Cypriot chalice (early Iron Age - Cypro Geometric III ): 850 - 750 BC

chalice (early Iron Age - Cypro Geometric III )

This is known as Bichrome ware. It was wheel made, covered with white slip and then painted with red and black. Influenced by Greek Archaic period Geometric ware, which marked the resurgence of Greek civilisation after the collapse of Mycenaean Greece. Cyprus consisted of 7 (later 10) city kingdoms. Early in this period Phoenician settlers formed a kingdom around Kition, helping to re-establish Cypriot trade routes, and bringing their religion, writing and language which existed parallel to the now-native Greek. Aphrodite (Phoenician Astarte) was believed to have been born in Cyprus.

Homer lived around 750BC and Homeric myths spread to Cyprus during the following Archaic I period, during which Phoenicia and Cyprus were vassal states of Assyria (709-663BC). Some of the later Archaic period pottery shapes and their decoration (particularly black on red ware) are also found in contemporary Phoenicia and their versions are called Cypro-Phoenician.

Size: 13.5cm W

(Ex private collection London acq before 1980)

(Aquired Helios Gallery 2014)