The Iconography of a Protoarchaic Cup From Kommos: Myth and Ritual in Early Cretan Art

by Antonis Kotsonas

Hesperia, Volume 88, Issue 4
Page(s): 595-624
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.88.4.0595
Year: 2019


A 7th-century B.C. cup from the sanctuary of Kommos in Crete presents what may be the most complex and multifigured scene on a Cretan ceramic vessel of any period, and it has long puzzled scholars. Based on a recent reexamination of the cup, the present study offers original insights into its fabric, its technique of manufacture, and especially its iconography. Through this examination, an identification of episodes from the Trojan War is proposed, the relevance of this imagery to the cultural context of production and consumption is explained, and this interpretation is situated within the debate over the identification of myth and ritual in Cretan art of the early 1st millennium B.C.