• latw-221-1
    Flask, reverse (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)
  • latw-221-2
    Flask, front with cross and hares. (Courtesy of the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum, Istanbul)

Flask

Date
Late fifth to sixth century, Late Roman
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 4117
Inventory No.
4117
Sardis CATNUM
P68.165
Material
Ceramic
Object Type
Pottery
Pottery Shape
Flask
Pottery Ware
Late Roman Tableware
Site
Sardis
Sector
BS
Trench
BS-E 5
Description
Large lentoid flask. Two handles from shoulder to neck. Mold made in two pieces; wheel-made neck and handles added separately. Decoration in relief on two sides. Side A: cross within circle, with two hares below, one resting forelegs on cross, the other on the enclosing circle, reaching up to eat branches. Side B: two facing geese eating grapes, framed with zig-zags. Preserved height 0.24 m, diameter of body 0.187 m, thickness of flask (back to front) 0.095 m.
Comments
From Byzantine Shop E5 (cf. No. 220). This same shop contained the bronze lamp in the form of a lion, No. 223. Like the plate No. 220 and incense shovel No. 222, the cross on the flask emphasizes its association with Christian practice. This is an unusually large version of a well-known type of small flask or ampulla that was carried by pilgrims and other travelers in Late Antiquity. Written sources mention the protective power of their contents — sanctified earth, oil, or water—as well as the images impressed on their sides.
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Introduction”; Byzantine Shops.
Bibliography
Hanfmann et al. 1970, 44, fig. 37; Hanfmann 1983, 165ff, fig. 244; Crawford 1990, 59, fig. 255-257.
Author
NDC, MLR