Stirrup jar - ROM2018_16356_13


Stirrup jar

Medium:Ceramic (earthenware)
Geography: Greek import to Egypt?
Date: c. 1400-1200 BC
Period: Mycenean (Late Helladic) Period
11.7 x 9.3 cm
Object number: 910.85.24
Not on view

Globular stirrup jar made of light buff fabric. The shape takes its name from the configuration of the false neck and the two opposing handles, thought to resemble a stirrup. This peculiar configuration makes it possible to stop the flow of liquid from the spout with one's thumb, while at the same time controlling the vessel by the handles attached to the neck of the vessel.  This type of vessel was made in Greece, most likely in the region of Mycenae. Imitations were made in Egypt and other places, such as Cyprus. Numerous examples have been found in New Kingdom Egyptian sites, for example at Abydos, Amarna and Gurob. They are indicative of an ongoing trade between Egypt and Mycenaean Greece. The stirrup jars would have originally contained precious liquids, such as perfume or scented oil; it has been even suggested they may have contained opium used for medicinal purposes. The spout and part of one handle are missing on this vessel. The surface is worn and the decoration is badly faded. The false neck with disc top is decorated with concentric circles. Shoulder zone decoration appears to be lozenges and the body is decorated by horizontal black bands. There is a disc base  decorated with thin concentric circles. (Rexine Hummel & S.B. Shubert)


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