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Large aryballos (flask for perfumed oil) decorated with two friezes of warriors, height 16 cm. Imported from Corinth and an example of the Middle Corinthian style, first half of the 6th century BC. From the former Bern-Getty collection of objects looted from the Temple plateau of the Timpone della Motta and now in the National Archaeological Museum at Sibari.
Large aryballos (flask for perfumed oil) decorated with two friezes of warriors, height 16 cm. Imported from Corinth and an example of the Middle Corinthian style, first half of the 6th century BC. From the former Bern-Getty collection of objects looted from the Temple plateau of the Timpone della Motta and now in the National Archaeological Museum at Sibari.

V.F.23. Large round aryballos decorated with two friezes of warriors, first half of the 6th century BC.

During the so-called Middle Corinthian style period a painter was active in Corinth who specialized in warrior friezes on large flasks. Professor Amyx, an expert in Corinthian vase-painting, named him the ‘Warrior Frieze painter’.

Warrior aryballoi of a smaller (i.e. more regular) size and painted by various other artists also exist; fragments of these have been found on the Timpone della Motta during the official Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004.

The warrior aryballoi  from the acropolis on the Timpone della Motta are remarkably uniform, as is the earlier series of ovoid and piriform flasks with chasing dogs (see Museum nos. V.F.4. and V.F.5.).

Because of the specifically male iconography and the fact that athletes used these flasks to keep the oil with which they cleansed themselves after sport, we believe that both series of vessels represent dedications by young males to the goddess of the acropolis.

The Warrior series would be a more explicit choice in this respect than the earlier dog scenes. Presumably this reflects the changed situation in the colonies in Magna Graecia, where hoplite warfare had become a necessary part of life.

The warrior aryballoi found in the course of the official excavations stem from 6th-century BC layers associated with the temples of that period and with the defensive wall, the co-called ‘Muro Schlaeger’.

The aryballos is now on display in the National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide at Sibari.