Aryballos

CULTURE:
Inca (Inka)
DATE:
1400–1540
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General Description

The most ubiquitous Inca-vessel type was the aryballos, so-called for its similar form to the Greek vessel. The aryballos is identifiable through its long neck and pointed base, which fixed the vessel into the ground. Two side handles and a modeled lug on the upper shoulder allowed for ease in transport by securing a rope through the handles and over the lug to maintain its position on the porter’s back. The wide body with constricted neck was effective for containing maize beer, while the flaring lip permitted the contents to be poured into drinking cups. Aryballoi vary in size depending on the designated feast. The vessels recovered from Cuzco often exhibit geometric designs on one face. As the Inca expanded their impact on neighboring populations, the vessel form was adapted to local established styles.

Adapted from

Kimberly L. Jones, PhD, Inca: Conquests of the Andes / Los Incas y las conquistas de los Andes, Label text, 2015.