Terracotta stemmed cup with murex decoration

Period: Late Helladic IIIA

Date: ca. 1400–1300 B.C.

Culture: Helladic, Mycenaean

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: H. 8 3/8 in. (21.2 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971

Accession Number: 1972.118.137

Description

By the Late Helladic III period, methods of firing improved on the Greek mainland, making possible this type of long-stemmed cup known as a kylix. The shape becomes the standard form of drinking cup throughout most of the Mycenaean world from the fourteenth century B.C. onward. On this particular kylix, the high, striped stem supports a flaring body decorated with marine life—sea anemones and murex shells—that attest to the sea as an important source of food and wealth for Mycenaean civilization. The murex, a type of mollusk, was prized throughout antiquity as a source of purple dye.

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