Boiotian black-figured koryle

The vase is decorated on both sides with scenes from the daily life of women, in black-figured style on a brown slip. Side A shows two women crushing seeds or nuts with large, evidently wooden pestles, in a vase (basin) set on a high base. A third woman observes the scene while spinning. The women’s names are written above the figures: Rhodoma, Eupharia and Euarcha, the woman with the spindle. Depicted on side B is a woman assisting another woman bathing. It is Euphrosyne who is pouring water from a trefoil jug over Euarcha, who bends over a small metal vase. A third woman, whose name is not preserved, watches.Below the handles of the vase two animals frame the main figures: a little dog with the appropriate name of Philothera (= the one guarding the door) and a lion. All the women wear the long peplos, girded at the waist. Only Euarcha, with her spindle and whorl, wears an himation in addition. Applied white color was used for the nude parts of the women, the animals’ bellies, the mane and teeth of the lion and the dog’s collar. A few incisions emphasize details of the figures and objects.

The Canellopoulos Museum cup is one of the most interesting of the vases in the collection both for the iconographical themes and for the inscriptions, which identify ordinary people. It has been suggested that Euarcha, who appears on both sides of the vase, is the lady of the house, surrounded by her servants. This interpretation is supported by the etymology of her name, Euarcha (Eu + archein = she who administers well). The scene of women grinding nuts and seeds is unusual. Such scenes are known from a few more vases and from some figurines. They have been interpreted as representing scenes of processing nuts, grain, dough or milk for churning butter.

St. Eleftheratou