Iron Age Cypriot Terracotta Jug


An Iron Age Cypriot light terracotta handle-ridge jug featuring a globular body. The large, tapering body rests on a small round foot and the jutting shoulders lead to a narrow, cylindrical neck. The mouth of the neck flares gently outwards and features a folded-in rim. The thick, flattened handle curves outwards from just below the flared mouth, to rest on the sloping shoulders. Geometric lines, painted in black pigment, encircle the body and highlight the details of the handle and lip.

Date: Circa 8th - 7th Century BC
Provenance: Ex David William Akherst Collection by descent, joining the British Museum in 1948 in the Greek and Roman Antiquities Department moving to be Chief Conservation Officer of Glass and Ceramics until retirement in 1982
Condition: Fine, with original pigment largely visible but faded in some places. Some chips and earthly encrustation to the surface.


This fine example of Cypriot art can be dated between the Cypriot Geometric and Archaic Periods. From the late Bronze Age onwards, Cypriot pottery production and art was deeply influenced by Mycenaean art. However, Cypriot artisans maintained a native autonomy in the decorative motives and shapes of such vessels. Cypriot vessels of this period are characterised by geometric and abstract decoration, rendered in black, brown and red pigments, on a white coloured background.

Weight 172.9 g
Dimensions L 8.5 x W 8.5 x H 12.1 cm

Pottery and Porcelain


Reference: For a similar item, The Metropolitan Museum, item 74.51.670

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