Mycenaean Stirrup Jar

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One of the oldest Greek vessels in the collection, this Mycenaean stirrup jar would have originally functioned as a storage container. This type of jar is also called a false-neck jar because normally the opening is in the neck of a vessel, however an additional spout was adjacent to it for pouring.

Despite its functionality, it was also produced with a variety of aesthetic motifs to color the exterior surfaces. Red slip is used to decorate the shoulder and body in a variety of patterns for aesthetic value. Due to the fragmented condition of the artifact, it consequently prevents further analysis into the iconographic meaning and purpose of the red slip decoration.


Conservation History

Initial Condition

The original twenty-three sherds have residue from shellac suggesting previous restoration efforts. The surface shows signs of abrasions and staining most likely due to its original context found during an archaeological dig. The handles and spout are fragmented and chipped, while large amounts of the base is missing.

Conservation Treatment

Before reassembly, the prior shellac adhesive was removed using acetone and ethanol to prep the fragments. Once the sherds were re-adhered using Paraloid B72, the larger area of loss was filled with plaster. To complete the aesthetic appearance, earth pigments were chosen to colour the infilling. In order for this vessel to be displayed, a mount was also constructed at this time.


0. Identification: AA1712

1. Institution: Department of Classics; Art Conservation, Queen’s University  (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

2. Identification references: AA1712

3.1. Category: storage object, archaeological artifact

3.2. Designation: stirrup jar or false-necked jar

3.3. Name: Mycenaean Stirrup Jar

3.4. Details: Diniacopoulos Collection

4.2. Description of iconography: flower; triglyph motif; geometric shapes; circular shapes

4.3. Iconographic analysis: possible decorative motifs, unknown significance ?

5.1. Material: earthenware clay; red slip

5.2. Technique: hand thrown on wheel; appendages attached by hand; painted; hand thrown

6.1. Unit: cm

6.2. Height: h

6.5. Diameter: di 12 cm

6.7. Form: squat body; recurved shoulder; closed neck; handle appendages; tubular spout

7.1. Manner of discovery: acquired by Vincent and Olga Diniacopoulos

7.2. Place of discovery: Mediterranean Basin

8.3. Region, style, workshop: Mycenaean

9.1. Inscription or Mark “Type”:  N/A

9.2. Position: N/A

9.3. Description of transcription: N/A

10.2. Epoch: 1500-1300 BCE

11.1. Acquisition method:  donation

11.2. Date of acquisition:  2001

11.3. Previous owner: Diniacopoulos, Olga