Spouted vessel


Not on view

This bronze pitcher has a globular body, a flat base, a cylindrical neck, a flaring rim and a long spout in the shape of an S-curve. A basket handle is attached to the rim with two rivets with rounded heads. The spout is attached to the body of the pitcher with thirteen rivets. The back of the pitcher is decorated with a plaque showing a winged male human figure, facing frontally. He wears a long robe, and has a large nose, small eyes and mouth, a beard, and ears or rolls of hair that project upwards from the sides of his head. The plaque is also attached to the pitcher with rivets. The body of the pitcher was made by hammering, whereas the spout and plaque were cast in molds and engraved.

Although pitchers of this type are typically attributed to Luristan in the Zagros Mountains, the form is paralleled in both bronze and ceramic across western Iran in the late second and early first millennia B.C. Bronze examples have been found at Hasanlu, Marlik, Sialk, Hamadan, and Tepe Guran in Luristan. The pitcher from Hamadan, which survives only in fragments, is arguably the closest parallel, depending on how it is reconstructed. These vessels all suggest an early Iron Age date for this pitcher, probably in the 9th or 8th century B.C.

Presumably this pitcher was used to pour a liquid containing dregs, such as wine, since the round body and long spout would prevent the dregs from ending up in the cup. In some cases spouted pitchers like this are found in graves along with cups, suggesting they were used in a funerary banquet or ritual before being placed in the grave.

Spouted vessel, Bronze, Iran

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