The image 04_011 given in the OSU Media Manager site depicts a simple and elegant terracotta stirrup jar (see fig. 1 and fig. 2). As it can be seen in the picture, almost every piece of the jar has been recovered and joined together to form the whole stirrup jar. The clear and visible lines on the jar indicate the joints between the pieces.

Some of the significant characteristics of the stirrup jar that can be deciphered are as follows:

  • The wheel-made stirrup jar has a globular body, two sprouts and a pair of handles. It is decorated by red coloured concentric circles on the buff coloured body. Such kinds of pots are an outcome of the Mycenaean culture of mainland Greece.
  • It has slipped and painted surface which enhances its finesse and beauty. The sprouts and handles are painted red and there are four herringbone designs around the handles in the upper quarter (see fig. 2).
  • This stirrup jar comprises of two sprouts and bears an unusual and unique form. The liquid contained inside the jar is poured through the sprout provided at the shoulder of the vase. While the other sprout, present at the head of the vase between the two handles, merely gives the illusion of being the mouth of the vase. It is capped by a clay disk and remains sealed (see fig. 3). This style of pottery is known as the False Neck Amphora. It was first produced in Crete towards the end of the Mid-Minoan Period and gained importance in the Mycenaean period. They were used throughout the Mediterranean. These stirrup jars were used for storing liquids especially perfume oils.
  • The handles facilitate holding and transportation of the jar. While the narrow sprout at the shoulder of the vase helps to protect the liquid and preserve its fragrance.

The features of the Mycenaean pot are summed up in the following table.
















Late Bronze Age

1375 BC-1200 BC


10 cm.

2 cm. at the base and

8 cm. at the mid- portion.

Red band designs on buff coloured clay fabric.

Storage and shipping of liquids, perfumes, cosmetics etc.

Table 1: Characteristic features of the stirrup jar.

The earthen wares act as a good source of information of the customary lives and ideas carried by the people of the civilization. Furthermore, due to the extensive trading relations among the nations the varying interaction patterns give rise to the different archaeological results. The Mycenaean type pots have been found at various locations such as Anatolia, Cyprus, Levant, Egypt and the Central Mediterranean regions. 

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