Terracotta Hadra hydria (water jar)
late 3rd century B.C.
Greek, Ptolemaic, Alexandrian
h. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm); d. 10 in. (25 cm)
Faint traces of an elaborate helmet with a griffin crest, a shield bearing the snakey head of Medusa, and a cuirass, are evident on this white-ground hydria. A warrior's armor was a common subject for vases destined for burial, since it alluded to the both the heroic character of the deceased, as well as the manner of death. Sites in Alexandria have yielded hydriai with similar motifs in much better states of preservation, thus providing an idea of the original appearence of this vase.
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