This kantharos (plural- kantharoi) is .064 m tall and has a maximum preserved diameter of .074 m. It is most likely of Boeotian origin, and it probably dates to the late 6th century based on a visual comparison with other kantharoi. (Reading Museum 1, Reading Museum 2, Cracow University Museum, Warsaw National Museum, and Cambridge Museum). A kantharos is a two handled drinking cup, which is often shown in Attic vases being held by Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. Its origins in Greece are unknown, but it was popular in Boeotia early on. The characteristic ribbon handled shape first appears in the archaeological record in Eturia (modern day Tuscany) during the late 7th and early 6th centuries. The shape was later refined by Boeotian and Attic potters.
While there are several different shapes of kantharoi, this kantharos is a generic form. It has a hollow conical foot that attaches to the bottom of the cup and preserves wheel thrown marks on the bottom. The cup is continuous on the interior, but has a carination approximately midway up the exterior of the cup. The two ribbon handles start from this carination and extend .020 m above the top of the bowl before joining smoothly at the lip of the cup.
This kantharos is decorated with a black slip that is now pitted and encrusted in spots. White ovoids were added just below the lip of the bowl, approximately .005 m apart from one another, but most of the white paint has flaked off at this point. This ovoid motif is a common decorative device on Boeotian kantharoi. The slip has worn away from one handle exposing the native red-brown clay color.
The size of the kantharos precludes its use as a drinking vessel at a symposium. However, the small size coupled with whole state of preservation suggests that the vessel was made specifically either as a grave item or a votive dedication in a sanctuary. -Andrew Carroll & Jon Gress