The Piriform

In contrast to the large jar, the piriform jar enjoys a relatively wide distribution throughout the Argolid, although no examples from the Korinthia have been published,

203 While most likely LH I in date, the piece could belong to FS 15/24, which dates to LH IIA.

and Mountjoy notes that examples of the shape are not overly abundant.204 FS 27 is best represented by four examples from Prosymna Tombs 25 and 26 (PRO 1-4) and one from Kokla Tomb VIIB (KOK 1), with additional pieces known from Lerna (LER 1) and Midea (MID 2).205 These vessels stand approximately 9.0-12.0 cm high and have rims of around 6.0-8.0 cm in diameter, that may be everted, down-sloping, or cut-off and sit atop a relatively tall neck.206 The bodies are piriform in shape - hence the name - and have a splayed or splayed concave base about 4.0-5.5 cm wide. The handles, which number two or three, are strap and horizontal and may be shallowly grooved. They sit on the shoulder.

As with the large jar, the rim, neck (interior and exterior), handles, and base are typically covered in paint. The main decorative zone is on the belly below the handle, and may contain: the tangent variety of the running spiral, FM 46, with one of the spirals filled

204 FS 27 (MP, 22 fig. 3). RMDP, 80. KOR 4 could be from a piriform jar. While Davis believes that the rim belongs to a squat jug (Davis 1979, 240, 239 fig. 3:6), the diameter seems closer to a piriform jar or alabastron both of which tend to be larger (MDP, 12-13). KOR 5 also may be FS 27. Davis places this rim in his equivalent of White on Burnished Dark since it is covered with paint and exhibits a matt white band (Davis 1979, 240, 239 fig. 3:15), but the fabric appears to be Mycenaean Decorated. See Fig. 3.2.

205 While only a body sherd, the part of a spiral filled with circles on the belly confirms the shape identification of MID 2. LER 2 is most likely from a piriform jar, while LER 3 could be either FS 27 or an alabastron jar (see below for a definition of this term).

with another motif, such as crocuses or circles; the naturalistic or combination version of the foliate band, FM 64; and the scale pattern, FM 70, although this is rare according to Mountjoy.207 The Kokla jar contains the obliquely-oriented hatched loop, FM 63, that "springs" from a band below and is unparalleled in the northeastern Peloponnese.208 Narrow to medium bands appear below this zone. Added white paint is applied on the neck bands and also may be found on the shoulder and handles as well as on the lower body bands.209

207 MDP, 12. While only one example of this motif is known, the limited quantities of the other known motifs, and indeed of the shape itself, does not suggest that one motif is particularly rarer than another.

208 Demakopoulou 1993, 60. She and Mountjoy (RMDP, 80) note an Athenian jar and a Boeotian jar as parallels (RMDP, 500, 501 fig. 178:4, 648, 649 fig. 246:1), but while these vessels do have hatched loops, their motif "hangs" obliquely from a neck band.

209 Mountjoy initially assigned three (NM 190-192) of the five piriform jars from Shaft Grave I at Mycenae to LH I, but, upon Rutter's publication of a LH IIA example from Tsoungiza, she re-dated them to LH IIA (MDP, 12 note 20; RMDP, 85, 87; Rutter 1993, 60, 62, 61 fig. 5:1 The number of piriform jars from SG I could be six, although the rim of the neck of NM 193 appears to be shorter and more concave than the necks of piriform jars and is thus more likely an alabastron jar). Indeed, following Rutter, she suggests that the Mycenaean and Tsoungizan pieces originated "from the same workshop," and Rutter even proposes that the same potter could have produced the vessels (Rutter 1993, 74; RMDP, 87). Mountjoy's dating of three jars - Prosymna 14, 139 (PRO 5) from Tomb 52

The unique piriform jar from Chamber Tomb 52 at Prosymna (PRO 5) requires special mention. While assigned to FS 27 by Furumark and accepted as such by Mountjoy, the morphological features of the jar differ considerably from other examples of FS 27, as Shelton notes.210 The rim, 12.3 cm in diameter, is squared in a similar fashion to the rims of Mainland Polychrome Matt-Painted jars, and sits on a tall and wide neck with a ridge at the base of it.211 The body, which is large and ovoid in shape, terminates in a splayed concave base 7.9 cm wide.212 The vessel stands 29.7 cm tall. In addition to the usual two round horizontal handles on the shoulder, two deeply-grooved vertical handles sit at a 90° angle to them. The rim and neck are covered in paint, while filled papyrus, FM 11, and Mycenae 194 and 196 from Shaft Grave I - to LH IIA appears suspect. The Prosymna vessel contains certain LH I morphological features such as the squared rim which, as Mountjoy herself admits, is "in the manner of LH I Mainland Polychrome rims" (RMDP, 85). She in turn dates Mycenae 196 to LH IIA because of the similarity in decoration to the Prosymna piece, rather than the fact that the majority of the other vessels from Shaft Grave I, except 194, seem to be LH IIA. From the flatness of the bases of 194 and 196, compared to those of 191 and 192, as well as the occurrence of the motif of 194 in the handle zone, I would place both jars in early LH IIA at the latest.

211 See Chapter 5 below.

212 The ovoid body resembles a smaller jar from Kokla (Demakopoulou 1993, 61, pl. 5:13).

decorates an upper decorative zone between the handles as well as a zone on the lower body. Two broad bands separate these zones.

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