Semitic Museum No. 1995.10.170
White Painted(Iron Age) Jug
Date: Cypro-Geometric

Height: 13.3 cm.
Max. Diameter: 10.0 cm.
Ext. Rim Diameter: 4.0 by 3.2 cm.
Base Diameter: 4.0 cm.
Preservation: Part of rim missing, otherwise intact.
Stanford No.: 1039 (red)

Form: White Painted III trefoil mouth/lipped/rimmed jug, oinochoe or "bird-vase". Globular to almost biconical body, cut-off base with pronounced concavity, short, quite narrow concave neck, distinctly pinched trefoil rim with in-turned lip, single, thick, vertical handle sub-rectangular in section, rises above rim to shoulder.

Fabric: Cream/beige clay with numerous black inclusions, white and some dark red also.

Decoration: No slip. Dark brown matt painted band on and over rim, thin horizontal band 1/3 way down the neck doesn't go all the way around, encircling band at neck/shoulder junction overlaps itself, 2 prophylactic eyes in indents just below rim; sets of horizontal bands/strokes across the handle with painted lines along the edges and defining the handle, a squiggle and slightly upturned stroke at the base of the handle. "Free-field" motifs on the plain body, consist of two swastikas, and a "tree of life" or arrow motif made up of 7 small chevrons with 2 larger ones on top located opposite the handle.

Technical/Manufacturing: Wheelmade. Body misshapen, upper body smoothed to receive the painted motifs in contrast to the lower body where distinct dragging is visible. Base wheel turned and tooled. Handle askew. Shadow or "ghost" visible on upper body just below the handle attachment consists of 6 to 7 short narrow parallel bands, another shadow in the dent on the lower body, there is an orange area behind these shadows. They are formed by the close proximity of a decorated vessel during firing, contrary to what said by Brown and Catling (1980), 123, regarding object number 84, Fig. 72.

Remarks: Provenance Ormidhia per Cesnola. The so-called "Free-field" style of decoration which reached its height in the Cypro-Archaic I and II periods had pictorial compositions painted on the curved, white surfaces of the vessel, without any geometric accessories or banded divisions to the body. Such compositions are often found on jugs, oinochoe, with prophylactic eyes painted near the rim and similar in shape to 1995.10.170, though this example is White Painted III, it is a proto-type and forerunner of the prolific pictorial art of the later Iron Age. The "eye" motif was introduced toward the end of the Geometric period and persisted through the Archaic period. This is also true for the chevroned motif described above in Decoration, see also Comparanda Elsewhere, below.

  • Publication: On exhibition Semitic Museum Ancient Cyprus 1997 - .
  • Comparanda SM: 1995.10.168,172,194 for chevron design; 167 for swastikas; 225.
  • Comparanda Elsewhere: SCE II, Plate CIII:8; Plate XXXII:1, Stylli Tomb 8, object number 9. SCE IV:2, Fig. XXIII:4)13,5)14 for motifs in Bichrome III. Leipen 1966:29, object #68. Morris 1985: 249, Plates 280-283, especially Plate 283 right, for his "fir-tree" motif and reference to Brown and Catling 1975, who call this motif a "stylized tree". Stanford University Website,, Cantor Arts Center, click on: database; Search the Database; country/select Cyprus, CCVA no. 1040 Pinched-rim Jug, Height:13.5 cm., Max. Diameter: 9.5 cm., Stanford Family Collections
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