This intact vessel is crafted from a brownish-pink fabric with a slip of the same color, decorated with shiny orange to brownish-black paint. It features a narrow, closed neck and high, narrow spout, the rim of which is angular, and its base flat. There are two strap handles attached to closed neck.The Mycenean aesthetic, bequeathed to the Greeks of the Iron Age and their Attic vase painting heirs, relies upon using decorative elements to enhance and emphasize the architectonic shape of the vessel. It is for this reason that the principle zone of ornamental decoration is reserved for the shoulder, providing the largest single and clearly define area of the vessel. There one finds two independent fields of decoration; the one exhibiting sets of elaborate triangles, the other in-filled semi-circular motifs. The concentric circular bands define the lower edge of this decorated shoulder and are used to articulate the remainder of the vessel’s body as well as its strap handles and neck.
The profile of this vase and its decoration find their closest parallels in a similar stirrup vessel discovered in Tomb 115 of the cemetery of Armenoi, now in the collections of the Rethymnon Museum on Crete which is dated to the Late Mycenean III B Period, dated from about 1340 to 1190 BC.
The Myceneans are celebrated in the poems Iliad and Odyssey by Homer in which they are portrayed as the protagonists in their united struggle against Troy. In their day the dominated the sea lanes of the Aegean and their cultivated products such as wine and olive oil were so highly prized that they were even exported in such stirrup jars to the court of such monarchs as Rameses II, said to be the pharaoh of the Exodus.
Ministry of Culture, Hellenic Cultural Heritage S.A. Cultural Olympiad 2001-2002, Minoans and Myceneans. Flavours of Their Time (Athens 2002), page 60, catalogue 33, for the parallel in the Rethymnon Museum.