University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Cypriot Barrel Jug [Object of the Day #114]

By: Ann Brownlee



This barrel-shaped vessel dates to the Cypro-Archaic I period, between ca. 750-600 BCE, and is from the island of Cyprus.  A fine example of the pottery style known as Bichrome IV, this unusual shape is decorated with a bold stylized bird flanked by rosette and lotus motifs painted in the black and brownish-red colors characteristic of Cypriot Bichrome ware.  Groups of thin lines divide the field into zones of decoration.  The rounded ends of the vessel are articulated with bands and groups of thin lines.

Birds and the lotuses are fairly common motifs on Cypriot Bichrome pottery, and MS5711 is close—both in shape and decoration—to a barrel-shaped jug (74.51.517) from the Cesnola Collection at the Metropolitan Museum (V. Karageorghis, Ancient Art from Cyprus:  the Cesnola Collection.  New York:  Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000, p. 100, no. 159).

Penn Museum Object #MS5711.
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