Terracotta lentoid flask

Period: Iron Age

Date: 11th century B.C.

Culture: Levantine

Medium: Terracotta

Dimensions: H. 11 in. (27.9 cm)
thickness 4 15/16 in. (12.5 cm)

Classification: Vases

Credit Line: The Cesnola Collection, Purchased by subscription, 1874–76

Accession Number: 74.51.431


Images of goats, birds, trees, and other plants decorate both sides of this lentoid flask. Of particular note is the skeletal character of the birds' wings, which provides a noteworthy antecedent to painted decorations on Cypro-Archaic vases. The origin of this lentoid flask has been the subject of much discussion. The vessel's fabric, burnishing technique, and the paint in two distinct colors (black and red), have strong parallels in Levantine pottery of the eleventh century B.C. Indeed, it is probably one of the earliest Phoenician vases imported into Cyprus.