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Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities: Archaic Greek Art (7th-6th centuries BC)
© R.M.N./H. Lewandowski
Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
Archaic Greek Art (7th-6th centuries BC)
This bronze aryballos of Corinthian inspiration is engraved with an inscription telling us that the object is an offering to two gods, probably Castor and Pollux, by Chalkodamas. The bottle comes from Sparta but the style of the letters of the dedication show that it is an Argive work made between the late 7th century and 550 BC. The dedicator's name means "He who dominates bronze," suggesting that Chalkodamas is the maker of the bottle.
An offering by Chalkodamas
This small bronze
An Argive work from the Archaic period
This votive offering probably comes from Sparta in Laconia (southern Peloponnese). However, the form of the letters of the dedication are of Argive origin and enable us to date the bottle to the early decades of the Archaic period. The object would therefore have been made between the late 7th century BC and the first half of the 6th century BC in a workshop of the Argos region, northeast of the Peloponnese. In this context, the "two gods" mentioned in the inscription probably refer to the Dioscuri; the twins Castor and Pollux were the object of a particular cult in this part of the Peloponnese penisula. They were honored notably in a large temple located between Argos and Lerni.
A bottle inspired by Corinthian pottery
The shape of this vessel is inspired by the Proto-Corinthian terracotta models made in great numbers from the 7th century BC in the region of Corinth, which borders the Argolis. The perfume trade, particularly active at the time, led craftsmen to create tiny bottles for perfumed oil, usually with a spherical or pear-shaped belly, a vertical handle (lost here), and a wide, flat rim for easier application of the ointment or perfume.
Late 7th century BC to first half of 6th century BC
Cast bronze with incisions
H. 4 cm
Room 32, temporarily closed to the public, works n
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