Water jar (hydria)

Archaic Period
about 540 B.C.

Place of Manufacture: Greece, Laconia, Sparta


Height: 38.3 cm (15 1/16 in.) diameter (body): 28.5 cm (11 1/4 in.) diameter with handles: 35 cm (13 3/4 in.) diameter (base): 14.8 cm (5 13/16 in.) diameter (rim): 19.4 cm (7 5/8 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Ceramic, Black Figure

Not On View


The Ancient World



Main zone of decoration between handles: sphinxes flank a gorgoneion. The snakes in the gorgon’s hair curl up in symmetrical pairs. Beneath one, a crow, beneath the other, a snake. On other side between handles: roosters (poorly preserved).
Above main zone, on shoulder: frieze of turkey-like birds facing left and petal pattern.
Below main zone, on lower body and foot: a leaf pattern with turkey-like birds facing left beneath. Meander pattern and rays with interspersed pomegranate designs. Petal pattern on foot.
Neck: lotus bud chain.
Mouth and handles black. This hydria is very similar to London B 58. (Fig. 20, p.15, Laconian Iconography of the Sixth Century B.C., by Maria Pipili)

Condition: Back handle broken off. Body mended.


By 1968: with Robert E. Hecht, Jr.; purchased by MFA from Robert E. Hecht, Jr., November 13, 1968

Credit Line

Frederick Brown Fund