Some considerations regarding relief pithoi in Greece between the end of the 8th and the 7th Centuries BC

Luca Salvaggio

Pithoi, large vessels for storing supplies, were a valuable tool of the household economy. Despite the high practicality of this containers, they are also known in a richly relief-decorated version produced in Greece from the 8th century BC. This paper offers some reflections on this phenomenon based on literary sources and proposes a comparison with some Late Bronze Age vases. The hypothetical derivation from a particular type of bronze kraters, whose existence was already echoed in Homeric poems, will reveal some interesting details. These concern primarily the origin of the vascular profiles from the eighth to seventh centuries BC. Secondly, the comparison with vases from earlier periods highlights and can explain some differences in the decorations, which were preserved until the 7th century BC.

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