A RARE LATE BRONZE AGE TERRACOTTA KRATER FROM THE HOLY LAND
Please refer to our stock # P.91 when inquiring.
Late Bronze Age IIA; c. 1400-1300 BCE
Sitting on a small foot, the ovoid body of the vessel is decorated on the shoulder with alternating geometric triglyphs and metopes containing fishes. This decorative field is demarcated by a horizontal painted band below the field and above, on the base of the rim. The rim is minimal and two vertical handles are applied to the shoulder of the vessel.
In very good condition, slight chips on foot.
29 x 32 cm (11.41 x 12.59 inches)
Worldwide shipping and Certificate of Authenticity in Price.
Export Approval from the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Ruth Amiran, “Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land.”, p. 134-5; pl. 41
Kraters were used in antiquity for the mixing of wine and water. In fact, the term “krater” is Greek in origin and derives from the word kerannumi:“to mix”. At the time, wine was stored in a concentrated form and required dilution with water to be palatable for consumption. Although the proper proportions reported vary depending on the source the most common mixture was thought to be 3 parts water to 1 part wine.
In Classical terms this example most closely resembles a bell krater, so named for the similarity of its shape to an upturned bell, with the less open mouth and the vertical rim being elements common to the Holy Land repertoire.
Wine was used in antiquity for medicinal purposes, as a safer alternative to water as well as as a holy item. Not only is it an integral part of the Passover Seder it was also used in offerings and is referenced throughout the Old Testament and New.
In the commands to Moses it states: “And for a drink offering thou shalt offer the third part of an hin of wine, for a sweet savour unto the LORD.” (Numbers 15:7).
Wine is also mentioned extensively in the Talmud and we again see the ratio of 3:1, mentioned above, referenced in the Babylonian Talmud: “Now Raba is consistent with his view [expressed elsewhere]. For Raba said: Wine which does not carry three parts of water to one [of itself] is not wine.” (Shabbath 77a).