These kind of stirrup jars, designed not to spill and easy to carry, transported oil and wine throughout the Mediterranean during Mycenaean period. The shape of this stirrup jar and its octopus decoration show the importance of the sea as a way of communication and as a source of food and wealth. This terracotta jar can be admired at Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Minoan art is my favorite pre-historic art because it still shows the primitive side of man, but also the artistic, imaginative, joyous side of man. There are no depictions of war or violence. Minoan art was pretty much art for art’s sake. It just comes to show that our primitive roots weren’t always savage and barbaric.
11” tall, marine style – marine subject matter – octopus and coral/sea urchins; dark figure on light background (earlier was dark with light decoration). Pilgrim flask/stirrup jar shape, used to hold liquid – wine, water, oil. Narrow neck, stirrup handles – wouldn’t spill, could be tied from stirrups, useful for longer journeys.