Atkinson, Thomas [Mitarb.]
Excavations at Phylakopi in Melos — London, 1904

Seite: 97
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1 cm


The pithoi from the pre-Mycenaean settlqment in Aegina desciibed by
Mr. Staes ('E<£. 'Ap%. 1895, PI. X., 1-4) resemble the above vases in their
general form, and it is evident that the type was a widespread one.

As regards the painted ornamentation the lower parb of the vessel is as
a rule left piain and tbe design does not descend below the level of the
handles. Sometimes, however, as in the case of VIII. 4, there is a fringe of
loops round the foot of tbe design, apparently the same motive as one which
is of very common occurrence on the beaked jugs, and which is discussed
more fully on p. 99. The more ordinary geometric patterns are well illus-
trated on PI. VII. It will be observed bow frequently the field is divided
into vertical strips filled with varied designs. A pattern which is very
characteristic of the pithoi and which occnrs very rarely on any otber painted
vases of tbe geometric period is the horizontal row of concentric circles con-
nected by tangents (fi.g. VII. 1). On the geometric pottery of tbe post-
Mycenaean age the same pattern is usually, and no doubt rightly, interpreted
as a development from a frieze of coutinuous spirals. The earlier examples
are perhaps to be explained in tbe same way, as evolved from, or at least
suggested by a spiral frieze, thougb it is true that concentric circles occur as
an isolated ornament on the Aeginetan pithoi mentioned above. There is a
parallel case, much to the point, on the incised pottery from Chalandriane,
where we find stamped concentric circles taking the place of spirals in what
was originally a spiral sch'eme ('E$. 'Ap%. 1899, pp. 87, 88). The simple
concentric circles, however, are most often replaced by circles filled in with
angular motives (e.g. VII. 7-8). In VII. 1 the space between two circles is
filled up by a pattern like a double axe-head, and tbe same stop-gap scheine
is repeated on several fragments (e.g. X. 18; cf. 'E$. '^px- 1895, PI. X., 4
and 0). The small circles on VII. 9, and those on VII. 12 with a dot in the
centre of each, may be derived from tbe small stamped circles on the un-
painted wäre (e.g. IV. 4).

The most interesting pattern on the pithoi is the frieze of animals on
VII. 4. In a former paper I referred to them as 'geometric' birds. It is
just as probable, however, that tbey represent a row of seated quadrupeds
like XV. 14; VII. 4 being a conventionalized rendering, and XV. 14 a free
rendering of the same motive. VII. 4 is also a prototype (in part) of certain
Mycenaean patterns, of which F. and L. PI. XXXV., 701 is the most

2. Fragments of pithoi with long necks (XXXIV. 5) were occasionally
found in deposits of this period, some of them with ornamentation in relief
of a rather advanced kind. The type is much rarer than 1 and is probably
of later origin.

3. XXXIV. 4 represents another early type of large storing-vessel, rc-
sembling XXXIV. 1 with the upper half sliced off. It bas no handles.
There is a stud, like a nail-head, a little below tbe rim on each side. Frag-
ments of vessels of the same shape were fairly common.

4. There is no complete specimen of the type of which VII. 14 has once
been a fine example. The rim is like that of 1, and the rest of the body is

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