Earthenware jug "Oinokhoē"

600 €

Cypro-Classical II period, Republic of Cyprus, 4th century BC, private collection from Denmark.

The island of Cyprus, officially called the Republic of Cyprus is located in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean Sea, south of Turkey, west of Lebanon and Syria, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece. Cyprus' geographical location was strategic crossroads linking the Aegean, Anatolia, the Levant and Egypt, and as such played an important role in the ancient Mediterranean commercial network. From the beginnings of settlement in the Neolithic period its history has been interwoven with that of the surrounding areas, yet, in spite of this close contact, its people have constantly been noted for their independence and individuality.

The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC. As a strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878.

The pottery of ancient Cyprus starts during the Neolithic period. Throughout the ages, Cypriot ceramics demonstrate many connections with cultures from around the Mediterranean. During the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, it is especially imaginative in shape and decoration. Absolute dates are hard to pinpoint, but scholars generally agree on the broad outline of developmental stages of the island's art, technologies, and culture.

Neolithic Period (Stone Age): 7,000-4,000 BC, Chalcolithic Period (Copper Age): 4,000-2,600 BC, Early Bronze Age: 2,600-2,000 BC, Middle Bronze Age: 2,000-1,600 BC, Late Bronze Age: 1,600-1,050 BC, Cypro-Geometric Period I: 1,050-950 BC,  Cypro-Geometric Period II: 950-850 BC, Cypro-Geometric Period III: 850-700 BC, Cypro-Archaic Period I: 700-600 BC, Cypro-Archaic Period II: 600-475 BC, Cypro-Classical Period I: 475-400BC, Cypro-Classical Period II: 400-323 BC.

In the pottery of the Cypro-Classical period, the tendencies already apparent in later stages of the CA II period continue and strengthen. In the category of fine ware ceramics, the Plain White becomes a very popular technique. It is abudantly represented by a variety of jugs, in paricular those which develop the shape of the dipper sack-shaped jug of Levantine origin, as well as by different types of handless bowls.

A sophisticated and delicate wine jug "Oinochoe" of plain ware from Cypro-Classical period II. Beautiful long neck and small trefoil shaped lip. A single handle extends from the edge of the rim to the waist of the vessel. Good condition. Crack on the rim. Mineral encrustation, soil and dust. Museum number: S.R: 9560/77. Size approx. 19,0cm x 14,2cm x 14,2cm. Weight c. 356g.