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Lakaina (Laconian mug), produced locally, Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, Timpone della Motta, second half 7th c. BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.
Lakaina (Laconian mug), produced locally, Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004, Timpone della Motta, second half 7th c. BC, National Archaeological Museum, Sibari.

V.G.1. Locally produced lakaina, based on prototypes from Sparta, Athenaion, Timpone della Motta

The shape of this two-handled tankard is derived from drinking mugs produced in Sparta (Greece). These tankards were fairly popular in the Sibaritide, and ca. 20 more or less complete specimens and many more fragments are known so far from the Athenaion.

This type was not as popular as the skyphoi, kotylai and kantharoi included in assemblages of votive pottery.

Still, the local potters knew how to produce this peculiar shape, and it even underwent some development, from an hourglass shape with straight walls (unknown in Sparta) to this one, with a low, globular section below the ‘waist’ and a tall, conical upper section above it.

The decoration with its concentric circles accentuates the shape, although it was carelessly executed in this case. The line between the two handles should have been an undulating one, providing a clear demarcation of the upper and lower section.

Whether or not these unusual vessels were produced for and dedicated by a Laconian clientele is an interesting question, but one which must remain unanswered at present, because the pottery from the Athenaion on the Timpone della Motta lacks inscriptions.

From the Scavi Kleibrink 1991-2004 on the Timpone della Motta, now in the National Archaeological Museum of the Sibaritide.