Clay ground 'Hadra' water-jar (hydria), attributed to the Dromeus Painter


British Museum

British Museum

'Hadra' hydriai are named after the Alexandrian cemetery of Hadra where large numbers of them have been excavated. Some were made locally, but analysis of the clay has demonstrated that many, including this example, were imported from Crete. Their principal use appears to have been as ash-urns to contain the remains of foreign dignitaries who became ill and died while on official visits to the Egyptian court. Such deaths may have occurred because of the Egyptian climate or other health hazards. This vase is decorated in the black-figure technique, with a bull's head flanked by swans in a panel between the handles. The plunging dolphins on the shoulder are a popular Hellenistic motif. The Greek word Dorotheou, 'of Dorotheos', incised above the bull's head, is the name of the person whose ashes this vase originally contained.

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  • Title: Clay ground 'Hadra' water-jar (hydria), attributed to the Dromeus Painter
  • Date Created: -200/-200
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 38.00cm; Diameter: 32.00cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Technique: painted; incised
  • Subject: bird; mammal
  • Registration number: 1995,1003.1
  • Production place: Made in Crete
  • Producer: Attributed to Dromeus Painter
  • Place: Found/Acquired Egypt
  • Period/culture: Hellenistic
  • Material: pottery
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Rupert Wace Ancient Art. With contribution from Caryatid Fund. Previous owner/ex-collection Peek, Werner


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