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Aryballos

An aryballos (Greek: αρύβαλλος) was a small spherical or globular flask with a narrow neck used in Ancient Greece. It was used to contain perfume or oil, and is often depicted in vase paintings as being used by athletes bathing. In these depictions, the vessel is sometimes attached by a strap to the athlete's wrist, or is hung by this strap from a peg on the wall.

From the Euphronios Krater, 510-500 BC, left Hippomedon and Tranion, right an athlete with an aryballos, Pergamon Museum Berlin. Inv. Nr. F 2180

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Globular Aryballos Louvre Ele357

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Patroclus aryballos MAR Siracusa

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Protocorinthian Aryballos, Louvre E383

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Protocorinthian Aryballos, Louvre CA4507

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Protocorinthian Aryballos, Louvre CA2919

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Janiform aryballos, Louvre CA987

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Aryballos foot

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Aryballos woman bust

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Aryballos hanging hare

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Monkey. Aryballos, ca. 580 BC.

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Hedgehog. Aryballos c. 600 BC

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Aryballos head Corinthian helmet c. 600 BC

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Owl-shaped protocorinthian aryballos, c. 630 BC

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Owl-shaped protocorinthian aryballos, ca. 650 BC

The shape of the aryballos originally came from the oinochoe of the Geometric period of the 9th century BC, a globe-shaped wine jar. By the Proto-Corinthian period of the following century, it had attained its definitive shape, going from spherical to ovoid to conical, and finally back to spherical. This definitive form has a wide, flat mouth, and a single small handle. Some later variations have bell-shaped mouths, a second handle, and/or a flat base.

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