'Hadra' Hydria originally used as a cinerary urn - ROM2018_16951_11


'Hadra' Hydria originally used as a cinerary urn

Medium:Wheel-thrown earthenware, formerly polychrome but only traces of white slip preserved
Geography: From Alexandria, Egypt
Date: 3rd century BC
Period: Ptolemaic period
39.5 x 28.1 cm
Object number: 920X55.22
On view
Gallery Location:Gallery of Greece
DescriptionAlthough this shape (a hydria), was originally used as a water-jar, in the Hellenistic period a particular group of painted hydriai were used as containers for cremated remains. They have been named ‘Hadra’ hydriai after the cemetery in Alexandria where many of them were first discovered, although they have since been found in the other cemeteries of Alexandria and in small quantities in cemeteries in Athens, Eretria, Thera, Rhodes, Cyprus and Ukraine. Clay analysis has shown that these vases were generally made in Central Crete, where they have also been found in domestic contexts. In Alexandria these vases sometimes have an inscription scratched onto the vase or written in ink, which includes the name, rank, and origin of the dead person, and the date of burial. As well as helping date the vase, these inscriptions indicate that the people buried in this manner were Greek ambassadors or mercenaries who received state funerals.
Roman WorldEgypt
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