Greek Amphora from our Museums and Special Collections

Greek Amphora from our Museums and Special Collections

A Greek Amphora from the University's Museum CollectionsGreek Amphora ABDUA:64010

This amphora, or storage jar, was made around 530-510BC.

Although it was likely fired in Greece, it was found in Southern Italy.

Its decoration is an example of the black figure style practiced by the Attic painter Antimenes.

The figures were painted on using a slip with details added by scraping into the wet slip. During firing, the painted areas turned glossy black and unpainted areas a vibrant red.

There are many examples of Greek painted pottery in the University of Aberdeen’s collection, and we will be featuring more in upcoming social media posts.

The scene depicted on the front side of this vessel shows the Trojan warriors Ajax and Achilles playing a board game to pass the time during the mythical siege of Troy – a siege of 10 years. That’s a very long game of Monopoly! In some versions of this scene, the heroes have their helmets on and weapons at hand, ready to leap into action. Here, their helmets are put to the side with their shields suggesting that their fight is not imminent. The female figure between is Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war.

Interestingly, this episode, although well known, is not described in any of the literary texts that have come down to us from the oral storytelling tradition. It is a scene only known from pottery. Today, we are more used to pottery being purely decorative rather than giving us an episode from a classical soap opera!

Follow us on Instagram to see more of the University’s collections

Museums and Collections at UoA (@uoacollections) • Instagram photos and videos

Search News

Browse by Month

2024

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar There are no items to show for March 2024
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 2024
  5. May There are no items to show for May 2024
  6. Jun There are no items to show for June 2024
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2024
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2024
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2024
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2024
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2024
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2024

2013

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 2013
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 2013
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec