• m10-cor-83-10
    Overview of wall fragment. (©Archaeological Exploration of Sardis/President and Fellows of Harvard College)

Early Corinthian Alabastron Fragment

ca.620-590 BC, Lydian
Sardis or Museum Inv. No.
Object Type
Pottery Shape
Pottery Ware
Early Corinthian
Pottery Attribution
B-Grid Coordinates
ca. W235 - W238 / S375 - S380 *87.25
“Lydian B”; found near Cor 107, Att 77, a cup, and Att 87, a Hermogenean skyphos

Early EC. Wall fragment, probably from a large alabastron. A portion of the buttocks and leg of a male (?) figure to right. The figure may be a padded dancer (or komast) but does not have the usual distortion of form. The tight red chiton has a wide decorative border at the level of the thigh. The border is created by two sets of parallel incised lines flanking a row of white dots. In the center of the border is a running-curve pattern. Two quick, curved incisions are used to mark the muscles of thigh and calf. A large incised rosette and an incised blob appear in the field. The incision is rapid and somewhat careless. Glaze: shades from black to orange-brown; glossy and uneven. Clay: hard, smooth, and fine. As a result of firing, the wall appears to be made of two layers of clay: the inner layer is orange-buff in hue (Munsell no. 7.5 YR 7/4, pink), the outer, yellow-buff (Munsell no. 10 YR between 8/4 and 7/4, very pale brown).

The decorative chiton is more common to Gorgons or Boreads than to komasts. It also appears on warriors. The fact that the figure is not "padded" also makes the identification of a dancer (or komast) somewhat insecure, although the pose is closer to that of a dancer than to that of a running or flying figure (wheel marks on the interior dictate the position of the figure).

P.H. 0.05; P.W. 0.056; Th. 0.002
See Also

On dancers in general, see Seeberg, Komos, and idem, "The Wellcome Painter and His Companions," ActaArch 35 (1964) 29--50. For the chiton, see Lawrence, “Chimaera Painter” 351, pl. 87, fig. 6 (a Boread on a plate by the Chimaera Painter); W. Müller, Keramik des Altertums (Leipzig 1963) fig. 10, Jena (inv. no. 134/wu). For the use of white dots in borders, see Payne, NC 285, no. 382. Contrast the pose of a Boread in CVA Germany 36, Tübingen 1, III.C.a., pl. 22, nos. 8--12, inv. H./10 1199 (D. 1750), dated EC.

For another Corinthian komast, see Cor 120; for Attic examples of komasts, see Att 46, Att 84; for a Lakonian example, see Lak 5.