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June 2024
June 2024

Mycenaean murex Kylix

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A stemmed drinking cup decorated with stylized murex sea shells, based on a prototype of the MET collection, ca. 1400–1300 BCE. 

During the Late Helladic III era, advancements in pottery firing techniques emerged within the Greek mainland. These advancements enabled the creation of a specific style of drinking cup, commonly referred to as a kylix. This distinctive shape subsequently became the prevailing form for drinking vessels across much of the Mycenaean world, starting from the 14th century B.C. onward.

In the case of this particular kylix, its high, striped stem provides support for a widening bowl adorned with depictions of marine life, including sea anemones and murex shells. These elements serve as testament to the sea's vital role as a significant source of sustenance and prosperity for the Mycenaean civilization. Notably, the murex, a type of mollusk, held great value in antiquity for its role as a source of precious purple dye.

Dimensions L: 19 cm, MaxL: 23 cm