A Phrygian Terracotta Cup, ca. 1200 - 700 BCE


of thin walled buff clay, with red slip, the rounded rim and bulbous body tapering to a flat base. The applied single handle is rounded in profile with a slight upward arch and is attached to the shoulder of the vessel. 

Background: In antiquity, Phrygia was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now Turkey, centered on the Sakarya River.  The Phrygians are most famous for their legendary kings of the heroic age of Greek mythology: Gordias whose Gordian Knot would later be cut by Alexander the Great, Midas who turned whatever he touched to gold, and Mygdon who warred with the Amazons. According to Homer's Iliad, the Phrygians were close allies of the Trojans and participants in the Trojan War against the Achaeans. Phrygian power reached its peak in the late 8th century BC under another, historical king Midas, who dominated most of western and central Anatolia and rivaled Assyria and Urartu for power in eastern Anatolia.

Condition:  The exterior with heavy accretions, intact and in very good condition overall.

Dimensions:  Height: 3.5 inches (8.89 cm) Diameter at widest area:  2.5 inches (6.35 cm)

Provenance:  Forming part of the James Stephan Snr. collection, assembled in the late 1960's and then by descent. Dr. Stephan was a Naval US intelligence officer who held a degree in archaeology. He was posted in the Anatolian region of Turkey with the US government from 1967 - 1971, and assembled his collection from dealers and villagers throughout the region during this time.

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