Dove vase

  • Collection Number ΝΓ0329
  • Date Early Cycladic II - Syros Phase
    2800 - 2300
  • Description The "dove vase", one of the loveliest creations of Cycladic art, is a large, disc-shaped marble plate with low walls and a row of 16 integral doves carved in the round (chisel marks are visible on the sides of the birds), across the bottom. The birds are interpreted as doves, a popular subject in the Cyclades, featured in beads, pendants, pinheads and even vases or pyxis handles. The "dove vase" is the largest and best-preserved example of a rare category of marble vessels at present known only from Keros and specifically the site of Kavos-Daskalio, where fragments of such vases have been found. The presence of the row of birds exactly across the diameter of the bottom obviates a practical function of the vessel. It may have been used for ritual offerings, as some researchers have proposed; its possible provenance from Kavos-Daskalio on Keros corroborates such a view, since we know that at this site objects of symbolic significance were deposited and intentionally broken, most probably in the context of specific rituals.
  • Culture Cycladic
  • Period Early Bronze Age
  • Material marble
  • Dimensions H: 5.1 cm / RD: 39 cm / BD: 41.5 cm
  • Exhbition Gallery 1st floor / Cycladic Art