Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Sections / Etruscan Bologna


Askos, from ancient Greek world, is the name given in modern terminology to a type of vessel used to pour small quantities of liquids such as oil.
This Bolognese askos, from necropolis Benacci, tomb 525 has a bovine shape, with on his back a horseman.

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This pot has a unique shape, reminiscent of a wineskin (hence the name, from the Greek askòs, meaning wineskin), of which only two other examples were found in Bologna, although others have come to light in Tyrrhenian Etruria. Nonetheless, these are quite rare objects that are always found in high-profile tombs and whose shape suggests they were for ritual uses. The pot handle is totally unique, depicting a horseman with a helmet and shield. This figure provides important indications relative to defensive weapons while also standing as one of the few examples of plastic Bolognese Villanovan items. It is likely that the pot had great sacred and social significance, and the horseman iconography certainly emphasized the prominent role of the deceased in the community.

Provenance: Bologna, Benacci Necropolis, tomb 525
Datation: Late 8th century B.C.
Material: Ceramics
Dimensions: Height: 17,7 cm.
Inventory #: 12791

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