Description: This is an example of a squat stirrup-jar of the Late Helladic IIIA:2 Period (1374 -1300 BCE). This jar is made from a pinkish-buff clay and is decorated with a reddish-brown slip. The disc on top of the "false neck" (the upright post of clay that rises vertically from the center of the jar between the two handles) has a dot in the center surrounded by two concentric circles. The exterior face of the handles appears to have been almost completely covered in slip. The midsection of the "real" neck is reserved, but has a band of slip at its base. There are two concentric circles on its lip. In the handle zone there are two sections of v-pattern. One of these sections is between the bases of the handles and the "real" neck. The other section arches between the bases of the handles on the side opposite the "real" neck. Just below the handle zone is a thick band of slip followed by five thin lines and another thick band of slip. Below this is a reserved band followed by another thick band of slip followed by five thin lines and a final thick band. The lower portion of the body is reserved with a band around the base.
Function and info: This shape functioned as a container for the transport or storage of wine and or oil. It was used as a burial gift and is frequently found in tombs. The stirrup jar developed in the Middle Minoan Period (2000 - 1650 BCE) on Crete (or possibly at Gournia). It become a popular shape in the Late Helladic IIIA period (1400 - 1100 BCE ) and lasted until the Dark Ages (1100 BCE).
Author: Jeff Gingras