- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Bowl with Inscription in Cypriot Syllabic Script
- Work Type
- 8th-early 5th century BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Cyprus
- Cypro-Geometric period
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Cast and hammered
- 4.5 x 10.6 x 0.1 cm (1 3/4 x 4 3/16 x 1/16 in.)
- Technical Details
Chemical Composition: XRF data from Artax 1 and Tracer
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, arsenic
K. Eremin, January 2014
Technical Observations: The surface is bright metal with areas of black, red, and small spots of green. Some pitting and small dents are present, especially near the center of the bottom, and the corrosion appears deep in some of these areas. The interior bears fine modern abrasive scratches from cleaning. Two cracks, one 3 mm and the other 5 cm, under the area of the inscription are filled with corrosion products and appear to pre-date burial. A 1-cm area of tinted resin near the center is probably a modern repair of a hole. The inscription has been cleaned with a hard point, but the corrosion in the lines is like the dark patina elsewhere, and it does not appear to be a modern addition.
The irregular thickness would seem to indicate the bowl was raised by hammering, but the dendritic structure of the metal that is visible at many areas of the interior points to casting. It is possible that the cast bowl was hammered to finish the surfaces. The lines of the inscription are worn but appear to have been hammered into the surface using a tool with an elongated front edge.
Henry Lie (submitted 2012)
- Inscriptions and Marks
inscription: one line of text on the interior of the bowl in the Cypriot syllabic script,
[transliteration: Ἐχεϝοίκω ἠμί. Translation: I am [the bowl/the votive] of Echewoikos]
- inscription: one line of text on the interior of the bowl in the Cypriot syllabic script,
- German private collection (by 1991). [Frank L. Kovacs, San Rafael, CA, sold]; to the Harvard University Art Museums.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Marian H. Phinney Fund
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
This simple, hemispherical bowl is plain on the exterior. On the interior, there is a raised ridge at approximately the midpoint between the bottom and the rim (1). There is also a small raised boss on the bottom of the bowl in the interior. The rim is thicker than the walls, causing the rim to overhang the wall on the interior slightly. Just below the rim are seven incised characters of the Cypriot syllabary stating that the owner of the bowl was Echewoikos.
Votive vessels with ownership inscriptions are known from the eastern Mediterranean in the Geometric and Archaic periods, not only on Cyprus but also exported into the Aegean region (2). This bowl is unusual in terms of the placement of the inscription, which is on the interior rather than the exterior, and it is the only one of its type, with a raised horizontal ridge on the interior, to bear an inscription (3).
1. For this type of vessel, see H. Matthäus, Metallgefässe und Gefässuntersäatze der Bronzezeit, der geometrischen und archaischen Period auf Cypern, Prähistorische Bronzefunde 2.8 (Munich, 1985) 109-12, nos. 312-24, pl. 18.
2. For a list of similar inscriptions, see R. Schmitt, “Eine neue kyprische Gefässinschrift,” Kadmos: Zeitschrift für vor- und fruhgriechische Epigraphik 30.2 (1991): 128-30, esp. 129. For a general description of Cypriot bronze bowls of this type, their chronology, findspots, and inscriptions, see H.-G. Buchholz and H. Matthäus, “Zyprische Bronzeschalen der geometrischen und archaischen Periode,” Cahier du Centre d'Etudes Chypriotes 33 (2003): 99-148.
3. Buchholz and Matthäus 2003 (supra 2) 100.
Lisa M. Anderson
- Publication History
Rüdiger Schmitt, "Eine neue kyprische Gefässinschrift", Kadmos: Zeitschrift fur vor- und fruhgriechische Epigraphik (1991), Bd. 30, Hf. 2, 128-30, pls. 1-2.
Hans-Gunter Buchholz and Hartmut Matthaus, "Zyprische Bronzeschalen der geometrischen und archaischen Periode", Cahier du Centre d'Etudes Chypriotes (2003), Vol. 33, 99-148, pp. 99-100, 122-124, 138, no. 18, figs. 1-2 and 19.
Markus Egetmeyer, Le dialecte grec ancien de Chypre II: Repertoire des inscriptions en syllabaire chypro-grec, Walter de Gruyter and Co. (Berlin, 2010), Gastria 1.
Anna Cannavo, "Histoire de Chypre à l’époque archaïque: Analyse des sources textuelles" (2011), Universite de Lyon, (Ph.D. diss.) pp. 277-78, no. I A 50.
- Subjects and Contexts
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