Decoration under handle

Neck and mouth, handle at rear

Handle at front

Fan pattern from argonaut


Spiral from argonaut

Collection: Cambridge, Harvard University Art Museums
Summary: Argonauts
Ware: Mycenaean
Context: Said to be from Salamis
Date: ca. 1410 BC - ca. 1385 BC

H. 0.29 m.

Shape: Beaked jug
Ceramic Phase: Late Helladic III A:1
Region: Saronic Gulf
Period: Late Bronze Age


Unbroken. Considerable surface abrasion, especially on the back and sides.

Decoration Description:

Decoration in red slip on a ground of orange-buff slip. Filling the upper half of the body are three large and highly stylized argonauts, a type of cephalopod. In each case, three long coiling tentacles emerge from a body represented as a group of stacked chevrons edged with dots (the dots lacking in one case). Below the base of the handle are two vertical wavy lines, side-by-side, resembling snakes. The base is red and there is a stripe above it. Also red are the inside of the mouth and the outside of the handle. There are stripes on the neck, spout, and the edge of the rim.

Shape Description:

Broad-shouldered body sharply tapering to a flat, narrow base; slender, concave neck with a fillet at the juncture with the body; beaked spout; strap handle from shoulder to rim. The shape corresponds to FS: 144, placed by Furumark in LH III A:1 and with a body described by him as "depressed ovoid-conical," to distinguish it from the plumper and less tapering FS: 143 ("depressed ovoid"), which he assigns to LH II B. Supporting this attribution is the nearly perpendicular handle, which differs from the sloping handle of FS: 143. See Furumark 1941, 30.

Collection History:

Bequest of David M. Robinson.

Sources Used:

D.M. Robinson, "A Small Hoard of Mycenaean Vases and Statuettes," AJA 54 (1950) 1-9 [for this vase, 3-6, pls. 1 and 5]

Other Bibliography:

Ancient Art in American Private Collections pl. 36, no. 133.