Side B: head of third onlooker on right

Side B: heads of second and third onlookers on right

Side A: heads of warrior and woman on far right

Side A: boy between woman and horses

Side B: head of Theseus

Side B: oblique from left

Collection: University Museum, University of Pennsylvania
Summary: Side A: warrior leaving home. Side B: Theseus and the Minotaur.
Ware: Attic Black Figure
Context: Excavated at Narce
Date: ca. 550 BC - ca. 525 BC

D. 0.320 m

Shape: Amphora
Region: Etruria
Period: Archaic


The surface of the vase is worn, chipped and discolored.

Decoration Description:

Side A: warrior leaving home. The partially preserved scene shows a two-horse chariot to the left, two warriors, a child and two women. At least three additional figures stand behind the chariot, the central one wearing greaves and turned to the right- possibly the departing warrior. The other two figures face him. The one on the left, probably a female, wears an ankle-length chiton. The man on the right wears a chiton and mantle which fall to mid-calf. There may be a fourth figure to the left of the woman. Better preserved are the figures on the far left and right. A woman stands at the horses' heads, her right hand on the shoulder of the boy standing in front of her, a flower(?) clasped in her left hand. A warrior wearing a short chiton, crested Corinthian helmet, cuirass and greaves stands on the far left. A similarly dressed warrior stands to the right of the chariot facing left. A woman stands beside him on the far left. Both she and the woman on the left wear fillets and ankle-length chitons decorated with a circle-filled checkerboard pattern, the same pattern found on the dress of the woman behind the chariot.

Side B: Theseus and the Minotaur. Theseus and the Minotaur struggle in the center of the scene, while a woman (Ariadne?) and four men stand by. Theseus, on the left, has the upper hand in the struggle. He has grabbed the Minotaur around the shoulders with his left arm and is forcing him to the ground. He may already have delivered the death blow. The Minotaur is dropping to one knee, his head against Theseus' chest. Theseus is bearded and wears a short chiton and a cuirass. The Minotaur is naked. The female figure, perhaps Ariadne, stands to the left of Theseus facing the combatants, arms at her sides. She is wearing a long, red and black short-sleeved chiton belted at the waist and a wreath over her hair. Behind her stands a young man wrapped in a red and black mantle. His arms are hidden under the mantle. Three more youths stand to the right of the Minotaur. The one nearest the struggle is almost identical to the youth on the left; he is wrapped in a red and black mantle which hides his arms. The partially preserved youth behind him wears a fillet over his hair. He is either naked or dressed in a short garment, for his legs are bare. The youth on the far right is again wrapped in a red and black mantle. All three draped youths appear to wear red caps. Theseus wears a black one.

Shape Description:

Type A amphora.

Collection History:

The amphora was recovered in excavations led by A.L. Frothingham in 1897 under the auspices of the American Exploration Society. It subsequently became part of the collection of the University Museum, Philadelphia.