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Globular pyxis (ceramic box) with Geometric decoration of the so-called Thapsos class, Late Geometric period, last decennia of the 8th c. BC, National Archeological Museum, Sibari.
Globular pyxis (ceramic box) with Geometric decoration of the so-called Thapsos class, Late Geometric period, last decennia of the 8th c. BC, National Archeological Museum, Sibari.

V.F.1. Globular pyxis of the so-called Thapsos class

This pyxis is one of the earliest Corinthian vessels found on the Timpone della Motta, where it was associated with cups painted in the same style. The lid is missing.

Although this pottery type is named after the site of Thapsos on Sicily, neutron activation analysis of a number of cups showed them to have been made in Corinth.

Characteristic for this type is the decoration between the handles, which consists of a panel filled in with miniature motifs such as lozenges and sigma’s.

Hundreds of pyxides, most of them dating from the 7th c. BC, were dedicated in the temples on the Timpone. When found they were always empty, which suggests that they probably contained perishable goods.Most of these ceramic boxes are imported pieces, and nicely decorated ones at that, and they clearly were not cheap, everyday items. They may have contained tufts of unspun wool or/and cosmetics.

The object comes from the fill of Temple V.c on the Acropolis of the Timpone della Motta, and was found during the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, and is now in the National Archaeological Museum at Sibari.