On Phormiskoi again

TitleOn Phormiskoi again
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsKefalidou, E
JournalBulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies
Pagination23-44 ill.
Keywordsarcheologia, iconografia, phormiskoi

This article tries to access the possible or alleged connections between the ancient phormiskoi-bags and two other groups of objects commonly called phormiskoi by modern scholarship. First, some two hundred clay gourd-shaped objects produced all over the Central and Eastern Mediterranean. These objects were imitations of gourds or of gourd-made vessels: many have a pebble inside and function as rattles. The symbolic nature of the bottle-gourd is also discussed since most of the clay objects have obvious funerary connotations (they were found in graves, in sanctuaries of underworld deities, or bear funerary decoration). Second, the numerous piriform objects that appear almost exclusively on Attic red-figured vases, usually in education and music scenes. These objects seem to have been made of a hard though light raw material and may have have a suspension loop and/or a lateral aperture secured with threads. Their use is obscure and their contents – if any – are never shown. [On Phormiskoi again, p. 23]


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