Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cute Cypriot Ceramics



How cute is this Early Bronze Age red polished jug with figural decoration from Pyrgos? Yes, it is indeed cute. Ancient Cyprus seems to have a lot of cute ceramic objects. A while ago I posted a really cute little model shrine which is a perfect example of such things. The ceramic featured above is part of an exhibition of Cypriot objects that is being held at the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, up until May 2011. So all you Americans can go see it much easier than I can. There are 200 artefacts on display in this exhibition, including this jug. When I first saw it, on the cover of the CAARI newsletter, I thought the projecing "spikes" were intended to evoke bovine horns - which may very well be correct - but as you can see in the second image, those horns are pouring spouts. This does not preclude simultaneously being "horns". I must admit that I don't know much about this object and can only speculate that it is some sort of ritual libation tool or offering. Here's a little article here, the jug certainly seems to feature a lot in the promotion of the exhibition. So, happy viewing.

7 comments:

Imperator John D. Griffin, HOGD/AO said...

I just finished translating an academic article on the survival of ancient Paganism in Italy from Italian ethnohistorian, Prof. Paolo Portone. This article adds some interesting new data to the discussion and even takes a stab at redeeming Margaret Murray. I think it may interest you.
http://hermetic-golden-dawn.blogspot.com/2011/03/prof-paolo-portone-on-survival-of.html

Chas Clifton said...

Oddly, it reminds of a "storyteller vase," which is a much more recent style, although pseudo-archaic.

Blyss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Black Nyx said...

Heya -

Just wondering where you're at - and wanted to say hi...:) Looking forward to your next post...

Caroline Tully said...

Hi Black Nyx, I have a big and interesting post coming up which I'm working on at present... I think it'll be ready by the end of the week. It's an interview with someone interesting... that's all I'm saying at present. :-)

slbudin said...

I love this object, which I call the Pyrgos Pitcher. The fellow in the "throne" sits right by a pair of kourotrophoi, and yet this object has never appeared in the debate over kourotrophism and patriarchy (in contrast to the Vounous Bowl, for example). I only discovered it at the exhibit at the Smithsonian, and it does appear in the catalogue. Wonderful picture!

Caroline Tully said...

Hi Stephanie, I must admit that I nicked the photos from the Internet....