white ground lekythos

Heracles’ charioteer Iolaus holds his arrows, while the god Hermes watches Heracles grapple with the Nemean Lion.  Attic white-ground black-figure lekythos, attr. to the Edinburgh Painter; ca. 500 BCE.  Found at Gela; now in the Regional Archaeological Museum “Antonio Salinas,” Palermo.  Photo credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.

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Archaeological Museum of Laurion:

A white ground lekythos with a scene of mourners, from a seaside cemetery near Sounion. These vessels containing fragrant oils were used to anoint the body of the deceased during the preparations for their funeral. They were used exclusively in burials or memorial services and they always depict mourning scenes.

(Classical period)

During funerary banquets they would also be smashed after use. A custom that still lingers today in certain funerary rites.