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Skyphos (Drinking Cup)

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique.


About 500-480 BCE


Attributed to the CHC Group
Greek; Athens

About this artwork

This cup was shaped to fit easily in the drinkers hand, and was likely used as part of the Greek symposium. Much like modern academic symposiums, in which people discuss a topic of common interest, debunking old theories and putting forth new hypotheses; the men of ancient Athens regularly got together in private homes to exchange ideas. Afterward the participants might continue the conversation, discussing their impressions in greater detail or simply socializing over a drink. As the evening progressed, participants engaged in other pleasures, including games, performances, and sex.

Wine played a major role in fueling these evenings, and a myriad of vessels were used for preparing wine while smaller vessels like this one were used to serve and drink it.


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Arts of the Ancient Mediterranean and Byzantium


Ancient Greek


Skyphos (Drinking Cup)




500 BCE–480 BCE


terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique


10.6 × 23.2 × 16.5 cm (4 3/16 × 9 1/8 × 6 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of John Astley-Cock

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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