Terracotta lydion (perfume jar)

Period: Archaic

Date: 6th century B.C.

Culture: Lydian

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: H. 4 1/8 in. (10.5 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: Gift of The American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, 1926

Accession Number: 26.164.27


This curiously shaped jar was probably used to contain baccaris, a perfume for which Sardis was noted in antiquity, and it is possible that the shape was a convenient trademark for the perfume. Great numbers of these jars have been found at Sardis, and seem to have been a specialty of Lydia. They are found at numerous sites in the Mediterranean, suggesting that their contents were widely exported.