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Lid of a pyxis (ceramic box for cosmetics or other valuable materials), rim diameter 11cm. From the Temple plateau on the Timpone della Motta, re-assembled from fragments from the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, and from the Bern-Getty collection of looted objects. Imported from Corinth, executed in the so-called transitional style. Late Proto-Corinthian to early Corinthian, 640-610BC. National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.
Lid of a pyxis (ceramic box for cosmetics or other valuable materials), rim diameter 11cm. From the Temple plateau on the Timpone della Motta, re-assembled from fragments from the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, and from the Bern-Getty collection of looted objects. Imported from Corinth, executed in the so-called transitional style. Late Proto-Corinthian to early Corinthian, 640-610BC. National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.

V.F.21. Pyxis lid with animal frieze, Corinthian Transitional style.

The ceramic box to which this lid belonged is larger than usual.

The vase-painter used the opportunity provided by a large space to paint a whole parade of the most impressive animals he could think of. A lion, an ibex, sphinxes, a panther and a bull are easily identified. Unfortunately a large gap obscures most of an animal with an intriguing pattern; its hind legs suggest that it could be a turtle.

The arrangement of the animals between chequered bands and the rosettes between the animals are more standard elements,  although a few similar animal friezes are known from the sanctuary at Perachora near Corinth.

The person who dedicated this box – almost certainly with a significant gift to the goddess inside – must have felt its loss keenly. However, the feeling may have served as a wholesome reminder of her visit to Athena’s sanctuary on the Timpone della Motta, and of her prayer and devotion to the goddess.

The pyxis is associated with Temple V.d on the Timpone della Motta, and ypart of it was found during the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004. The object is now in the National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide, Sibari.