Marble bird's-nest bowl


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 151

Bird's nest bowl, plain with rounded shoulder and small mouth.

Minoan artists crafted vessels from a variety of stones using chisels, hammers, and copper-alloy saws. Finer tools like copper drills with abrasives were employed to hollow out their interiors. These vessels were durable versions of standard terracotta and metal forms, made with such high quality that they were exported throughout the Eastern Mediterranean. Stoneware has been found in settlements, cemeteries, and sanctuaries alike; the smallest examples were likely votive offerings. Particularly popular and long-lived forms are bird’s-nest (such as this one) and blossom bowls (see 24.150.2 for example), the latter perhaps imitating Egyptian lotus flowers in bloom. Both likely served as containers for ointments.

Marble bird's-nest bowl, Marble, Minoan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.