Terracotta barrel-shaped oinochoe (jug)

Period: Geometric

Date: ca.725–700 B.C.

Culture: Etruscan, Italo-geometric

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: H. 13 3/16 in. (33.5 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Gift of Schimmel Foundation Inc., 1975

Accession Number: 1975.363


In the Geometric period of about 900 to 700 B.C., Greeks continued to be active seafarers, seeking opportunities for trade and founding new, independent cities in Asia Minor, Italy, and Sicily. In the Late Geometric period, (ca. 760–750 B.C.), Greeks from the island of Euboea (near northern Attica) established a colony at Pithekousai, near the Bay of Naples. The settlement received Levantine goods in quantity, as well as Corinthian, Cycladic, and Rhodian pottery, most of which were exported to the Italian mainland. This influx of goods and designs from the East played a major role in initiating the Italic and Etruscan Orientalizing period (ca. 750–575 B.C.). Likewise, Euboean vases were exported from Pithekousai to Campania and Etruria, as were local (Italic) vessels decorated with typical Euboean Late Geometric designs, as on this oinochoe, a small jug that was used to dip out and serve wine. Its main figurative scene, two goats standing upright and, perhaps, nibbling at a tree, is a familiar motif in Near Eastern art, and appears on vases made in Euboea at this time. The distinctive barrel shape of this vessel, however, is more Italic than Greek; similar oinochoi have been found in Etruria, near Bisenzio, and at Marsiliana.