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Pyxis with a Lid of Three Horses

Pyxis with a Lid of Three Horses - Museum of the Ancient Agora - Joy of Museum

Pyxis with a Lid of Three Horses

This pyxis and lid, with a handle in the form of three horses, is from the late Late Geometric Period. A Pyxis is a cylindrically shaped vessel from the classical world with a separate lid. Originally mostly used by women to hold cosmetics, jewelry, or valuable objects, surviving pyxides are primarily Greek pottery. The shape of the vessel can be traced in pottery back to the Protogeometric period in Athens, and in time the form of the pyxis grew larger and squatter in proportions. Also, the covers began to depict more elaborately sculpted handles.

The Geometric Art displayed on this Pyxis flourished in the 9th and 8th centuries BC, and this art form center was in Athens from there the style spread among the trading cities of the Aegean. Motifs of meanders, triangles characterized it, and other geometrical decorations depicted in dark glossy color. This vessel is covered by strict zones of meanders, crooked lines, circles, swastikas, in the same graphical concept.

Meander Art

A meander is a decorative border constructed from a continuous line, shaped into a repeated motif, and such a design is also called the Greek Lines or Key. Meanders are common decorative elements in Greek art. They appear in many architectural friezes, and in bands on the pottery of ancient Greece from the Geometric Period onwards. They were among the most important symbols in ancient Greece and symbolized infinity and unity, and many ancient Greek temples incorporated the sign of the meander.

Pyxis with a Lid of Three Horses

  • Name:            Pyxis with a Lid of Three Horses
  • Date:               725 – 700 B.C.
  • Material:        Terracotta
  • Period:            Late Geometric
  • Country:         Greece
  • Museum:        Museum of the Ancient Agora

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Photo Credit: JOM