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Lekythos with Woman

RD Milns Antiquities Museum - Joy of Museums - Lekythos with Woman

This small Red-Figure Lekythos or oil flask is decorated with a domestic scene showing a Woman next to a chair holding a lidded bowl over the top of a basket that is placed on the ground line. This 2,500 year old pottery piece was used as a container for oil or perfumed oil, for domestic or funerary purposes.  The woman is shown in profile, wearing a chiton edged with black lines and has a red fillet in her black hair.

A lekythos is a type of Ancient Greek vessel used for storing oil, especially olive oil. It has a narrow body and one handle attached to the neck of the vessel, and is thus a narrow type of jug, with no pouring lip. The word seems to have been used even more widely in ancient times than by modern archeologists.

This vase was manufactured by throwing clay on the wheel in sections with the neck probably thrown from a coil of clay placed on the shoulder. The foot, neck and mouth were turned at the leather-hard stage. The handle was shaped by hand and joined to the vase using slip.

Essential Facts:

  • Name:                     Lekythos with Woman
  • Provenance:          Attica (Metaponto)
  • Date:                       450 BC
  • Type:                       Attic Pottery – Red-Figure Ware
  • Dimensions:          H: 155mm; D: 58mm
  • Museum:               RD Milns Antiquities Museum


“I declare
That later on,
Even in an age unlike our own,
Someone will remember who we are.”



Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons