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Alabastron  (scented oil or lotion bottle),  decorated with running dogs in silhouette style,  height // cm, found  on Timpone  della Motta, last decennia of the  7th c. BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.
Alabastron (scented oil or lotion bottle), decorated with running dogs in silhouette style, height // cm, found on Timpone della Motta, last decennia of the 7th c. BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.

V.F.5. Alabastron with dogs chasing a hare

The name for this bottle type derives from the larger alabaster  vessels which were first known in Egypt and became popular all over the Mediterranean area.  The elongated shape and the small lug at the handle are typical for this type of scent bottles. A practical element is the flattened and spreading mouth, which these vessels have  in common with aryballoi, and which can be used to rub the scented oil over the skin.

Compare for the decoration with dogs chasing a hare – here in careless silhouette style  - the nicer work of the ‘hound painter’ no. V.F.2.  For the Greeks such decoration must have been associated  with epheboi (young athletes) and their competion in swiftness with dogs and hares. Thus in the homeland the scented oil was not associated with a female, indoors, world, but with a male world of sport and competition.  The batch of perfume bottles with chasing dogs that was traded for use in the sanctuary of the Goddess of the Acropolis at Francavilla had probably lost that association.

The object is associated with Temple V.d, found on the Timpone della Motta, Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, no. AC17A.16.hy07.