Vessel with six animal friezes
Not on view
Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, was widely used throughout the Near East by the late third millennium B.C. It could be made into many forms by casting, in which molten metal was poured into a mold, or by hammering.
This vessel was formed entirely by hammering two sheets of metal, joined in the middle by bronze rivets. Six registers of birds, trees, and horned and striding animals were hammered up from the vessel's surface in the repoussé technique. The bodies were then elaborately decorated with chased lines created by a dull tool that, when struck, pushed the metal to either side. The chased and repoussé decoration has parallels to ivory plaques from the burned fortress of Hasanlu and to gold and silver vessels from the rich burials at Marlik. The decoration has a striking similarity to Wild Goat-style pottery of eastern Greece, suggesting that Greek potters were familiar with this type of Near Eastern vessel.