Bronze handles and rim of a cauldron

Period: Late Bronze Age

Date: ca. 1300–1050 B.C.

Culture: Cypriot

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: H. 8 1/4 in. (20.9 cm)
diameter of rim 15 3/4 in. (40 cm)

Classification: Bronzes

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

Accession Number: 74.51.5685


This rim and handles belonged to an amphoroid krater of Aegean type. The fine metalwork exhibits a mixture of influences from the eastern and western Mediterranean, characteristic of Cypriot manufacture. The rim is flat, bordered by a cable pattern, and decorated in relief with galloping lions chasing bulls and boars. Each S-shaped handle is decorated with three pairs of confronted genies that are Near Eastern in origin but, here, display an Aegean influence. Each genie holds an oinochoe (wine jug) of Aegean shape. The lower attachments of the handles are embellished with bucrania, heads of oxen with long, curved horns.
Metal kraters with decorated rims and handles are extremely rare. Those that have survived display strong Aegean stylistic influence and were probably made on Cyprus during the twelfth century B.C. Another Cypriot example comes from a mid-eleventh-century B.C. tomb at Kourion; a third example, containing the remains of a man, was excavated at Lefkandi in Euboea.