Bird vase

Unknown"10th c. BC" - ""

Museum of Cycladic Art

Museum of Cycladic Art
Athens, Greece

This vase, with bird-shaped body and vertical neck, comes from Skyros, most probably from a grave, and is the product of a local workshop. Vases of this kind were formerly thought to be of Cypriot origin, but recent research points to an Aegean provenance. Their precursors should be sought in the small, hollow bird figurines that were made along with other types of models and zoomorphic vases during the 12th c. BC, in Mycenaean Greece. The earliest Mycenaean examples had no pouring neck, which is a distinctive feature of Early Iron Age bird-shaped vases. Bird-shaped vases were used for libations and are found as grave goods and more rarely as ritual vessels in sanctuaries. Those found in Mycenaean graves were associated with child burials but this exclusive association apparently ceased in the Early Iron Age. Bird-shaped vases now occurred in graves of both children and adults, but only wealthy ones.


  • Title: Bird vase
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Creator Gender: None
  • Date Created: "10th c. BC" - ""
  • Read more: <a href="http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=resource&cresrc=794&cnode=55&clang=1">Read more</a>
  • Provenance: Skyros, Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: w262 x h154 mm
  • Period: Protogeometric period
  • Culture: Greek
  • Type: bird vase
  • Rights: N.P. Goulandris Foundation - Museum of Cycladic Art, N.P. Goulandis Collection, no. 382, http://www.cycladic.gr/frontoffice/portal.asp?cpage=NODE&cnode=25&clang=1
  • External Link: Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens, Greece
  • Medium: clay

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