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A Protocorinthian aryballos with a myth scene from Tegea
By Erik Østby (University of Bergen, Norway)
During the preparation of the new exhibition in the Museum of Tegea it was discovered that one composed fragment from a Protocorinthian aryballos with a complicated, figured representation, found during the excavations of the Norwegian Institute at Athens in the Sanctuary of Athena Alea in the 1990s, joined with another fragment found by the French excavation at the same site in the early 20th century. After the join, the interpretation of the scene must be completely changed. The aryballos has two narrative scenes in a decorative frieze: a fight between two unidentified men over a large vessel, and an unidentified myth involving the killing of a horse-like monster by two heroes, with the probable presence of Athena. Possibly this is an otherwise unknown episode from the cycle of the Argonauts, involving the Dioskouroi, perhaps also Jason and Medea. The aryballos was produced by an artist closely related to and slightly earlier than the so-called Huntsmen Painter; he was active in early Middle Protocorinthian II, and demonstrates a skill astonishing for this period in creating a many-figured and sophisticated, narrative composition.
Erik Østby, ‘A Protocorinthian aryballos with a myth scene from Tegea’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 13, Stockholm 2020, 123–138. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977799-2-0. https://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-13-05