aryballos (Bottle)

About this object

History of use

Aryballoi served as containers for expensive liquids such as oils or perfumes, primary function was utilitarian but also used as grave goods.


Quatrefoil pattern is a simplified floral motif which originally consisted of floral lotus blossoms and the four radiating leaves become the basis of the pattern. In this example both vertical blossoms are retained but in a simplified form. J.W. Hayes called the object early in shape: Early Corinthian - Middle Corinthian.

Cultural context

utilitarian; funerary

Physical description

Clay bottle consisting of a globular body with narrow neck, flat flared rim. Connected with shoulder by flat handle. Light brown chalky surface with evidence of black painting on most of the surface; shoulder and sides of rim retain traces of decoration consisting of black dots. Top of rim decorated with radiating lines. Body decorated in quatrefoil pattern consisting of a vertical oval with line through it in black on either side project arrow-head shaped designs filled in with crosshatching. Radiating from central oval are two simplified blossoms in brown. Below handle is a design consisting of a circle with a cross through it.