Bridge SpoutedJars

With approximately 116 examples, this pouring vessel is after the conical cup the most popular vase shape in the kiln and the dump. Bridge-spouted jars occur somewhat more frequently than do jugs, representing 10% of the estimated number of vases, as opposed to 8% for the jugs (Fig. 39). A preponderance of bridge-spouted jars over jugs also has been noticed by Watrous among LM IA pottery from the Kommos hillside houses.107

Most bridge-spouted jars are small and have fine fabrics (34-36). An estimated 83 examples have been found, including 16 inside the kiln. Of these, 24 are unpainted (34), 39 are dark monochrome coated (36), and 20 are decorated with light-on-dark patterned, thick retorted spirals (35). With some exceptions, the fine bridge-spouted jars from the kiln and dump resemble in shape MM III and LM IA examples found at Kommos and elsewhere in the Mesara. Their bodies are either ovoid or piriform, having as a rule more slender proportions than in MM III.108 Squat globular or ovoid jars, as do sometimes occur in MM III, are absent in the kiln and

Figure 41. Pedestal base C 8947 (59) with stretch marks on its interior.

T. Dabney

Figure 41. Pedestal base C 8947 (59) with stretch marks on its interior.

T. Dabney

  1. Rye 1981, p. 75; Glock 1987, p. 100, fig. 1:3. Cf. Rice 1987, pp. 358360; Blackman, Stein, and Vandiver 1993, p. 64, fig. 4; Courty and Roux 1995, p. 30, figs. 6:b, 16:a. For further discussion about what causes these compression ridges, see below (p. 106).
  2. I thank Rutter for this last suggestion.
  3. Kommos III, p. 112.
  4. For fine MM III bridge-spouted jars from Kommos, see Kommos II, figs. 25: no. 498, 30: nos. 644, 645, 38: no. 791, 39: no. 822, 60: nos. 1736, 1742, 64: no. 1854; pls. 27: no. 523, 36: no. 642, 37: no. 643, 73: no. 1392. For early LM IA examples from Kommos, see Kommos II, figs. 42: no. 890, 68: nos. 1993, 1996; pls. 52: no. 884, 101: no. 1994, 102: nos. 2001, 2002. Only one rim fragment has been published from a late LM IA context at Kommos (Kommos III, p. 2, pl. 18:
  5. 14). It is light-on-dark patterned, and its profile is not illustrated. For phase III examples from Phaistos, see Levi and Carinci 1988, pp. 131-134; Levi 1976, pls. 198:a, c, e, 199, 200:a-i, l, 201:a-f, h. For MM III Aghia Triada, see La Rosa 1977, fig. 11:a, b; 1986, fig. 31. For LM IA Seli, see Cucuzza 1993, pls. 6: XXIII-1, 16c, e. Jar XXIII-1 carries polychrome decoration on a black ground. Several dark-on-light patterned examples from the postdestruction fill in the Edificio Ciclopico at Aghia Triada, dated to mature LM IA, have piriform bodies with highly constricted lower bodies and disc bases, unlike the bridge-spouted jars fired in the Kommos kiln (La Rosa 1986, figs. 76:d, 80:a, 92:a). Knossos has yielded many fewer MM III and LM IA bridge-spouted jars than has the Mesara, and they show a number of morphological differences.

Fine examples come from the NorthWest Lustral Basin (PM I, fig. 298:b), Hogarth's House Yard (PM I, fig. 298:c), and Acropolis Deposits B and E (Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, figs. 19: V.112; 20: V.126). The illustrated fragment from Hogarth's House Yard has a stepped ledge rim unknown in the Mesara, and Catling's second example is much smaller than any of its Mesara counterparts. For transitional MM IIIB/ LM IA examples from Knossos, see Warren 1991, fig. 5:F, pl. 77:A-C. One of these (fig. 5:F) has an offset, insloping rim not found among bridge-spouted jars of the Mesara. A LM IA bridge-spouted jar illustrated by Popham (1967, pl. 77:b) is quite different in shape from the jars produced in the Kommos kiln. More comparanda from Seli and Knossos are listed below, notes 192, 195.

dump.109 It is not certain whether bridge-spouted jars with pedestal bases similar to those reported from phase III Phaistos were produced in the Kommos kiln.110 As in MM III and early LM IA at Kommos and in phase III at Phaistos, the fine bridge-spouted jars of the kiln and dump either are hole-mouthed or have upturned rims—that is, none has a ledge rim.

There are some differences between the bridge-spouted jars from the dump and those found within the kiln. Most examples from the dump are similar in size to 34 and 35, and as a rule they have thin grooved strap handles. In contrast, bridge-spouted jars found inside the kiln (36) and some from the dump tend to be smaller, and they no longer have thin grooved strap handles but handles with circular section or thickened strap handles. Handles with circular section on fine bridge-spouted jars begin in the MM IIIB/LM IA transitional stage at Knossos, but in the Mesara the practice is not attested before late LM IA; it is common in LM IB.111 The fact that some of the fine bridge-spouted jars found in the kiln and dump (34) are unpainted also may have been a relatively late LM IA phenomenon at Kommos, since it has not been attested earlier. The chronological implications of these differences will be discussed in more detail below (p. 98).

Medium-sized bridge-spouted jars (37) have medium-coarse fabrics. Approximately 33 examples have been identified, including a possible one inside the kiln. They closely resemble in shape MM III and early LM IA examples from Kommos as well as phase III jars from Phaistos.112 They have elongated globular or rather plump ovoid bodies, folded-back ledge rims, and almost vertically rising handles with circular section. Five are unpainted, 18 are dark monochrome coated (37), and 9 carry light-on-dark thick retorted spirals. Absent from the kiln and dump, however, are

  1. For Kommos, see Kommos II, figs. 30: nos. 644, 645, 39: no. 822, 64: no. 1854; pl. 73: no. 1392. For Phaistos, see Levi and Carinci 1988, pl. 57:i-m. For Aghia Triada, see La Rosa 1986, fig. 31. A squat ovoid bridge-spouted jar also was found in a LM IA context at Seli (Cucuzza 1993, pls. 16a, b).
  2. Levi and Carinci 1988, pp. 133-134, pl. 58:a-g; Levi 1976, pls. 202, 203; Pernier and Banti 1951, figs. 264:b, 267:b. Five fragmentary pedestal bases perhaps belonging to bridge-spouted jars have been found in the dump, but thus far it has not been possible to connect such bases definitely with a particular shape. These painted base fragments are quite different in shape from the fine unpainted base 59.
  3. In LM IA, round-sectioned handles appear both on fine bridge-

spouted jars with light-on-dark decoration and on lustrous dark-on-light patterned examples with ledge rims. The earliest examples come from MM

IIIB/LM IA transitional contexts in Knossos (Warren 1991, fig. 5:F; Pop-ham 1984, pl. 145:1). See note 89 for our use of Popham's designation "MM IIIB/LM IA." An unpainted specimen from the South-West Basement (PM II, fig. 403:E) is dated by Warren to MM IIIB or the transitional stage (Warren 1991, p. 334), but may be later in date; see Macdonald 1990, p. 19. For a mature LM IA example from Knossos, see PM II, fig. 253:D. Handles with circular section are rare on fine bridge-spouted jars from LM IA contexts in the Mesara. For Kom-mos, see also 65 (which may not be a Kommos product), and perhaps Kommos III, pl. 3: no. 125; for Seli, see Cucuzza 1993, pls. 6: XXI-3, 16d. They are much more common in LM IB in the Mesara, occurring on fine bridge-spouted jars of either decorative scheme (Kommos III, fig. 14: no. 124; Halbherr, Stefani, and Banti 1977, figs. 75-78; La Rosa 1986, fig. 46:b; Pernier and Banti 1951, fig. 107:b; Levi 1959, figs. 25:e, g, h, 30:c; 1967-1968, figs. 64, 72:a-c).

112. For Kommos, see Kommos II, figs. 27: no. 599; 40: no. 826; 41: no. 861. For Phaistos, see Levi and Carinci 1988, pp. 115-116, pls. 50:e, f, 52:a, b; Levi 1976, pls. 198:b, d, f, 200:k, m, 201:g, i. Levi and Carinci point out that the near-vertical orientation of the handles of medium-sized and large bridge-spouted jars in phase III represents a change from the more slanted orientation of earlier bridge-spouted jar handles. A dark-on-light patterned example from Kommos is dated by Watrous to LM I (Kommos III, pl. 4: no. 203). It has a ledge rim but its profile is not illustrated. Also at Knossos, large MM III and LM IA bridge-spouted jars with coarse fabrics have round-sectioned handles in near-vertical positions. Examples come from Acropolis Deposits B and E (Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, figs. 20: V.128; 29: V.208, V.215). Jars V.128 and V.208 have upturned rims unlike their Mesara counterparts.

the small, crudely made bridge-spouted jars produced in medium-coarse fabrics that were common during MM III and early LM IA at Kommos.113 Their absence will be one of the arguments for dating the kiln pottery later than early LM IA (see below).

Jugs occur somewhat less frequently in the kiln and dump than do bridge-spouted jars (see above, p. 74). Only collar-necked jugs and ewers are sufficiently numerous to be accepted as part of the kiln output. Juglets and narrow-necked spouted jugs cannot be shown to have been produced in this kiln, even though these are common LM IA varieties. Thus far there is no evidence that beak-spouted narrow-necked jugs with fine fabrics were produced or consumed at Kommos in this period.114 The dump debris did include a single, almost intact juglet (C 10045) as well as some fragments of two large medium-coarse jugs with narrow necks provided with conical knobs (e.g., C 10594). The juglet is slipped a very pale brown, but is otherwise unpainted and lacks a handle. The two medium-coarse narrow-necked jugs were splattered with dark paint fired bright red and brown. In spite of the freshness of their surfaces, the juglet and narrow-necked jugs are too rare to be accepted as products of this kiln, but the possibility should be kept in mind, especially since part of the kiln dump is likely to have been carried off in Minoan times (see above). Juglets (with handles) are found, along with collar-necked jugs and ewers, in LM IA consumer contexts at Kommos.115

Collar-Necked Jugs

An estimated 30 examples from the kiln and dump have fine fabrics and the other 25 collar-necked jugs have medium-coarse fabrics that are quite

  1. Kommos II, figs. 27: no. 600; 36: no. 752; 63: no. 1842; pls. 32: no. 601; 75: no. 1501; 76: no. 1502; 95: no. 1880; 96: no. 1881.
  2. Beak-spouted narrow-necked jugs with fine fabrics are likewise absent from LM IA contexts at Aghia Triada, and only one example has been published from a final LM IA context at Seli (Cucuzza 1993, pl. 21d). However, because of the relative scarcity of published pottery, it is too early to draw firm conclusions regarding the scarcity of this jug variety in the other Mesara sites during the LM IA period. Beaked jugs with fine fabrics occur more frequently in the area, including at Kommos, in LM IB (Kommos III, fig. 14: no. 112; Pernier and Banti 1951, figs. 64, 106, 224; Halbherr, Stefani, and Banti 1977, figs. 21, 37, 81, 165, 175; Levi 1967-1968, figs. 73:c, 75; Cucuzza 1993, pl. 21c). From LM IB

Kannia comes a tall beaked jug with medium-coarse fabric, provided with pointed knobs at the neck (Levi 1959, fig. 26:b). Beaked jugs occur in LM IA at Knossos (Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, fig. 31: V.223) and elsewhere (cf. Niemeier 1980, pp. 49-50; Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, p. 46).

115. For early LM IA jugs, see Kommos II, p. 125, nos. 828, 829. To these may be added an unpublished collar-necked jug (C 6684), two ewers (C 6652, C 9419), and a juglet (C 7511) from LM IA contexts in Building T. The earliest well-dated collar-necked jug from Kommos is an unpublished example (C 9641) from an advanced LM IA fill in Room 2 of House X (trench 80A, pail 61). The jug fragments of a LM IA deposit on the Hillside listed by Watrous (Kommos III, p. 2, nos. 15-19) are too small to reveal to which jug type they belong.




Figure 42. Wasters of collar-necked jugs (C 10602, C 10611), ewer (C 10300), oval-mouthed amphoras (C 10018, C 10138, C 10279), pithos (C 10283). T. Dabney


C 10279


C 10279


Figure 42. Wasters of collar-necked jugs (C 10602, C 10611), ewer (C 10300), oval-mouthed amphoras (C 10018, C 10138, C 10279), pithos (C 10283). T. Dabney finely textured (5-7% inclusions). Six fine fragmentary specimens come from the kiln (38). Three or four jug fragments, including one with a fine fabric, are wasters (e.g., Fig. 42). Painted decoration usually is minimal. It is estimated that roughly 15 examples are unpainted (39), 25 are dark monochrome coated (38, 41, 42, 45), 10 carry light-on-dark patterned, thick retorted spirals (40, 43), and 5 are splattered with dark paint.

All collar-necked jugs have a troughed spout at the rim, a thick vertical strap handle opposite the spout, and a pair of small, horizontal ledge lugs placed opposite each other, and spaced roughly equidistant from the handle and the spout. There is a tremendous variety in morphological detail, however. Shoulders may be pronounced (40, 43) or gently sloping (39, 45). Necks may be very short (39, 40, 43, 44, 45) or somewhat taller (38, 41, 42). They either are vertical (41, 44), slightly everted (40, 45), or in-sloping (38, 39, 42, 43), and may be convex (42). Rims may be straight (38, 39, 45), everted (41, 43, 44), or thickened (40, 42). The largest amount of variation occurs among spouts. Some jugs have small spouts that simply have been pinched out from the rim (38, 40, 42), while others have more substantial ones, modeled separately and attached to the rim in a sloppy manner (44, 45). Sometimes the spout is of a coarser fabric than the body (44).

Collar-necked jugs make their first appearance at Kommos in the advanced stage of LM IA (see above, note 115). It is clear that those produced in the kiln are less standardized than are other common shapes, such as kalathoi, bridge-spouted jars, or oval-mouthed amphoras. They also are far less standardized than LM IB collar-necked jugs from the Mesara and mature LM IA and LM IB examples from northern Crete and elsewhere, which all have tall, straight necks and added spouts.116 Since the various states of the different attributes of kiln jugs cannot be clustered so as to define distinct varieties of the basic form, but instead crosscut one another, it is unlikely that they result from production by multiple potters. Rather, since this jug type had only recently appeared in Kommos, the lack of morphological standardization seems to reflect an experimental stage in the production history of the collar-necked jug.

Several collar-necked jugs show morphological affinities with MM III and early LM IA pitharakia from Kommos as well as with phase III pitharakia and spouted jars from Phaistos and Kamilari.117 Jug 40 shares with pitharakia and spouted jars a piriform body of comparable size and abruptly incurving shoulder. A similar shoulder is found on fragment 43. In addition, jugs 40, 43, 44, and 45 have short, slightly everted necks that may be topped by rolled rims (40, 43, 44), much like those of pitharakia and tubular-spouted jars. These similarities suggest that collar-necked jugs at Kommos developed out of pitharakia and tubular-spouted jars, vase shapes that do not occur among the kiln output. Pitharakia are actually in marked decline during LM IA at Kommos.118 Thus, rather than imitating a Knossian shape, as has been suggested by Watrous, the collar-necked jug may represent a purely local development at Kommos.119

Some collar-necked jugs produced by the kiln already show characteristics that will be standard on later examples at Kommos and elsewhere.

  1. For an unstratified LM I collar-necked jug and a LM IB example from Kommos, see Kommos III, p. 104, fig. 65: no. 1801 and p. 15, fig. 17: no. 264, respectively. LM IB examples also have been reported from Aghia Triada (Halbherr, Stefani, and Banti 1977, figs. 73, 74; La Rosa 1986, fig. 51:a; 1989, p. 89, pl. XVIII:d), Chalara (Levi 1967-1968, fig. 73:a, b, d, e), Kannia (Levi 1959, fig. 25:f), and Mallia (Pelon 1966, fig. 23:1). Collar-necked jugs dating to mature LM IA and LM IB have been published from Knossos (PM II, figs. 253:B, 349:i; Popham 1967, pls. 76:c, 80:a), Akrotiri (Thera II, fig. 27; Thera VI, pl. 78:b; Marthari 1990, p. 62, fig. 5:a; Niemeier 1980, figs. 27, 37), Kythera (Coldstream and Huxley 1972, p. 287, pl. 79: E55, E62, F61), and elsewhere (see Niemeier 1980, p. 51; cf. Betancourt 1985, fig. 94:D, pl. 18:G).
  2. For examples of MM III pitha-rakia from Kommos, see Kommos II, figs. 29: no. 609, 60: no. 1750, 66: no.

1885, 69: no. 2007; Kommos III, p. 12, fig. 16: no. 214. For pitharakia from Phaistos and Kamilari, see Levi and

Carinci 1988, pp. 167-170, pls. 72-73; Levi 1976, pls. 204-206. For a spouted jar that closely resembles 40, see Levi and Carinci 1988, pl. 46:f; Levi 1976, pl. 197:d, f. A few tubular-spouted jars from Phaistos, dating to phase Ib, bear resemblances to LM IA collar-necked jugs as well; one even has lugs at the rim (Levi and Carinci 1988, pl. 45:f-i).

118. From good MM III contexts at Kommos come 12 pitharakia (Kommos II, nos. 472, 496, 497, 609, 647, 648, 724, 792, 1747, 1751, 1752, 1855). In contrast, only one comes from an early LM IA floor (Kommos II, no. 885), and one is mentioned from a later LM IA fill (Kommos III, p. 112). No pitharakia or spouted jars occur among the unpublished LM IA floor deposits from House X and Building T, except for a nonlocal, handmade example (C 6913) from the west end of Rooms 20/22 in Building T. Tubular-spouted jars are rare at Kommos in all periods. For a MM III example, see Kommos II, no. 646. Two unpublished lustrous dark-on-light patterned examples (C 6911, C 8337) come from late LM IA contexts in Building T.

I thank J. B. Rutter for drawing my attention to these as well as to the handmade jar from Building T. Two tubular-spouted jars datable to LM IB have been found in House X (Kommos III, pl. 7: no. 300; C 9315).

119. Lacking LM IA collar-necked jugs from Kommos, Watrous (Kommos III, p. 114) suggested that the LM IB examples from the Mesara had been inspired by LM I jugs from Knossos, which in turn would have imitated a bronze jug type (cf. Coldstream and Huxley 1972, p. 287, note 2). However, the new evidence from the kiln as well as from House X and Building T at Kommos shows that collar-necked jugs developed at Kommos quite early in LM IA, before they became popular in northern Crete and Thera in the mature stage of LM IA (Niemeier 1980, p. 51; see below, p. 101, note 196). A possible MM IIIB/LM IA transitional example from Knossos would be roughly contemporary with the earliest Kommian examples, but its identification is uncertain because its spout is not preserved (Warren 1991, pp. 322323, fig. 6:A, pl. 77:E).

These are the relatively tall collar necks of some jugs (38, 41, 42) and the well-developed spouts attached to the rims of a few others (44, 45). The different fabric texture of one of the attached spouts appears to be experimental, because it is not found on later collar-necked jugs.120


Remains of 35 different ewers have been identified, including 4 inside the kiln. Among the ewers are 4 wasters (e.g., Fig. 42: C 10300). Bodies are ovoid or piriform in shape, necks are concave-flaring, and rims are sloping. A single handle with circular section rises vertically from the shoulder and encompasses the rim—that is, it is attached to the rim on both its interior and exterior faces (47, 48). Encompassing handles also occur on early LM IA ewers. This jug type is extremely rare earlier at Kommos, however, and encompassing handles already occur on several phase IB and phase III ewers at Phaistos, so this style of handle attachment cannot be taken as diagnostic for LM IA ewers throughout the Mesara.121 An estimated one-half of the ewers from the kiln and dump are solidly coated with dark monochrome paint (47, 48, 49), one-fourth are unpainted (46), and the rest either carry light-on-dark thick retorted spirals or are dark-dipped.

The ewers from the kiln and dump include medium-sized (46, 47) and large (48, 49) examples, ranging in height from an estimated 0.20 to 0.40 m. Medium-sized ewers make up about two-thirds of the total. They may be rather squat (47) or more elongated in shape (46). Ewers of this size also occurred in early LM IA at Kommos, but have not yet been attested earlier at the site.122 Many Kommian LM IA examples combine two types of fabric: their bodies and handles are medium-coarse, while necks and rims are fine.123 The practice of combining fine and medium-coarse fabrics has a long tradition in the Mesara, going back to the

120. The spout of 44 may have been of a coarser fabric than the rest of the jug in order to prevent cracking, which could have occurred because of the different moisture contents of the newly made spout and the leather-hard rim and neck to which it was attached (cf. van As and Jacobs 1987, pp. 42, 51).

I thank G. A. London for drawing my attention to this point. Possibly for the same reason, the practice of attaching medium-coarse handles to fine vessels had been quite widespread in the Minoan Mesara since at least the Prepalatial period (see note 124 below).

121. The phase Ib ewers from Phaistos are large in size, and the phase III ewers are medium-sized (Levi and

Carinci 1988, pl. 37:a-c; Levi 1976, pls. 84:d, 85:c-d, 194:c-e, g). Not all have encompassing round-sectioned handles. Such handles occur occasionally at Knossos from MM III onward (Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, fig. 24:

  1. 155; PMI, pl. VII:c; possibly Warren 1991, fig. 5:C) as well as in mature LM IA at Akrotiri (Thera III, pl. 50:2) and in LM IB (Betancourt 1985, fig. 101, pl. 21:F, G). Knossian ewers usually have handles that end below the rim, sometimes even halfway up the neck, features not found in the Mesara (Catling, Catling, and Smyth 1979, figs. 16: V.7, 24: V.152, 25: V.152bis; PM I, figs. 404:f, 415:B). Such handles also are found in LM IB at Aghia Triada (Halbherr, Stefani, and Banti 1977, figs. 79, 163).
  2. For medium-sized early LM IA examples, see Kommos II, p. 125, fig. 40: no. 829, and unpublished ewer C 9419 from an early LM IA context in trench 84A, just south of Building T's south facade. I thank J. B. Rutter for bringing the latter example to my attention.

A MM III ewer from Kommos is large (Kommos II, no. 614).

Prepalatial period.124 Large ewers from the kiln and dump, 5 in all, have rims with considerable overhang. They are medium-coarse in fabric, except for their heavy, square-sectioned neck rings made of a coarse fabric (49). Such neck rings are paralleled at Kommos and elsewhere.125

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