Greek Terracotta Game Table, Archaic Period, Early 6th Century BC

Decorated with a series of seven seated lions and a swan.  28cm x 20.3cm, 12.8cm high

Game tables such as this are thought to have been part of the funerary offerings during the Archaic period in Attica. Miniature clay tables have been found in offering deposits at the Kerameikos and at Vari, with figures of weeping mourners on the top. In both cases they were accompanied by small clay dice, leading to their interpretation as game tables. It has been suggested that their presence in funerary contexts reflects how the Greeks of this period saw board games as a metaphor for life and death.


Black-figure hydria with chariot of Achilles dragging the corpse of Hector (and details), attributed to the Antiope Group

Greek (manufactured at Athens, Archaic Period, c. 520-510 B.C.


MFA Boston

Greek Terracotta Pig Rattle, 6th-3rd Century BC

Possibly from Cyprus

A child’s toy in the shape of a pig, probably mold made and with a pebble sealed within. He has delightful applied eyes, nose, pointed ears, and curly tail and stands on four splayed feet. Holes drilled in top and bottom were probably put in place to prevent this little piggy from breaking in the kiln. It is thought that a toy like this was made for a toddler, and their sound was supposed to ward off evil spirits.

Greek Terracotta Cosmetic Vase from the Archaic Period, 4th quarter of the 6th century B.C.

On one side of the upper frieze of this exquisite vase, a youth holds two winged horses and two youths drive a chariot. Real and imaginary animals circulate on the other frieze areas between carefully drawn geometric patterns. The ram’s-head cover may have served as a handle for a cosmetic applicator.

Corinthian Terracotta Balsamarium, 7th Century BC

In the form of a man standing with his right arm held to his side and left hand resting on the crown of his head, and wearing high laced boots and short fringed kilt, his triangular face with short beard, wide straight mouth, short slightly upturned nose, and slightly bulging eyes with incised eyebrows his short hair falling from the circular aperture in straight grooved strands, the details incised and painted in red. 6.9 inches high (17.5 cm)