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The Lydian Treasure



Height 10.3 cm.
diameter at neck 1.7 cm.
diameter of body 3.6 cm.
weight 114.81 gr

Usak Museum

The body of the alabastron is divided bv five narrow ornamental bands into four zones, each of which contains figural decoration, and the bottom of the vessel has an elaborate floral design. lmmediat&y below a ring of short tongues, alternately cross-hatched and plain, around the shoulder, is a band of cross-hatching. The second band is ornamented with a series of crosses within squares, alternately touching the upper and lower borders of the band. The third band contains a row of plain lozenges, with the triangular spaces between the lozenges and the line borders dotted. The fourth band is a ring of cross-hatching, and the fifth a row of opposed hatched triangles. In the uppermost zone are the duck head lugs, between which, on either side of the vessel, is a pair of cocks standing facing each other. In the second register is a bull being attacked by a lion and a lioness; the same scene is depicted in reverse on the opposite side. On one side of the vessel in the third register a pair of hoplites confront each othen Each wears a short belted tunic and crested helmet, and holds a circular shield. The shields are plain with a decorated border and small central boss, and a strap across the back to slip the arm through. Each warrior has an arm raised in the air the one on the right holding a spear The remainder of this zone contains a unit of five hoplites on the left facing six on the right, their stance, costume and equipment similar to those of the hoplites on the opposite side of the vessel. The break in symmetry shown in the third zone is also evident in the fourth, which features a large deer, grazing to the leff, and three further deer, the two on the right grazing facing each other, that on the left with head raised and facing right. The bottom of the vessel is decorated with a design of four circumscribed palmettes with a total of eight paired smaller palmettes in the spandrels at top and bottom. The palmettes have alternatelv cross-hatched and plain leaves, as with the tongues around the shoulder, and the circumscribing spirals are marked with opposed triangles.

The grazing deer on the silver skyphos in the Metropolitan Museum (MET 1971.118) can be compared to those on this alabastron, and the bands dividing alabastra nos. 75-78 into zones are also paralleled on this skyphos. Another alabastron with elaborate decoration is no.228 from the Basmaci tumulus.


This site prepared by Tayfun Kalyoncu on 28.02.1997 and last updated on 01.05.1999.
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