. Volume I: Analysis (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

South A. et al. 1989, Vasilikos Valley Project 3: Kalavasos-Ayios Dhimitrios II. Ceramics, objects, tombs, specialist studies. SIMA LXXI:3 (Göteborg: P. Åström).


Acquisition date
1899

Acquisition name
Excavated by Francis Bertram Welch (biographical details | all objects)
Excavated by The British Museum (biographical details | all objects)
Excavated by Percy Christian (biographical details | all objects)


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