• latw-71-1
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-2
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-3
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-4
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-5
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-6
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-7
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-8
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-9
    Lebes with water serpents. Top. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)
  • latw-71-10
    Lebes with water serpents. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Lebes with water serpents

Date
Ca. 600-550 BC, Lydian
Museum
Manisa, Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum, 8055
Inventory No.
8055
Sardis CATNUM
P93.025
Material
Ceramic
Object Type
Pottery
Pottery Shape
Lebes
Pottery Ware
Lydian Orientalizing
Site
Sardis
Sector
MMS
Trench
MMS-I 93.1
Locus
MMS-I 93.1 Locus 46
Description
Broken and mended. Broken and repaired in antiquity (repair holes between water serpents). On rim, four symmetrically spaced lugs (two preserved, one attested by scar); flat disk foot. Over exterior, cream slip over which decoration in dark slip as follows: on rim, pattern band of concentric circles; on shoulder-to-mid body, animal frieze organized in two symmetrical compositions that include (a) confronted water serpents (ketoi) flanking one large and six small fish, with filling ornament, and (b) confronted geese flanking floral ornament, with filling ornament; broken meander pattern band; lotus flower and bud chain; on lower body, bands, alternating broad (three) and narrow (four); framing foot, band and roundel. Height (without lugs) 0.267 m, exterior mouth diameter 0.26 m. Capacity of ca. 21 liters, estimated by N.H. Ramage.
Comments
Found smashed and scattered in the yard of a Lydian house destroyed in the mid-sixth century BC (Area 4-6, with Nos. 67, 70, 76, 77, 79, 89, 98, 99). Alien to the traditional Greek lebes form are the lugs (and their location, on top of the rim) and the flat disk foot. The lugs are an Anatolian, notably Phrygian, feature. The confronted water serpents are ketoi of Greek tradition. Aquatic creatures in orientalizing pottery at Sardis include fish on skyphoi Nos. 147 and 148, on a spouted dish (Greenewalt, “Bon Appetit”), on the boat-shaped vase No. 70, and on several other pottery vessels (including a dish of the sixth century BC, inventoried P60.452; and a krater of the seventh century, inventoried P60.130).
Discussed
Greenewalt, “Introduction”; Greenewalt, “Bon Appetit”; Greenewalt, “Lydian Pottery”; Cahill, “Persian Sack”
Bibliography
Greenewalt 1994-1995; Greenewalt, Ratté, and Rautman 1995, 15-18.
Author
CHG