Ram-Shaped Vessel

DATE:
c. 1350–1000 BCE
MATERIAL AND TECHNIQUE:
Ceramic
CLASSIFICATION:
Containers
DIMENSIONS:
Overall: 7 1/2 x 10 5/8 x 4 1/8 in. (19.05 x 26.988 x 10.478 cm)
DEPARTMENT:
Classical Art
LOCATION:
304 SNAIL GALLERY
CREDIT LINE:
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Art Association Purchase
OBJECT NUMBER:
1963.26

General Description

Ram-headed rhytons, or drinking vessels originally based on animal horns, are common in the arts of northern Iran during the Late Bronze Age. Rhytons were first found at Amlash, a tomb site of the Marlik culture found in northern Iran, and can take many different forms, including horses, bulls, camels, monkeys, mountain sheep, and antelopes. The Dallas Museum of Art ceremonial clay drinking cup is related to similar sculptural vessels in bronze, silver, and gold from the Bronze Age and later; the Marlik tombs also included fine metal drinking vessels. The ram's muzzle is extended in a fluid curve to form the spout of the rhyton, and each part of the animal seems to be formed of one continuous curving shape. Curved horns echo the lines of the ram's body, and the tail and eyes are lightly indicated by incised circles.

Adapted from

Anne R. Bromberg, and Karl Kilinski II, Gods, Men, and Heroes: Ancient Art at the Dallas Museum of Art. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996. 31.