A Corinthian aryballos decorated with lion heads on one side and a bird on the other. Aryballoi were used as vials for aromatic oils and perfumes and were particularly popular in the Archaic period. Corinth was one of the most important centres of production and distribution of such vases, which were widely exported all over Greece as well as in South Italy and Sicily. The vase has been decorated in the black-figure technique, which was invented in Corinth at the beginning of the 7th c. BC, allowing for greater precision and detail than the silhouette technique which was used until then. Decorative motifs were filled in with a fine glaze and details were incised. During the firing process the thin slip turned black while the background of the vases retained the reddish colour of the clay. After firing, some details were painted with added colours, purple, red or even white.