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PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA

Elon D. Heymans

The Annual of the British School at Athens / Volume 108 / November 2013, pp 235 - 274
DOI: 10.1017/S0068245413000105, Published online: 10 March 2014

Link to this article: http://journals.cambridge.org/abstract_S0068245413000105

How to cite this article:


Elon D. Heymans (2013). PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA . The Annual of the British School at
Athens, 108, pp 235-274 doi:10.1017/S0068245413000105

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The Annual of the British School at Athens, (), , pp. – © The Council, British School at Athens
doi:./S

PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA


by Elon D. Heymans

Amsterdam Archaeological Centre, University of Amsterdam; Department of Archaeology and Ancient


Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University

This article provides an overview of the development of palmette cups from ancient Tanagra. Also known as floral cups, these
formed the predominant type of decorated pottery in Boeotia and neighbouring areas during the Classical period. Production of
these cups – which were decorated with simple floral motifs (mostly palmettes) in silhouette technique – peaked towards the end
of the fifth and in the early fourth century BC. This study is based on a catalogue of  cups of unknown context in the apotheke
of the Schimatari Museum, with reference to other material from excavations and collections, thus providing the most
comprehensive body of palmette vases known from Tanagra or any other production centre. With a focus on vase shape
and decoration, several groups or workshops are identified. The picture that is built up contributes to a better understanding
of the diversity and development of this type of pottery, and offers an insight into the ceramic traditions of Boeotia in general.

INTRODUCTION

Palmette cups, also known as floral cups, form a type of pottery that was produced during the Classical
period in Boeotia and its neighbouring areas in eastern Phocis and Euboea. Decorated in the silhouette
technique with floral motifs, mostly stylised palmettes, these cups have a rather simple and unappealing
appearance, partially explaining the lack of interest they have aroused in modern times. However, their
numbers and diverse characteristics render them a fruitful subject of study; whether as a chronological
tool, or a means to gather insight into the ceramic traditions of Boeotia, a better understanding of this
type of pottery is of potential archaeological and historical significance.
The ancient city of Tanagra, located near the eastern border of Boeotia, became famous in the
early s, when between  and , graves near the city were looted in search of terracotta
figurines from the Hellenistic period, which subsequently became known as ‘Tanagras’ (Higgins
, –; Jeammet ). Controlled excavations followed in the late nineteenth and early
twentieth century, conducted by Greek archaeologists such as P. Stamatakis (–, –),
Ch. Tsountas () and A. Keramopoullos (), though neither maps nor illustrations were
ever published (Higgins , –). Supposedly, many palmette cups were found during these
early excavations, but among the Corinthian pottery of the Archaic period, Attic black- and red-
figure pottery, and terracotta figurines, these cups, regarded as of ‘[slight] artistic merit’ (A.D.
Ure , ), did not receive any special notice.
Not long after, the study of palmette cups was pioneered by Annie D. Ure. She was the first to
study and publish palmette cups, which were found in the excavations at nearby Rhitsona (ancient
Mykalessos), directed initially by Ronald M. Burrows and her husband, Percy N. Ure, and later by
the latter and herself, during – and – (A.D. Ure in P.N. Ure ; ; Sabetai ).
In the years that followed, until her death in , A.D. Ure published a series of articles on the
topic of floral ware, focusing mostly on the different styles in decorations, originating from north
and south Boeotia and Euboea (A.D. Ure ; –; ; ; ; ; ; –;
; ; ; A.D. Ure and P.N Ure ). She was the first to set up a chronological
sequence that has remained largely unchallenged to date, and she was the first to recognise
coherent groups.

Additional figures, referred to in the catalogue as Fig. S, are available online as supplementary material http://
journals.cambridge.org/ath.
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Scholarly attention to palmette cups has been rather slight following Ure. A few publications
describe small amounts of new material, either from excavations (Metzger ) or collections
(Maffre ; ; Merker ). One study requires special mention: a  PhD thesis on
the topic by Lauren L. Walker (Walker ). Much of the known floral ware was collected in
this thesis, including unpublished material from excavations of the Ephoreia at Haliartos (–
) and Thebes (–). However useful, this thesis has some shortcomings concerning
the rigorousness of the catalogue, especially with regard to the material in Schimatari, and the
quality of the photographs and drawings. Also, the nature of Walker’s thesis is more descriptive
than analytic, thereby hardly exhausting the full potential of the material. Furthermore, she bases
her dating on the same few chronological anchors that Ure had at her disposal when she
suggested a chronology for the Schimatari palmette cups in : the dated grave contexts from
Rhitsona, and the Polyandrion in Thespiae (A.D. Ure , –).
Recent years however, have witnessed an important increase in the number of palmette cups
from secure contexts, owing to the publication of graves excavated around Tanagra by A.K.
Andreiomenou (; ) and A. Harami (; ). These important contributions have
given rise to the necessity to revisit and reassess our dating and general understanding of
palmette cups. The appearance of other valuable contributions in the field of Boeotian pottery
studies (Sparkes ; Schilardi ; Heimberg ; Kilinski ; Avronidaki ; Sabetai
a) provides an additional impetus for such work.
Without denying for one moment the importance of the work listed above, we need to
acknowledge that a systematic study, describing the characteristics of palmette cups (and floral
ware in general) over time, is still lacking. In order to create a better understanding of the
chronology of the cups and their production, based on internal and external evidence, we need a
comprehensive typology, based on a large and relatively coherent group of cups. Because of the
large degree of diversity in the cups from different areas (see below), it is preferable to focus on
one production centre, one city. With the large amount of cups from old excavations present in
the Schimatari Museum collection, in addition to the recently published material referred to
above, it appears that Tanagra is currently the only candidate to provide such a large and well-
datable typology (cf. Walker , ). The hope is that such an analysis will provide support for
the study and publication of other excavated assemblages, such as in Haliartos, Thebes and
Akraiphnion (Andreiomenou , with bibliography; Walker , ).
The purpose of this article is to propose such a typology, based on a catalogue of the cups of
unknown context in the Schimatari Museum apotheke (catalogue numbers referred to in bold),
and with reference to all other relevant material, either from excavations or in (museum)
collections. Some of the cups in this catalogue have already been treated by Ure, in her typology
based on  cups in the Schimatari Museum (A.D. Ure ). Of these ,  were published
with a photograph, only  of which I have been able to locate. The  other cups received only
a short description, and since the material had not been inventoried at the time of Ure’s article,
there is no way of identifying them, or even knowing whether they have survived. The  cups in
this catalogue are all of unknown context, but their presence in Schimatari allows us to assume
that they were all found around the site of ancient Tanagra.
In addition to a revised typology, the following discussion will attempt to create further insight
into the production of palmette cups in Tanagra by identifying groups to which cups in the
catalogue, as well as other material, can be assigned. Often, such a group will imply a single
workshop, although the choice of the term ‘group’ is meant to leave open the possibility of a
wide circle of potters/painters producing ceramics in a related and recognisable style (cf.
Beazley’s Haimon Group vs. Haimon Painter [Beazley , –]), also indicated by the
identification of ‘sub-styles’, or ‘hands’, within some of these groups. This difficulty in
identification is caused by the fact that these floral decorations are sometimes generic in nature,


The publications of these graves, however valuable, lack full inventories of the graves and descriptions and
illustrations of all finds, making a full chronological assessment in verification of the dates offered by the
excavator not always possible.
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

hindering a clear distinction between styles or groups. In addition to this, the combination of
different palmette shapes, or even specific decorative or stylistic characteristics on some cups,
testifies to the sometimes free and experimental nature of their production.

GENERAL OBSERVATIONS

As stated above, our knowledge about floral ware is limited. However, a few general remarks can be
made.
Floral ware appears to have been produced from approximately the middle of the fifth to the
middle of the fourth century BC, with an apparent peak around the end of the fifth and perhaps
the early fourth century BC (A.D. Ure , ; Metzger , ; cf. Walker , –).
The limited evidence we currently have at our disposal indicates a large diversity in decorative
style and shapes between the different production centres, and even between groups. Ure initially
made a basic distinction between a northern style, mainly represented by the cups in the Chaironeia
museum from Phocian Abae, and a southern style, represented by Schimatari, Rhitsona, and
Thespiae (A.D. Ure , ; ). However, it is apparent now that there are also clear
differences on a regional level, between the cups from Tanagra, Thebes and Haliartos, and even
between the cups from Tanagra and Rhitsona (Walker , –, –). An example of this
is the dropped floor, or deep hollow or well in the floor of the cup (for terminology cf.
Coldstream and Eiring , ; A.D. Ure , ; , ) – a typical characteristic of
many cups in Tanagra, strikingly missing in other centres. These differences render the
comparison between cups from different areas difficult without a proper understanding of the
local assemblage. This regional diversity is in line with the prevalent understanding of pottery
production in Boeotia as experimental and with strong local traditions (Sparkes , –;
Merker , ; Kilinski , –; Walker , –).
Connected to this regional diversity is the fact that floral ware, as can be said of Boeotian pottery in
general, was produced for a local market, and has hardly ever been found outside its area of
production. As B.A. Sparkes noted, ‘Boeotia did not export much of her pottery, indeed it is
doubtful if she exported any’ (Sparkes , ). Although we cannot be too sure about the
general applicability of this statement, it does seem to be the case with floral ware. Rare exceptions
to this are finds made in Athens and Lamia: in Athens this concerns various fragments found in
secondary deposits in the Agora (A.D. Ure ), and in Lamia a lidded pyxis found in grave 
on Odos Thermopylon  (Pantos , , pl. α), although other pots on display in the
Lamia Museum suggest a local production in this region. More peculiar, and therefore more
doubtful, is a lebes in Oxford said to have a South Russian provenance (Beazley , pl. .).
On a regional level, floral ware did in some cases move around, as is evident from the Tree-
Palmette Group (see below). Still, based on the fact that material associated with prolific groups
such as the Reading/Freiburg Group or the Chevron Group (see below) has exclusively been
found in Tanagra, we can assume that floral ware was generally and predominantly produced for
a direct local market.
As to the function of palmette cups, it is difficult to say anything with certainty. Ure assumed
that they were used for the consumption of wine, when she suggested that the deep hollow was
meant to collect its dregs (A.D. Ure , ; , ), and has been followed in this (Walker
, , ). However, palmette cups have almost exclusively been found in funerary
contexts, some of which contain large homogenous groups of cups (for example Tanagra T/;
see Andreiomenou , –), and so a possible primary use as a drinking cup cannot easily
be verified. In fact, only the presence of palmette cups in what appears to be a grave dating at


I am grateful to Mrs K. Kalliga for sharing her photographs of the cups from Haliartos.

The term ‘lebes’ (other than lebes gamikos) is used here and below to describe the same shape that has
sometimes been referred to as ‘stamnos-pyxis’ because of the lack of nuptial iconography. See A.D. Ure –,
 n. ; Avronidaki ,  n. .
 ELON D. HEYMANS

least half a century later than the cups themselves (Tanagra T/, see note ) suggests that their
funerary use was secondary. Additionally, finds from secure non-funerary contexts are rare and
mostly fragmentary. They are restricted to the Kabirion near Thebes (Wolters , , pl.
.; Braun and Haevernick , nos. , ), the cave of the Nymphs at Helicon (Zampiti
and Vasilopoulou , figs. , –), the aforementioned secondary deposits in the Athenian
Agora (A.D. Ure ), and a fill against the city wall of Thespiae (Bintliff et al. , ; this
material presumably came from a cemetery or sanctuary context: personal correspondence with
Prof. V.V. Stissi). Furthermore, the data from the Tanagra survey directed by J. Bintliff and
B. Slapšak cautiously indicate that floral ware was found not within the city, but in the transects
around it, where the cemeteries are located. As evidence indicating the manufacture of palmette
cups for use in life remains scanty, we should consider the possibility that some of them were
produced primarily for deposition in the grave (cf. Sabetai a, –, n. ; b, ).

THE FIRST CUPS

The shape of the first black-figure silhouette technique cups with floral decoration produced during
the fifth century BC in Tanagra (catalogue nos. –) was derived from the Attic cup-skyphos, made
initially around the years – BC (Sparkes and Talcott , –,  nos. –; Moore
and Philippides , –). In the later phase of production of Attic black-figure vases,
between  and  BC (or possibly even later), these cup-skyphoi were decorated by the
Haimon Painter and those associated with him in a loose style without too much attention to
detail, and often with few or no incisions (Haspels , –, –, ; Beazley , –
). Imports, attributed to this Haimon Group, were found in graves in Rhitsona. Three
examples (., . and .; grave and find numbers from P.N. Ure , , pl. ; ,
–, pl. ) combine two central silhouette figures with two large palmettes on the side. These
cups are thought to have been deposited in graves during the middle or the third quarter of the
fifth century BC (Sparkes , ), but could date as early as the second quarter of the century
(Haspels , –, ), assuming a gap between production and deposition (A.D. Ure
–, ). Some recently published examples, excavated in – at Tanagra, can be added
to this picture: four (with incised figures) from grave T/, dated to the middle of the fifth
century BC, and two from grave Γ/, dated to  BC (Andreiomenou , –, pl.
.a,ab; , –, figs. –). The presence of late black-figure or silhouette cups in
contexts as late as  BC remains a matter of uncertainty, since many parallels are dated to the
years around the Persian invasion and its aftermath (e.g. Bažant, Bouzek and Dufková , pls.
.,, .–; Vanderpool , , pls. –). Nonetheless, as similar examples are not
found in later graves, the cited cups from Rhitsona and Tanagra appear to have been among the
last Attic imports of this type to the region. The decline and subsequent disappearance of these
imports is likely to have been paralleled by the rise of local imitations (cf. A.D. Ure –,
–; Metzger , ).
Possible examples of such local imitations in the Haimonian style are cups  (Fig. ) and ,
although the possibility of lower-quality Athenian origin cannot be excluded. Both cups were
smeared with red ochre, creating a red ground. In places where the decoration is worn off (),


I am grateful to Prof. V.V. Stissi for sharing his data from the Tanagra survey, and allowing me to study the
material.

The dating for T/ is supported by several kantharoi and two lekythoi (Andreiomenou , , pl. .;
, –, figs. –; cf. P.N. Ure , pl. ..; Heimberg , pls. ., .; Higgins , , fig.
). The contents of the looted/disturbed grave Γ/ appear to fit the dating of the excavator ( BC), with
exception of two (fragmentary) cups that recall the later Double Arc and Chevron Groups (Andreiomenou ,
pl. .ae; see below). These could be later intrusions, but no mention of this chronological problem is made by
the excavator. Sabetai places the grave in the last quarter of the th century BC, possibly because of these
fragments (Sabetai a,  n. ).
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

the natural buff colour, typical of most palmette cups from Schimatari, has appeared. Cup  shows a
standing figure on the left and a seated figure on the right. This central composition is flanked by
two large palmettes. A similar clay colour, surface treatment, and compositional layout are seen on
a cup-skyphos in the collection of the British School at Athens (inv. A ). Although this cup has
been ascribed to the Lańcut Group, based on its decoration (Smith , ), the possibility of a
non-Athenian origin should not be dismissed. A similar question can be raised regarding the two
aforementioned cup-skyphoi from Tanagra grave Γ/, judging by their description: ‘orange clay
with a pink wash; glaze is worn in many parts of the representation’ (Andreiomenou , –
; cf. Mayence and Verhoogen , G, pl. .; Bažant, Bouzek and Dufková , , pl.
.,; Saripanidi , , pl. .–); however, I have not studied these cups personally. The
use of a red colouring agent by Boeotian workshops, attempting to emulate Attic pottery, has
been observed in most studies of the topic (Lullies , ; A.D. Ure –, –; Metzger
, ; Avronidaki , ; Sabetai a, ). Although a red wash (miltos) is also known
from Athenian vases (Noble , –; Schreiber , –, ), the Boeotian wash
appears different because it is more pink (cf. Higgins ).
Cup  was executed in some detail, as can be seen in the folds of the garments, which allow for a
comparison with Rhitsona cup ., as do the curled (volute-shaped) palmette buds. On the later
Rhitsona cup . such detailing is no longer visible and the palmettes are of the same design but
with a more cursory execution. The shape of cup  is similar to a cup in Prague (Bažant, Bouzek and
Dufková , –, fig. ., pl. .–), and one in Göttingen (Eschbach , pl. .–,
appendix .), both dated by reference to material from the Athenian Agora to the decades
after the Persian destruction ( and – BC respectively). We can therefore date cup  to
the second quarter of the fifth century, still before the last Attic imports. Cup  has somewhat
diluted figures without detail, which recall Rhitsona cup ., and should be placed around
the same time as cup  or slightly later.
The influence of the late Attic imports is evident in three cups found in Rhitsona grave ,
dated by Ure between  and  BC, with silhouette figures flanked by palmettes (P.N. Ure
, –, , pl. ; Sparkes , ), and a similar cup in Reading (A.D. Ure –, ,
pl. .; P.N. Ure and A.D. Ure , pls. ., . a– b). These cups were initially, and
are to some extent still, regarded as the starting point in the development of Boeotian floral ware
(P.N. Ure , –; Walker , –, –; cf. Metzger , ), forming the bridge
between the figural Attic imports, and the full floral cups from Rhitsona grave  (P.N. Ure
, pl. ). However, in the light of more recent evidence demonstrating the co-presence of
other floral cups in contexts with Haimonian cup-skyphoi (i.e. Tanagra T/ and Γ/, Rhitsona
), it would be more appropriate to see them as only one of multiple local reactions to the


I thank Dr Robert Pitt, Assistant Director of the School, for allowing me to study the cup.

The difficulty of differentiating between Attic late black-figure, Haimonian cup-skyphoi in particular, and
Boeotian imitations has been noted regarding specific cases (cf. Beazley , ; Kilinski ,  n. ; Gaunt
, ; and an unpublished cup-skyphos that was auctioned by Christie’s, London, in April ). Systematic
research will have to assess the production of Boeotian vis-à-vis Athenian workshops (Sabetai a,  n. ).
 ELON D. HEYMANS

disappearance of Attic cups. They did not so much precede other floral cups, but were roughly
contemporary with other workshops exploring new styles. Additionally, although considered
local cups at first, they are now thought to be Euboean (A.D. Ure , ; Walker , ,
); their shape, as well as the style of their decoration, has no parallel from Tanagra.

THE FIRST PALMETTE CUPS

The next cups (–, see catalogue) are of a shape that is similar to cups  and , despite variations.
It has a deep round bowl with a lip on top of a jog and a low ring-foot that can project slightly
(Fig. , Fig. ; cf. Eschbach , appendix .). These cups are decorated with simple motifs
such as palmettes and lotuses ( [Figs. , ] and ), olive branches and meanders ( [Fig. ]),

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Fig. . Catalogue no. .


PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

although a parallel in Nauplia shows a figure on one side, and a lotus with sinuous tendrils on the
other, both flanked by palmettes (A.D. Ure , , fig. ). Cup  is furthermore very similar, in
shape and decoration, to a cup on display at the Schimatari Museum (A.D. Ure , –, pl. .),
for which Ure cites the still-unpublished Nauplia no.  (A.D. Ure , ). Walker (, ,
) places the production of the Schimatari cup in the Thebes–Thespiae region, based on a
supposed connection in shape and style with cups found in the Thespian Polyandrion (see
below), and the mistaken assumption that this cup was the only one of its type in Schimatari.
Ure starts her sequence of palmette cups from Schimatari with this cup, suggesting a date about
 BC, on the basis of this supposed connection with cups of ‘precisely the same style of
decoration (. . .) found in the Thespian Polyandrion and in the contemporary Rhitsona grave
’ (A.D. Ure , ). The Polyandrion – a public funerary monument for the Thespians
who fell during the battle of Delion – dates to  BC (Schilardi ), and Ure places the cup
slightly earlier.
The cups from the Polyandrion indeed correspond to Rhitsona grave  (Th.P.  is parallel
to Rhitsona .) and this grave also contains a cup-skyphos (.), apparently similar in shape
to our cups – (Sabetai , pl. .–; P.N. Ure , –, pl. ). However, the suggestion of
a direct connection between the Polyandrion cups and the cups from Tanagra under consideration
here should be rejected. Cup Th.P. , currently in Thebes, has a shape reflecting an Attic type B
cup: a shallow cup with a plain rim, on top of a concave stem that continues directly from the body
onto a foot with a high ceiling. This shape with its plain rim, common among the Polyandrion
cups (Schilardi  vol. , –, vol. , –; Walker , – nos. –, –, fig. ),
is unknown from Tanagra (an exception to this is the much later cup ), and also their
decoration, referred to by Walker as belonging to the ‘Oval Palmette Group’ (Walker ,
–), has no known parallels from Tanagra, except for a more distant connection that can be
observed in the decoration of our cup . The Polyandrion cups, as do the cups in Rhitsona
grave , give the impression that this type of decorated pottery was well established by the
time of their deposition. Therefore, no convincing reason exists to take the Polyandrion as a
chronological starting point for our sequence, and it seems more logical to see cups – as
following up on the earlier Haimonian imitations.
Existing parallels from datable grave contexts confirm the early placing of these cup-skyphoi.
Such parallels have been found in five graves from Tanagra and Rhitsona dated from the middle
of the fifth century to around  BC (Tanagra graves T/, Γ/, and I/: Andreiomenou ,
–, –, pls. . b,cde, .; Rhitsona graves  and : P.N. Ure , pl. ; ,
pl. ). I therefore date these cups to the middle of the fifth century BC.

DOTTED BUD GROUP AND ARROW BUD GROUP

The next group of cups (–), presented here as the Dotted Bud Group, is represented best by cup
 (Fig. , Fig. ).
Its shape is no longer linked to the Attic repertoire. The cup seems shallower, mostly because
the lower half of the body is not convex but straight. It has a small out-turned lip, a small ring-foot
and a slight central sinking in the floor, which is to develop into the characteristic hollow of later
palmette cups. Its handles are sturdy and rounded, turning up gradually. All cups in this group
have a similar shape, but decorations can vary, some cups showing a horizontal olive branch
(–, ), others palmettes with curled (–) or dotted buds (– [Fig. ]). The most typical
decoration (–) consists of large wide palmettes of a semicircular shape, with a wide, single-arc
bud, containing around four dots placed horizontally next to one another, giving the group its


Tanagra grave I/ was dated by the excavator around  BC. It contained among other goods an unglazed buff
lekythos with parallels in Apkraiphnion and Rhitsona grave , and a delicately executed pyxis, the lid of which was
decorated with a flaring lotus and palmettes, connected with sinuous tendrils (Andreiomenou , , pl. .,c;
P.N. Ure , ). This type of decoration can be dated around the time of the Polyandrion (see below).
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

name. Close parallels to this group do not appear in literature, although the decoration on three
cups from Tanagra grave B/ seems distantly connected to that on cup  (Fig. ) (this grave
has been dated by the excavator between  and  BC: Andreiomenou , –, pl.
.–). A parallel for its shape was also found in the Athenian Agora (A.D. Ure , no. ),
showing a lotus flanked by two palmettes, connected with sinuous tendrils, a decorative scheme
associated with early palmette groups, such as the Oval Palmette Group, the Branteghem Group
(A.D. Ure –, –; Metzger , –; Walker , –), or our cup  (Fig. ). This
type of decoration was well established by the time of the Polyandrion. We can therefore
tentatively place this group around the third quarter of the century.
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Close to this Dotted Bud Group is a group of five cups (–) that I will refer to as the Arrow
Bud Group.
They are all fairly similar in shape to the preceding cups, but slightly larger, with a taller lip, an
even more straight-walled lower part of the body, and a wider ring-foot with a larger standing
surface. Different decorations can be observed, the most typical of which appear somewhat
experimental, combining various elements around an elegant palmette with a bud consisting of
an up-pointing arrow between two curled tendril ends (– [Fig. ]). Other cups are decorated
with a horizontal olive branch (–), or a down-pointing lotus flanked by palmettes (), a
rather uncommon variation of the standard lotus-palmette scheme (cf. Smith , pl. .–;
and an unpublished vicup auctioned by TimeLine auctions in March , lot ). This group
appears mostly contemporary with, or slightly later than, the Dotted Bud Group, providing a
date up to  BC.

READING/FREIBURG GROUP

Cups  to , together with the later cup , belong to a group I will refer to as the Reading/Freiburg
Group, after two cups that were described by Ure in a  article, in which she noted a possible
connection between the two and our cups  (Fig. , Fig. ) and  (Fig. , Fig. , Fig. )
(A.D. Ure , ; nos.  and  were first published in A.D. Ure , – nos. –).
Based on its decoration, the earlier cup  could also be seen as a predecessor of this group.
Cups  and  have a very out-turned concave rim, and a slight tooled indent on the shoulder.
They are shallower and have a more convex wall compared to the preceding cups. Additionally,
both have a short stem under which cup  has a ring-foot, while  has a more flaring foot, like
. Except for the peculiar body and head of a man in profile on , all three cups are decorated
in a similar style, with plain palmettes with semicircular buds and curly tendrils, all painted in
simple strokes. The same style, although executed in a fuller manner, is also seen on cup , a
larger cup with a large stem and a deep hollow. A large number of cups decorated in this style
were found in Tanagra grave T/, dated from  to  BC based on other finds such as a
kantharos, an Attic plastic figure vase and several terracotta figurines (Andreiomenou , –
, pls. .–, .–, .c, .–, , , .b; , –; and for the associated
finds mentioned, see Andreiomenou , pls. –). Like , all these cups seem to have a
larger stem and a deep hollow, whereas  and  only have a short stem and a slight sinking.
These supposedly earlier cups are more closely related to four examples from Tanagra grave B/
, dated by Andreiomenou between  and  BC (Andreiomenou , pls. .–,


Three more cups, similar to the cups from grave T/, together with four contemporary cups decorated with
ivy, olive and laurel wreaths, have been found in Tanagra grave T/, which has been assigned a tentative date
between  and  BC by the excavator, based inter alia on a lagynos which was also listed under grave I/
(Andreiomenou , –, pls. .b, .–, ). If this date is correct, these seven vases could have been
more than half a century old at the time of deposition.
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

.b). Although conforming to a similar decorative scheme and palmette shape, they were clearly
the work of a different hand. However, the shape of one of these cups (Andreiomenou , pl.
.b) is very close to other early examples of the Reading/Freiburg Group, most notably the
name vase in Freiburg (A.D. Ure ; Walker ,  no. ) and its slightly shorter-
stemmed parallel, cup . If the dates assigned to these Tanagra graves are correct, we are
dealing with a group that was possibly active from the end of the third quarter to the end of the
fifth century BC at the latest. Cups  and  represent the early phase of this group, followed by
the Freiburg cup and the cups from the B/ grave, both predating  BC.
Cup  is different in shape, being slightly wider and shallower, with a low flaring foot and
straight, projecting v-shaped handles. Its decoration is similar in style and composition to the
name vase in Reading (A.D. Ure ; Walker ,  no. ), which has a reserved
dropped floor. Both cups can be placed in between the earlier cups and  and Tanagra grave
T/ with their tall stems and deep hollows, although closer to the earlier cups. We can
tentatively date cup  to the years around or after  BC.

TREE-PALMETTE GROUP

As mentioned earlier, cup  (Fig. ) echoes the decoration of (earlier) groups that show a central
lotus flanked by palmettes, connected with sinuous tendrils. Its composition and style are similar to
cups in Geneva, Brussels and Amsterdam (Dunant and Kahil , pl. .–; Mayence and
Verhoogen , pl. .; Songu , pl. .–; Andreiomenou , –, fig. ; cf.
Rhitsona . and Th.P. ), apart from a small space between the volute-tendrils in the bud
(cf. P.N Ure and A.D. Ure , pl. .; P.N. Ure , pl. .a.,a.). This cup can
either be contemporary with, or date after, the Oval Palmette Group, that is during or after the
third quarter of the fifth century BC.
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Cups  (Fig. ) and  are similar in shape: an evenly convex bowl that continues onto a stem
with a broad flaring foot. The high flat ceiling and straight projecting stirrup-shaped handles are
otherwise uncommon among the Schimatari cups (cf. Rhitsona cups a.–, .; P.N.
Ure , pl. ). The decoration on cup  is very different from , showing three palmettes
with curled buds, a composition similar to that found in the following Tree-Palmette Group
(–). However, its style is tidier compared with that of the latter, and the small differences in
shape allow us to suggest that perhaps these two cups were produced by a workshop close to the
Tree-Palmette Group.
The Tree-Palmette Group, named after the tree-like shape of their palmettes, was identified by
Ure, who mentioned the existence of five examples in the Schimatari Museum, in addition to three
examples known from Rhitsona (A.D. Ure , ; Walker , , –). It is represented in
our catalogue by cups – (Fig. , Fig. , Fig. ).
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Fig. . Catalogue no. .


PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Similar in shape to the earlier-mentioned cups in Geneva, Brussels and Amsterdam (Dunant
and Kahil , pl. .–; Mayence and Verhoogen , pl. .; Songu , pl. .–),
the Tree-Palmette Group (Fig. ) seems distantly connected to cup  (Fig. ). However, its
ring-foot is replaced by a separately thrown stemmed foot, flaring downwards, with a tooled-off
cone and a high ceiling. Furthermore, it has a higher out-turned rim, a smaller shoulder and a
shallower body. The slender, stirrup-shaped handles make an inward twist and the shallow
sinking is smaller in width.
Other cups belonging to this group were found in two disturbed graves in Rhitsona (grave .,
: P.N. Ure , pl. ; grave b.–: P.N. Ure , pl. ), the earlier-mentioned Tanagra
grave Γ/, dated around  BC (Andreiomenou , pl. .b), and the unpublished grave  of
the ΟΣΕ (Hellenic Railways Organization) Bridge-South Cemetery in Thebes, excavated between
 and  by V. Aravantinos of the Ephoreia (Walker , –,  no. ). Other known
examples are two cups in Reading (A.D. Ure –,  no. ; P.N. Ure and A.D. Ure ,
pl. .), one in the Staatliche Museum in Berlin (inv. ; Walker ,  no. )
and a pyxis from the Kabirion in Heidelberg (Wolters , , pl. .; Schauenburg ,
pl. .).
As mentioned above, these cups are decorated with palmettes that somewhat resemble trees,
because of the upright stem from which the curled, volute-shaped bud springs. A single arc is
sometimes carelessly placed between the curled parts of the bud. The palmettes are generally
painted in a somewhat wobbly and careless style, and it is possible to distinguish at least two
sub-styles, or hands. The first sub-style, presumably the earlier one, because of its connection to
earlier palmette shapes, such as on cup , is represented by  (Figs. , ), , and possibly
, a cup that is decorated with vertical wavy lines. These fuller palmettes have many leaves and
larger curled buds. The second sub-style is represented by cups – (Fig. ) (in addition to
the two cups from Rhitsona grave , a cup in Reading [A.D. Ure –,  no. ], the cup
in Berlin, and the Heidelberg pyxis). This sub-style is more cursory, and some palmettes have
a dot placed on both sides of the central leaf. Also, empty space on the cups tends to have
fewer filling ornaments than in the first sub-style. A possible third sub-style is very close to the
second, and can tentatively be identified by its somewhat crude palmettes with curled buds that
are left open on the underside. This sub-style is represented by the two examples from the
disturbed Rhitsona grave b (P.N. Ure , pl. ) and one from Thebes (Walker , 
no. ).
Walker locates the Tree-Palmette Group in Thebes, based on several cups from Thebes that
appear compositionally connected, but have no known parallel from Tanagra and are therefore
not treated here. However, given the presence of six cups in Schimatari, in addition to the
evidence from Rhitsona and the recently published cup from Tanagra, there is no reason to
doubt their Tanagran origin. The evidence regarding find contexts and a relative diversity of
styles does in fact point to the possibility of a workshop with multiple painters, whose products
we see across southern Boeotia. Their period of activity can be roughly dated to the years
between  and  BC, perhaps continuing further into the last quarter of the century.

INTERMEDIATE GROUPS

Next are three similar cups (–).


Only  (Fig. , Fig. ) was preserved with a complete profile: it has a very out-turned rim and
a thick, massive stem. Formed out of a lump or ball of clay placed onto the bowl, this stem with its
small ring-foot was left massive with a low ceiling. The reserved sinking on the inside is deeper now,
and the handles are more rectangular seen from above. Its decorative composition is echoed by five
cups from Tanagra grave T/, dated between  and  BC (Andreiomenou , pls. .,
.c,a), although its style is much more wobbly, with shorter palmette leaves and diluted
streaks. Its shape and especially the typical rectangular handles appear, from what can be
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

judged, similar to the Tanagran cups. They can be dated to or around the last quarter of the fifth
century BC.
Difficult to place are two cups ( [Fig. ] and ) of a similar shape and decorative style, both
of a grey, unreduced clay.
Their bowl-like shape, high out-turned lip, round slender handles and decoration echo earlier
types, whereas the stem, giving way to a disk-shaped hollow, is certainly a later feature. They
presumably date to the last quarter of the century, and possibly even later.
The next three cups (–) are also from one workshop.
Their palmettes, with their semicircular buds resting on the bottom of the decorative band,
recall the palmettes of the Reading/Freiburg Group. These are, however, executed in a different,
more delicate style. The three cups also have similar shapes, echoing the earlier cup .
However their feet differ: where  (Fig. , Fig. , Fig. ) has a low foot with a hollow on
the inside,  has a more flaring foot with only a very small hollow. These cups are presumably
products of the last quarter of the fifth century BC.
The very large cup  (Fig. ) has already been identified above as belonging to the Reading/
Freiburg Group.
It has an out-turned rim and a large concave stem that continues onto a ring-foot, with a deep
cylindrical hollow on the inside. As such, it belongs to the later phase of the group, for which some
 parallels are known from Tanagra grave T/ (Andreiomenou , pls. .–, .–,
.c, .–, , , .b). Another example of this later phase, slightly earlier than our
cup , is in Prague (Bažant, Bouzek and Dufková , pl. .). The decoration on this cup
is painted in thicker lines than on our cup, and brings to mind the style on the three earlier-
mentioned cups from Tanagra grave B/ (Andreiomenou , pl. .–).
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

DOUBLE ARC GROUP

Cups  to  (Fig. , Fig. , Fig. ) belong to a group I will refer to here as the Double Arc
Group, after the characteristic palmette bud consisting of a double arc.
Cup  (Fig. ), decorated with a simple olive branch, echoes some of the features of , but its
body is much less shallow. It furthermore has a shallow hollow, or dropped floor, that appears as if
thrown as part of the body, and a separately thrown foot with a wide and relatively high ceiling.
From what can be judged, its shape seems similar to a cup in Copenhagen (Blinkenberg and
Johansen , pl. .; cf. A.D. Ure , ), with its out-turned rim, slight indent on the
shoulder, and slender handles. Cup  is closely connected in shape to , a cup decorated
with the characteristic double arc palmettes, although the hollow of this cup sinks slightly deeper
into the stem, and the foot becomes more of a ring under the stem. This is even more the case
with three other cups of the same decorative style (–) that have deeper hollows in the stem
with a ring-foot underneath.
Cups  and  have feet that are similar to that of another cup belonging to this group from
Tanagra grave B/ (Andreiomenou , pl. .a). Cups – are closer in shape to a
series of cups belonging to this group from Tanagra grave T/ (three are shown in profile:
Andreiomenou , pls. ., .ab). Two of these (Andreiomenou , pl. .ab)
appear to be specifically similar to our cup , with its high concave lip, indent on the shoulder
and long bent handles.
The Double Arc Group is known through several other vases. In addition to the already-
mentioned cup from Tanagra grave B/, grave T/ contained a lebes, four pyxides and  cups
(Andreiomenou , pls. ., .–, , , .–, .a). Other examples from this
group are a cup in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem (Merker , no. ; cf. Andreiomenou
, pls. ., .c,a), a lebes in Oxford of doubtful South Russian provenance (Beazley
, pl. .), two lebetes in Athens from Eretria (A.D. Ure , pl. .; , pl. .–)
and one in Reading (A.D. Ure , pls. ., .), a fragment of a pyxis lid from the Kabirion
(Braun and Haevernick , pl. . no. ), and a cup in the Schimatari Museum that I
have not been able to locate (A.D. Ure ,  no. ). On some of these vases other
decorative motifs, such as ivy or laurel wreaths, are present alongside palmettes (A.D. Ure ,


The palmettes on the Copenhagen cup have s-curved leaves that are unknown from Tanagra (cf. A.D. Ure
, ). Similar palmettes are known from a Euboean lebes in the British School at Athens (A.D. Ure , pl.
 d ).

One of these lebetes from Eretria was interpreted by Ure as being an ancient import from Tanagra (A.D. Ure
, ; , –, pl. .–), an interpretation that gains weight in the light of the find of a pyxis by the same hand
in Tanagra grave T/ (Andreiomenou , pl. .). However, the other lebes from Eretria was identified by Ure,
together with the Oxford lebes, as a product of the Euboean ‘Group of the Reading Lekanis’. She listed only four
examples of this group, all quite different from one another, and downplayed the group’s coherence by stating
that ‘there must have been several hands at work within this small group’ (A.D. Ure ,  nos. –, pls.
.,, .). I see no reason not to attribute both vases to my Double Arc Group, based in Tanagra, although
connections with Euboea must have been rather natural, considering the short distance.
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

pl. .–; Andreiomenou , pls. –.). Additional cups with such motifs from Tanagra
grave T/, also similar in shape, might therefore be connected to this group as well
(Andreiomenou , pls. , –, .–).


A similar ivy wreath is also known from a lebes attributed to the Painter of the Dancing Pan and dated to  BC
(Avronidaki , –, pl. ). On the interconnections between red-figure and floral workshops in Boeotia see
Avronidaki ; Sabetai a, –.
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

From the vases associated with this group, we can tentatively distinguish at least two sub-styles,
or hands. The first sub-style is generally characterised by a somewhat round shape of the palmette,
as seen for instance on –, the Kabirion fragment, and a pyxis and cups from Tanagra grave T/
(Andreiomenou , pls. ., .). The second sub-style is characterised by a more
rectangular shape of the palmettes, and narrow leaves, and is represented by one of the lebetes
in Athens (A.D. Ure , pl. .–) and one of the T/ pyxides (Andreiomenou , pl.
.–). A possible third sub-style can be recognised by a rectangular palmette shape and full-
tipped leaves, as seen on the Reading lebes and several cups from Tanagra grave T/
(Andreiomenou , pl. .–). It must be emphasised again, though, that the distinction
between these sub-styles is not always clear (cf. Andreiomenou , pls. .; .–). This
 ELON D. HEYMANS

group – particularly the cups with rectangular palmettes with full leaves – also brings to mind the
following Chevron Group, and could be seen as a precursor to it.
Based on the evidence from two chronologically successive graves (Tanagra B/ and T/) and
its possible connection to the following Chevron Group, we can suggest that the active period of the
Double Arc Group spans from the years between  and  BC to the end of the century. Cups 
and  can be dated to the early years, whereas cups  to  are presumably later works.

CHEVRON GROUP

The next group of cups (–[Fig. , Fig. , Fig. , Fig. , Fig. ]) is well represented in the
Schimatari Museum.
It was described by Ure as the Chevron Group, because of the recurrence of superimposed
chevrons under the handles (A.D. Ure , –; , –; Walker , –). Ure
mentions in regard to them that the deep hollow was meant to collect the dregs of the wine
(A.D. Ure , ; , ; Walker , , ), but, even if the cups were used for the
consumption of wine, the hollow is too exaggerated to warrant a strictly functionalist
interpretation. This deep cylindrical hollow sinks into a broad and straight stem on top of a
tooled-off ring-foot. Compared with the preceding cups, features such as the rim and the
handles are sturdier, and the transition from the stem to the ring-foot is very clear.
The decoration generally consists of elongated palmettes that are rectangular in shape, often
with slightly concave sides, sometimes flaring towards the top. In many cases the palmettes have
what Ure described as a ‘wobble’ bud, where a hesitation between the painting of a single or
double arc is apparent (A.D. Ure , ; Walker , ). Most cups have three palmettes
on either side, some with a central palmette or lotus flanked by slender handle palmettes
pointing in. , as well as the later cup  that also belongs to the Chevron Group, is decorated
with two larger, more exuberant upright palmettes with a large curled tendril in between,
painted in a faster, more cursory style.  also has a slightly more bowl-like body and a less
sturdy stem.  is similar in decoration, but its smaller shape, with a rounded impression instead
of a deep hollow and a small stem, points to the later cups.
Tanagra grave E/ contained  cups belonging to the Chevron Group (Andreiomenou ,
–, pls. .–, .,ac,c, ., .ab; , –). Most of these are similar in
shape and decoration to our cups –, although slight differences in decorative style are
visible, such as a lack of wobble buds on most of the Tanagra E/ cups. Four cups from this
grave share the decorative scheme and style of our cups  and , two of which also share the
smaller foot (Andreiomenou , pls. .c, .). Grave E/ was dated by the excavator to
the early fourth century BC, partially based on a terracotta figurine, a peculiar cup with painted
faces, and Ure’s dating of the Chevron Group itself (Andreiomenou , –, , pl. ;
, –; cf. A.D. Ure , –).
Two cups belonging to the Chevron Group were found in Tanagra grave E/, both of them
presumably belonging to the later phase of the group (Andreiomenou , –, pl. .–).
This grave was dated by the excavator to the second quarter of the fourth century BC, based on
four terracotta figurines and  slender kantharoi of a type with parallels across Boeotia
(Andreiomenou , –, , pl. .; , ; cf. A.D. Ure , nos. –;
Heimberg ,  no., pl. .; Harami , , fig. ).
Other cups belonging to the Chevron Group have been noted in publications, but mostly
without further description. Ure mentions seven cups from Tanagra in the National Museum in
Athens belonging to this group that are otherwise unknown (A.D. Ure , ). Also
potentially belonging to the Chevron Group are some sherds from Kakosialesi on the border
between Boeotia and Attica in Bonn (A.D. Ure and P.N. Ure ,  no. ; Walker , 
no. .). Better-known examples of this group are a cup in the British School at Athens (inv.
A ; Walker ,  no. ), and one in Nauplia that has full palmettes and a smaller foot
(A.D. Ure , , fig. ), perhaps indicating its later date. Another cup in Thessaloniki,
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Fig. . Catalogue no. .


 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

decorated all around the outside with chevrons, also has a smaller foot, in addition to a stem that
slightly narrows downwards, a less cylindrical, more bowl-shaped hollow, and handles attached
closely to the rim (Saripanidi , fig. , pl. .–). These aspects are echoed in the later cups
 and . Possibly also belonging to the later phase of the group is a cup in Reading similar in
decoration to our cups  and  (A.D. Ure , pl. .–; P.N. Ure and A.D. Ure , pl. .).
Slightly different from the rest of the group is cup : its decoration is similar, but painted by a
different, somewhat more careful hand. It is similar to a cup in Berlin (A.D. Ure , ; Walker
,  no. ), and one in Chalkis (Walker ,  no. ). It furthermore brings to mind
the Königsberg pyxis, attributed by Ure to the Chevron Group (Lullies , pl. ; A.D. Ure ,
–), although both this pyxis and cup  are of a style different from most cups presented here.
Placed here under the Chevron Group,  might also be connected to the Double Arc Group (cf.
the Oxford lebes).
Ure included additional cups from Schimatari in the Chevron Group that the author has not
been able to locate. One is a cup of a similar shape, decorated with a wreath, for which three
parallels have been found in Tanagra grave E/ (A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Andreiomenou ,
pl. .). Others, such as cups decorated with spirals or palmettes, although of a slightly
different type, can be regarded as being close to the Chevron Group, but not necessarily
belonging to it (cf. A.D. Ure , ). Such cups/groups will be discussed below.
As suggested above, connections in decorative style and cup shape between some of the cups
from the Double Arc Group known from Tanagra grave T/ and cups from the Chevron
Group are apparent. It is therefore reasonable to suppose that the production of these cups
started with the decline or end of the Double Arc Group somewhere in the final years of the
fifth century BC, and presumably continued throughout the first quarter of the fourth.

CUPS/GROUPS CLOSE TO THE CHEVRON GROUP

Despite some clear differences, the next five cups (–) are placed together because they are all
smaller and less refined, and have smaller stemmed feet, with shallower, more rounded hollows.
They can all be placed during the later period of the Chevron Group, around the end of the first
or early second quarter of the fourth century BC.
Cup  is decorated with a band of spirals, parallel to another cup in Schimatari that the author
has not been able to locate (A.D. Ure ,  no. ). It is similar in shape to most of the Chevron
Group cups except for the stirrup-shaped handles (A.D. Ure , –; , ). Cup  (Fig. )
has a parallel in Tanagra grave E/ (Andreiomenou , pl. .–, cf. pl. .–: three larger
cups from E/), and another possible parallel from Rhitsona grave  (P.N. Ure , pl. .).
This grave was dated by P.N. Ure to the early second half of the fourth century BC (P.N. Ure
, –; A.D. Ure , ; Sparkes , ), but contained many older finds such as a
group of  bolsals dating to the late fifth or early fourth century BC (P.N. Ure , nos. –,
pl. .,; cf. Sparkes and Talcott , nos. –), and an early fourth century cup-kantharos
(P.N. Ure , pl. .; cf. Heimberg ,  no. ). Possibly, the grave’s date should be
pushed back; in any case, there is no reason to date  after the second quarter of the century.
Cup  (Fig. , Fig. ) has a largely concave body that continues onto the stem, and on the
inside a very typical bowl-shaped hollow with two rounded edges, one above the other. Its
decoration with slender palmettes springing from the handle attachments could be assigned to
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

the Chevron Group and shows a clear connection with cups in Tanagra grave E/ (Andreiomenou
, pl. .), but because of its significantly different shape it is listed here separately. Parallels,
in shape as well as in decorative style, are located in the collection of the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem (Merker , no. ) and in Prague, the latter incorrectly published as a lekanis lid
(Bažant et al. , fig. ., pl. .–). Although they must have been produced in the same
workshop (possibly as part of the Chevron Group), the slender handles and modest double arc
buds in the decoration point to an early date for the Jerusalem cup, around  BC, whereas 
should be seen as a late product of the same workshop. Cup  has a similar double-edged
hollow to that of  and the Jerusalem cup, and can thus be regarded as related.
Cup  (Fig. ) has a plain rim, uncommon among Tanagran cups, and its careful palmettes
recall the Königsberg pyxis (especially the upper band of palmettes) and our .

THE LAST PALMETTE CUPS

The last cup in the style of the Chevron Group is  (Fig. , Fig. ). This cup and the following
three (–) are the last cups in the catalogue to have been decorated with palmettes.
Despite slight differences ( [Fig. , Fig. ] and  have a slightly downturned projecting
rim, while  and  [Fig. ] have a rim that is more comparable to earlier types), all four have
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

a small stem and a somewhat flimsy ring-foot. Likewise, the hollow on the inside has turned into a
pocket-like depression in the floor. Only cup  has a shorter, sturdier stem, like that of the later
reserved-band cups.
The cups are decorated with large, careless palmettes, painted in wild, irregular strokes.  is
decorated with four flaring palmettes, like  and . Its decorative style is similar to another cup
from Schimatari, published by Ure in  (A.D. Ure ,  no. ), now possibly lost. This
cup is decorated with three upright palmettes, executed with more precision and care; its shape
appears similar to the cups of the Chevron Group. So again, it seems that we are dealing with a
workshop, or perhaps only a painter, that was at least partially contemporary with the Chevron Group.
Our cups – are roughly contemporary, although  could be slightly later. They should be
placed either at the end of the Chevron Group, or slightly thereafter, in the late first or second
quarter of the fourth century BC.

RESERVED-BAND CUPS

The final ten cups in our catalogue (–) are no longer decorated with palmettes or other floral
motifs, but with reserved bands inside and out.
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Cup  is possibly contemporary with –, based on the similarity in shape. The following five
cups (– [Fig. ]) are somewhat sturdier; they have a thick projecting rim and a small stem with
a hollow on the inside that lies between the rounded hollow of – and the pocket-like depression
of –. Their handles are small and sturdy, like the handles on . Cups  (Fig. , Fig. ) and
 have a stemmed foot with a deep cylindrical hollow in the stem that echoes the earlier cups from
the Chevron Group, and small round handles that are almost bent back against the rim. The last
two cups (–; Fig. , Fig. ) have a downturned rim, and a slender stem with a flaring foot
at the bottom. There is a reversed cone under the foot, and the hollow or impression on the
inside is the size of a fingertip.
Several parallels for these band-decorated cups are known from recent excavations. Tanagra grave
, for example, excavated in , contained eight cups that fit loosely with our cups –. This
grave furthermore contained a rich sequence of figurines dating from the late fifth to the middle of
the fourth century BC (Harami , – [only one cup is fully published: no. ]). Another 
cups were found in Tanagra grave , dated around the middle of the fourth century BC (Harami
, , , fig.  [only one cup has been published with a photo]). The contemporary grave 
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).

Fig. . Catalogue no. .

Fig. . Profile drawing of catalogue no.  (:).


PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

yielded two more reserved-band cups, of which one has a deep hollow like  and  (Harami ,
, , fig. ). Another reserved-band cup with a downturned rim was found in the much later grave
, dated to the first half of the third century (Harami , –, fig. ).
Another example of a reserved-band cup, similar to our cups –, is in Reading (A.D. Ure
, pl. .–; P.N. Ure and A.D. Ure , pl. .). Additionally, Ure mentioned the
existence of two cups in Nauplia (nos.  and , from the Nikandros collection), and  in
Athens that are said to have come from Tanagra (A.D. Ure , ; , ).
Although the reserved-band cups can be generally placed after the palmette-decorated cups
(placing group – after group –), some overlap between these types is suggested, for
example, by the mixed characteristics of palmette cup  and reserved-band cup , mentioned
above. We can date these reserved-band cups from around the second quarter into the middle of
the fourth century BC, with the last two cups,  and , presumably not before the middle of the
century.

END OF PALMETTE CUPS

It was during this period, in the middle of the fourth century BC, that terracotta figurines became
increasingly popular grave gifts. The production of palmette cups, such as had existed during its
peak in the last quarter of the fifth and early fourth century BC, seems to have become
increasingly less profitable after the early fourth century BC. This resulted in the degeneration of
their figural decoration, and, later, the abandonment of figural decoration altogether. Finally, the
production came to an end after the middle of the fourth century BC, although there appears to
be evidence for continued use after that: a few later fourth and third century graves
contained palmette cups that could have been up to a century old at the time of deposition
(Andreiomenou , pls. .–, .; Harami , –, fig. ).
The gradual demise of the production of these cups should be seen in the context of the rise of
mould-made figurines, which became the predominant grave gift during the Hellenistic period,
down to around  BC, after experiencing a boom in popularity after the middle of the fourth
century BC. Whether this was caused by more centralised production and distribution, lower
costs, or a shift in taste, is another question.

CONCLUDING REMARKS

This study has aimed to provide a systematic overview of the palmette cups from ancient Tanagra,
the dominant type of decorated pottery in the region during the Classical period. Needless to say,
what has survived to enter the catalogue and body of references presented here forms only a fraction
of what once existed. However, this body of evidence, the most comprehensive corpus of floral ware
to have been presented from Tanagra or any other single city up to now, forms a cross-section of the
type of material. Within this diverse body several groups or workshops have been identified, only
two of which had hitherto been described. This classification forms the basis of a systematic
treatment of the material, and a better understanding of its development in chronological,
morphological, compositional and stylistic senses. It will hopefully contribute to a better
understanding of other floral ware producing centres and Boeotian pottery in general.
The first palmette cups appeared around the middle of the fifth century as a local reaction to the
disappearance of (Attic) black-figure vases. By the time of the Thespian Polyandrion ( BC) they
had become well established as a dominant grave good: during these years and the last quarter of
the century the production reached its peak with diverse groups such as the Tree-Palmette,
Reading/Freiburg, and Double Arc Groups, and continued around the turn of the century into
the first quarter of the fourth with the Chevron Group. In the final years of this group and
 ELON D. HEYMANS

thereafter palmette decorations apparently lost their appeal, after which the long and rich tradition
of figural vase painting in ancient Tanagra came to an end.

CATALOGUE OF PALMETTE CUPS OF UNKNOWN CONTEXT


IN THE SCHIMATARI MUSEUM APOTHEKE

The individual catalogue entries contain the following elements:

. A serial number in bold, followed by the object number. The object numbers in the catalogue
consist of two parts. The first part of the number (outside the parentheses) refers to the crates
in which the objects are stored. These are either the letters ‘Pr’ and ‘R’ for the large double
crates (referring to the Προθήκη, display case, and Ράwι, shelf where the object was originally
placed, before the extensive renovation of the museum in the early s), or ‘D’ (Δ) for the
smaller crates. The second part of the catalogue number (between parentheses) is the official
museum inventory number, consisting of three or four digits. Crates D , D , Pr  K IV,
and Pr , R  contained objects without official inventory numbers. These objects were
given an n-number for the purpose of this catalogue. The n-numbers are not recorded on the
objects themselves, but appear only in this catalogue.
It is certain that museum inventory numbers were given only after , when A.D.
Ure published her article on the floral cups in the Schimatari Museum (A.D. Ure ), since
no sign of them appears in either the text or the illustrations of the article. It has therefore
only been possible to identify the cups of which a photograph was included in the publication.
. The dimensions are given in centimetres for the height of the cup taken at the top of the rim,
the maximum diameter of the cup around its rim, and the diameter of the foot. Due to the
irregularity in shape of many cups it has been difficult to be precise. In cases where the
measurements around the rim deviated more than one centimetre from the mean, or in cases
where precise measurement was impossible due to the incompleteness of the material, I have
added ‘c.’ and limited the precision of the given dimension to half a centimetre.
. A brief mention is made of the state of preservation of the object; complete unless stated
otherwise. Mention is made of the few cups that have been restored by covering the inner
surface of the cup with a layer of gypsum, thus rendering a description of the shape or
decoration on the inside impossible.
. A brief description of the basic decoration on the outside is provided. Decorations are similar on
both sides unless stated otherwise. The decorations are executed in black paint on a buff ground
unless stated otherwise. If relevant, mention is made of any decoration on the inside. All cups
are of a fine fabric.
. A brief description of the basic characteristics of the shape of the object is provided.
. Illustrations are listed; several of these can be found in the online supplement which
accompanies this article, and are referred to with the prefix ‘S’. Additional mention is made
of existing references to other publications of the object.

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Part of right handle and fragment from foot missing.
Black figure with very cursive incision to depict the folding of the garments covered by a red-pinkish wash. Two
figures in the middle facing each other, one standing on the left, one seated on the right. Palmettes with curled
(voluted) buds on both sides.
Slightly out-turned, straight lip above jog. Body of deep bowl turns concave at bottom, into a short stem. Wide
foot under which there is a cone with small ceiling. Straight handles projecting from shoulders upwards.
(Fig. )
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right handle and part of body missing.
Black-figure silhouette technique covered by a red-pinkish wash. Seated figure in the middle with a horse on the
left and a deer on the right.
Shape is similar to , but smaller, jog under rim less articulate. Tooled-off ring-foot projecting directly under the
body, small, slightly convex ceiling. Handles turn slightly upwards at the end.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Fragment from body, rim, and left handle missing.
Central lotus bud, palmettes with curled buds on both sides connected with sinuous tendril.
Slightly out-turned, straight lip above jog. Deep round bowl, tooled-off ring-foot, slightly projecting, with wide
flat ceiling. Straight handles projecting from shoulders upwards, reach above rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. D  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right part of cup and part of left handle missing.
Two thick palmettes with small curled buds pointing inwards.
Shape is similar to , but lip is taller, with straight-walled upper part of body. Straight ring-foot, without
projection or tooled ridge.
(Fig. S.)

. D  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim fragments, part of left handle, and right handle missing.
Above band with meander, under small horizontal olive branch. Clay colour has a slightly reddish tinge.
Shape is similar to , but lip is slightly taller, with less convex lower part of body. Flaring ring-foot, slightly tooled
off, with wide standing surface, and slightly convex ceiling.
(Fig. )

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right handle and adjoining part of cup missing.
Three broad palmettes pointing up, with horizontally aligned dots in bud. Tendrils between the palmettes and a
curled tendril under the handles. Two palmettes on side b.
Slightly out-turned rim, slightly concave lip above jog. Convex upper part of the body, straight lower part. Very
small, tooled-off ring-foot, slightly convex ceiling. On inside, a wide shallow sinking in the floor. Small rounded
handles turn gradually upwards from the shoulder to above the rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height c..; maximum diameter c..; diameter foot c...


Right handle and adjoining part of cup missing. Part of ring-foot missing.
Similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Height .; maximum diameter c.; diameter foot ..


Large parts of body and rim, and handles, missing.
Similar to .
(Fig. S.) Walker ,  no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter c.; diameter foot ..


Both handles and adjoining parts of cup missing.
Three sturdy palmettes, with small semicircular buds. Vertical zigzag on the left, dots. Palmettes spring from
handle attachments. Second and third palmettes were painted too close to each other and therefore do not
fit. The only preserved palmette bud on side b is dotted.
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. )

. D  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right handle and adjoining part of cup missing.
Large horizontal olive branch, continuous around bowl.
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Handles missing.
Similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Part of rim and body from side b missing.
Three palmettes, different from one another, with curled buds, two pointing up, the third pointing to the left.
Tendrils in between, a pendent dotted triangle between the first and second. Palmette leaves springing from
one left handle attachment, a three-leaved palmette with curled bud under right handle. Side b has two
palmettes and on the right a dotted flower of some sort.
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Maximum diameter c..


Two large handle fragments with rim preserved.
Large palmettes with curled buds pointing inwards. Style is similar to .
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Left handle missing.
Three palmettes, with large curled buds. On side b, a curled tendril is added on the left. Some random leaves
under the handles. Style is similar to , although palmettes are sturdier, with fewer leaves. Clay colour is
slightly pale, circles under foot are red to black (partially unreduced).
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Shape is similar to .
(Fig. S.) Walker ,  no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Horizontal olive branch, small three-leaved palmette with curled bud under the handles. Circles under the foot
are orange to red (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but with taller lip and more articulate sinking.
(Fig. S.)

. D ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Large part of body and rim, handles missing. Restored with gypsum.
Large horizontal olive branch, continuous around bowl. Light brownish clay colour.
Shape is similar to , but larger, with taller lip, and lower part of the body less convex. Wider, slightly flaring ring-
foot with wide standing surface.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Diameter foot ..


Only foot and part of body is preserved. Restored with gypsum.
Large horizontal olive branch with dots, continuous around bowl. Light brownish clay colour.
Shape is similar to .

. D ():

Height .; diameter foot ..


Fragmentary cup: most of rim, part of body, left handle and part of right handle missing. Restored with gypsum.
Elegant flaring central palmette with curled bud with arrow in between curled tendril ends. Tendrils flowing to
sides, connected to three-leaved palmettes pointing down and in. Wavy lines, dotted rosettes and ivy leaves. Light
brownish clay colour.
Shape is similar to , but larger, with taller lip, and lower part of the body straight-walled. Wide standing surface
and stirrup-shaped handles. Shape is more similar still to , but with an even less convex shoulder, causing the
bowl to be less deep.
(Fig. )

. D ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Fragmentary cup: rim and body fragments, and handles missing. Restored with gypsum.
Similar to .

. D ():

Height .; diameter foot ..


Fragmentary cup: parts of foot, body, and handles missing. Restored with gypsum.
Central lotus bud pointing down, palmettes with curled buds on both sides connected with tendril. Clay colour
is light brownish.
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


 ELON D. HEYMANS

Large part of side b and left handle missing.


Male body and head directed to the left. Small branch to his left, a large branch to his right. Sturdy palmette with
semicircular bud and tendrils on the right. Palmette leaves spring from handle attachments. Brownish-black paint
with green stains (oxidised copper?).
Very out-turned rim, concave lip, slight tooled indent on shoulder. Convex body. Short stem, wide slightly
tooled-off ring-foot, wide slightly convex ceiling. On inside, a wide shallow sinking in the floor. Rounded
handles turn gradually upwards from the shoulder to under the rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker , – no. .

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Handles missing.
Sturdy palmette with semicircular bud in centre, curled tendrils on its sides. Palmette leaves springing from
handle attachments, pointing inwards. Ivy leaf springing from handle attachment, under handles. On side b,
tendrils are dotted. Style is similar to . On inside, centre is red; circles under the foot are dark with red
hints (unreduced).
Shape similar to , but lowest part of body turns concave, under which there is an inward jog. Very short stem
flows into flaring tooled-off foot, low slightly convex ceiling.
(Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Three palmettes, some connected with tendrils, palmettes under the handles. On side b, central palmette
pointing up, connected with tendrils to two palmettes pointing down and out. Clay has a red-pinkish tinge.
Out-turned rim, slightly incurved concave lip, very slight tooled indent on shoulder. Convex upper part of body,
fairly straight-walled lower part. Flaring tooled-off foot, slightly convex ceiling. On inside, a shallow sinking in
the floor, with very slight nipple. Pointed handles turn upwards from the shoulder, project straight up to the
level of the rim.
(Figs. –) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker ,  no. .

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height .; maximum diameter c.; diameter foot ..


Foot fragment, part of body, and handles missing. Restored with gypsum.
Central lotus bud, palmettes with curled buds on both sides connected with sinuous tendril. Tendrils on sides
with dotted rosettes. Ivy leaf under handle. The sinuous tendril recalls . Clay colour is grey (reduced).
Out-turned rim, slightly incurved concave lip. Evenly convex body continues into concave stem with broad
flaring foot, slightly tooled off. Broad standing surface, tooled-off cone, high wide flat ceiling.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. D ():

Diameter foot ..


Rim completely missing, left handle missing. Restored with gypsum.
Three palmettes with curled buds, vertical clubbed wavy lines, cross. Ivy leaves under handles. Decoration
recalls , but larger, less cursory palmettes, such as seen on side b of . Paint is red (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , with straight projecting stirrup-shaped handles.
(Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Three palmettes with curled buds on one side, two on the other. Vertical clubbed wavy lines, dotted rosettes. Ivy
leaves under handles. On inside, reserved band under the rim, reserved sinking. Paint is red (unreduced).
Out-turned rim, slightly incurved concave lip. Evenly convex body continues into concave stem with
broad flaring foot, slightly tooled off. Broad standing surface, tooled-off cone, small high slightly convex
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

ceiling. On inside, a small very shallow sinking in the floor. Stirrup-shaped handles turn gradually up to the level
of the rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. Pr  K IV (n):

Height c..; maximum diameter c.. (taken from A.D. Ure ); diameter foot ..
Fragmentary cup: parts of body and rim are missing.
Similar to , but in black paint.
(Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker , .

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Left handle missing. Heavy incrustation.
Two palmettes with curled buds, vertical clubbed wavy lines. Diluted paint on rim and on inside. Palmettes are
similar to , but slightly different, more cursory style.
Shape is similar to , but smaller, with more articulate sinking.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Two palmettes with curled buds, vertical clubbed wavy lines. Dotted rosettes under handles. On inside, reserved
band, reserved sinking. Style is similar to .
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. ; Fig. S.) Walker , – no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Handles are missing.
Two palmettes with curled buds, vertical clubbed wavy lines. Ivy leaves under handles. On inside, reserved band,
reserved sinking. Style is similar to . Paint is red (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but smaller.
(Fig. S.) Walker , – no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Vertical clubbed wavy lines, ivy leaves under handles. On inside, two reserved bands and a dot in the centre.
Shape is similar to , but smaller.
(Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped.
Three palmettes with curled buds: central palmette pointing up, connected with tendrils to two palmettes
pointing down and out. Deer-like animal under each handle: one a horse, the other a hare. Decoration is very
wobbly and brushy. Some strokes are diluted. Reserved sinking on inside.
Out-turned rim with slight rim offset halfway down on inside, just under attachment of handles. Very shallow
cup with thickened lower convex body on top of sturdy, concave stem, flaring slightly downwards. Slightly
tooled-off projecting ring-foot, convex ceiling. On inside, central sinking in floor. Rectangular handles turn
gradually upwards above rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker ,  no. .
 ELON D. HEYMANS

. Pr  K IV (n):

Maximum diameter ..


Fragmentary body preserved, foot and handles missing.
Decoration and style are similar to , but down-pointing palmette under the handles.
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. D  (n):

Rim fragment with handle attachment.


A stained deer-like animal (giraffe?). Decoration, style, and shape similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped, foot fragment missing. Partially restored with gypsum.
Central palmette with a dotted bud, palmettes with dotted buds springing from handle attachments, pointing
inwards. On side b, central palmette with a curled bud. On inside, hollow seems reserved. Decoration and style
refer to earlier types with dotted and curled buds, such as ,  and , also . Clay colour is grey (reduced).
Out-turned rim, concave lip on jog. Deep bowl-shaped body with rather straight-walled upper part. Short straight
stem, small tooled-off ring-foot, wide standing surface and slightly convex ceiling. On inside, a shallow disc-shaped
hollow. Rounded handles turn to above the rim.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Body and rim fragments, and left handle missing.
Decoration and style are similar to , but palmette buds with double arc under single arc. Clay colour is grey (reduced).
Shape also similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped, part of left handle missing.
Three slender palmettes with semicircular buds. Half a palmette between the first two palmettes. The first
palmette is placed too close to the handle where there was not enough space upwards, causing it to tilt to the
right. Also, a small cross and a three-leaved tendril. A three-leaved tendril under one handle, a lotus under
the other. On side b, central palmette pointing up, connected with tendrils to two palmettes pointing down
and out. Partly reserved hollow on inside.
Out-turned rim, slightly incurved concave lip on slight jog. Almost conical cup with straight-walled body under
short shoulder. Body continues into very short concave stem with flaring foot, slightly tooled off, and small
convex ceiling. On inside, a wide hollow with slight nipple. Rounded handles turn to above the rim.
(Figs. –) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker , – no. .

. Pr , R  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


A series of palmettes pointing up, connecting with a tendril to a palmette pointing to the right, and two half
palmettes, all around the cup, also under the handles. Reserved hollow on inside. Style is similar to . Clay
colour is orange.
Shape is similar to , but lip is shorter, shallow cup, slightly more convex body, and slightly concave lower body
standing directly on top of flaring foot. On inside, a wider hollow.
(Fig. S.)
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Central palmette pointing up, connected with tendrils to two palmettes pointing out. Vertical wavy lines on the
left. Half a palmette under one handle, a swastika under the other. Reserved hollow on inside. Strokes are slightly
diluted. Style is similar to .
Shape is similar to , but cup is shallow, slightly concave lower body stands on top of narrow straight stem,
flaring slightly downwards. A flaring thick foot with tooled-off convex upper side, and a very small low flat
ceiling. On inside, hollow is small and shallow. Smaller handles turn only slightly upwards.
(Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right handle and adjoining rim fragment missing.
Two dotted lotuses and a central palmette, some tendrils springing from the palmette and one of the lotuses.
Palmette leaves springing down from handles. Reserved hollow on inside. Style of decoration shows
similarities with earlier cups ,  and , but it is more exuberant.
Shape is similar to , but larger. Also, there is no jog under lip but a small, tooled indent on shoulder. Longer
stem with straight upper part, and concave lower part, flaring slightly into relatively small foot. Slightly broader
convex ceiling. On inside, a relatively flat floor with a clear edged wide and deep cylindrical hollow with slight
nipple. Handles are slightly more rounded.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Foot fragment missing, but reconstructed.
Horizontal olive branch. Small palmette pointing down under one handle.
Out-turned rim, small tooled indent on shoulder. Small shoulder, fairly straight-walled lower part of body. Thin
and evenly turned body. Indent under body, with sturdy, straight stem, flaring slightly downwards, continues
into broad tooled-off foot. High, slightly convex ceiling. On inside, concave lower body continues into a wide
shallow hollow. Rounded handles turn gradually to above the rim.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker ,  no.  (same as  no. ).

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Three palmettes with double arc bud, each with tendril on both sides. A dotted triangular pendant under one
handle, an ivy leaf under the other. Reserved hollow on inside.
Shape is similar to , but slightly incurved concave lip on top of shoulder with slight tooled indent. Slightly
more concave lower part of body, making the bowl almost conical. Indent under body is deeper, and ceiling
is lower. On inside, wide hollow is deeper. Handles are less turned upwards.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker ,  no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Decoration and style is similar to , but third palmette springs from a tendril and points down and out. Ivy
leaves under both handles. Paint is brownish red to black (partially unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but lip is like , less concave. From shallow indent under body, stem flares out widely
downwards on slightly tooled-off ring-foot, lower ceiling. On inside, wide hollow is deeper and cylindrical, with
clearer edge in the floor. Handles are slightly straighter.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.) Walker ,  no. .

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim fragment and right handle missing.
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Decoration and style similar to , but first and third palmette spring from a tendril and point down and out.
Under the handles, there are three chevrons, one inside the other. Paint is brownish red to black (partially
unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but rim is less out-turned. No indent under the body, with lower body, concave stem and
ring-foot in a continuous curve.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Left handle missing.
Style is similar to , but smaller central palmette with tendril on the left, and palmettes springing from handle
attachments inwards. On inside, reserved hollow.
Shape is similar to , but with sturdier stem and no indent under body. Also slightly tooled-off ring-foot almost
disappears under stem, and wider hollow on the inside. The rim is more similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped.
Three palmettes, central palmette pointing up, connected with tendrils to two palmettes pointing down and out.
Multiple chevrons, one inside the other, under the handles. Reserved bands on inside. Inner band on the inside
and the circles under the foot are brownish red (unreduced).
Out-turned rim, concave, slightly incurved lip on top of shoulder with very slight indent. Slightly convex lower
wall turns thicker towards a sturdy, straight stem, flaring slightly downwards. Tooled-off ring-foot, convex
ceiling. On inside, a deep cylindrical hollow with central rise on the bottom. Rounded sturdy handles turn
upwards from shoulder, projecting straight up to slightly under rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker , – no. .

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped and part of right handle missing.
Three palmettes pointing up with tendrils in between, a swastika between the first and second palmettes, ivy
leaves under the handles. Reserved bands on inside. Style is similar to . Paint is dark brown to red, red on
inside.
Shape is similar to , but stem is longer.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Central lotus bud, with palmettes pointing inwards from the handles. Multiple chevrons, one inside the other,
under the handles. Reserved bands on inside. Style is similar to .
Shape is similar to , but cup is shallower, higher stem and narrower cylindrical hollow.
(Fig. S.) Walker , – no. .

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Left handle missing.
Decoration and shape similar to .
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Foot fragment missing, but reconstructed.


Central palmette pointing up, tendrils on both sides, with palmettes springing from handle attachments inwards.
Multiple chevrons, one inside the other, under the handles. Style is similar to .
Shape is similar to , but cup is shallower, shorter stem, broader foot, and handles reaching above rim.
(Fig. S.) Walker ,  no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped.
Decoration is similar to . Paint on inside and circles under foot are red (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but with thin sharp indent under body.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped.
Decoration is similar to  except for multiple chevrons, one inside the other, under the handles. Reserved bands
on inside.
Shape is similar to , but stem and ring-foot are higher.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim and foot chipped, body fragment and part of left handle missing.
Decoration is similar to  except for multiple chevrons, one inside the other, under the handles. Reserved bands
on inside. Inner band on inside and circles under the foot are brownish red (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but stem flares slightly downwards.
(Fig. S., Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  (n):

Height .; maximum diameter c.; diameter foot ..


Parts of cup and right handle missing.
Two palmettes with curled tendril on right side of each palmette. Ivy leaf under one handle, multiple chevrons,
one inside the other, under the other handle. Reserved bands on inside. Style is similar to . Clay colour is
brownish pale, with bright orange in core of clay, circles under the foot are orange (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but stem is longer. Very much like , but with even (slightly) longer stem and smaller
foot.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. D ():

Maximum diameter ..


Foot missing.
Three palmettes with double arc buds pointing up. Multiple chevrons, one inside the other, under the handles.
Style is similar to , but palmettes are more elongated, with thicker strokes, less elegant.
Shape is similar to .
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. D  (n):

Maximum diameter c. (taken from A.D. Ure ); diameter foot ..
Fragmentary cup: three non-joining fragments preserved, including small parts of the rim, a handle and the foot.
 ELON D. HEYMANS

Continuous band of connected spirals, drops splashing off. Reserved bands on inside. Brown paint, slightly
diluted. Clay colour is brownish yellow.
Out-turned rim, slightly incurved concave lip on top of shoulder. Slightly convex lower wall turns thicker towards
a sturdy, concave stem. Small slightly tooled-off ring-foot, wide low convex ceiling. On inside, a deep cylindrical
hollow with central rise on the bottom. Small sturdy stirrup-shaped handles turn gradually up to the level of the
rim.
(Fig. S.) A.D. Ure ,  no. ; Walker ,  no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim fragments missing.
Vertical drops continuous around cup, thick on the shoulder, thin towards the stem. Reserved bands on inside.
Clay colour is pale, except for area under the foot, which has a clear red tinge. Insides of drops are red, inner
band on inside and circles under the foot are brownish red (unreduced).
Out-turned rim, no concave incurve above shoulder. Slightly convex body below shoulder, short straight stem
flaring slightly downwards on top of tooled-off ring-foot, flat ceiling. On inside, cylindrical hollow. Sturdy
handles turn slightly upwards.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim fragments missing.
Long horizontal palmettes springing from handle attachments, pointing inwards. In centre, two small crosses, one
above the other. Crosses under the handle. Reserved bands on inside. Clay colour is pale with pinkish tinge.
Out-turned rim, straight lip, slight tooled indent on shoulder. Shallow cup, slightly convex upper part of body
below shoulder turns concave, continuing into fairly straight stem, narrowing downwards, with slight ridge where
foot is attached to body. Below stem, a slightly tooled-off flaring ring-foot, small ceiling with reversed cone. On
inside, bowl-shaped hollow with two rounded edges, one in the floor and one further into the hollow. Rounded
handles turn gradually to slightly above the rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped.
Very careless horizontal wavy lines around the cup on the outside, reserved bands on inside. Clay colour is
brownish.
Shape is similar to , but larger, with lower part of body not convex but rather straight-walled. Stemmed foot is
large with a wide tooled-off ring-foot and a flat ceiling. Sturdy handles.
(Figs. S., S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Two horizontal palmettes pointing inwards, around a central palmette pointing up. Another horizontal palmette
on the right pointing left. On the other side, two horizontal palmettes pointing inwards, and a third palmette on
the right pointing out. A small horizontal palmette under one of the handles. Reserved bands on inside. Thin
strokes in brownish paint.
Slightly incurved plain rim. Convex upper part of shallow bowl, concave lowest part of body, continuing into
concave stem. Small slightly tooled-off ring-foot, convex ceiling. On inside, sharp-edged bowl-shaped hollow
with central nipple, visible turning marks. Rounded sturdy handles project slightly upwards.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.) Walker ,  no. .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right handle missing.
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

Two palmettes with curled tendril in between, curled tendrils under the handles. Reserved bands on inside. Style
is similar to , but somewhat later. Clay colour has orange tinge, paint is red (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but cup is shallower. Rim is not downturned, but out-turned like  on top of slightly
concave lip. Lower part of the body, outside and inside, is less concave. Hollow is not deep, but more a
rounded impression.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.) Walker ,  no. .

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped, body fragment missing.
Two spacious flaring palmettes pointing up, with curled tendril in between on side b. Two chevrons, one inside the
other, under the handles. Reserved bands on inside. Very brushy irregular round strokes with little attention to detail.
Slightly downturned projecting rim on top of shoulder. Body turns less convex below shoulder, lower part of body
turns slightly concave. Small straight stem, flaring slightly downwards into small, slightly tooled-off ring-foot,
convex ceiling. On the inside, convex lower body flows into small but deep hollow. Rounded sturdy handles turn
upwards from the shoulder, projecting straight up to slightly under the rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped.
Three spacious flaring palmettes pointing up. Style is close to , but less brushy.
Shape is similar to , but shoulder is less clear and body as a whole is more convex, continuing into small short
concave stem with wide reversed cone. Hollow is less deep, more like an impression.
(Fig. S.)

. D  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Heavy incrustation.
Three wide palmettes with semicircular bud and thick leaf ends. Central palmette pointing up with on both sides
a palmette pointing in.
Shape is similar to , but rim is not downturned, but out-turned like  on top of slightly concave lip. Short and
sturdy concave stem. Less deep hollow, more like an impression.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. D ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Reserved bands on inside and outside.
Shape is similar to .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Reserved bands on inside and outside. Clay has a reddish tinge. Very rough surface.
Thick projecting rim, almost straight-walled conical cup, flowing into concave short sturdy stem with slightly
tooled-off ring-foot, small convex ceiling. On inside, body continues into large shallow impression. Rounded
sturdy handles turn slightly upwards.
(Fig. ; Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Reserved bands on inside and outside.
Shape is similar to , with less conical body.
 ELON D. HEYMANS

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Part of right handle missing.
Reserved bands on inside and outside. Clay colour is orange to buff, with red paint (unreduced).
Shape is similar to , but shallow rather than conical.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height c..; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Right handle missing.
Reserved bands on inside and outside, diluted on inside. Clay colour has an orange tinge.
Shape is similar to , but with a shallow body and a slightly deeper hollow.
(Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height c.–.; maximum diameter c..; diameter foot ..


Reserved bands on inside and outside.
Shape is similar to , with less conical body, and deeper hollow, like .

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Rim slightly chipped, right handle missing.
Reserved bands on inside and outside. Brownish diluted paint. Slightly pale buff clay colour.
Shape recalls , but cup is small and sturdy. Thick projecting rim, on top of convex bowl with thick body.
Slightly longer stem, smaller ring-foot. Cf. . Small round handles making a sharp bend upwards, almost
against rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height c.; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Reserved bands on inside and outside.
Shape is similar to , but larger.

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Heavy incrustation.
Reserved bands on inside and outside.
Slightly downturned rim on top of convex bowl. Thin long stem flowing into flaring tooled-off foot, small high
ceiling with reversed cone. On inside, sharp-edged impression in floor of bowl. Small round handles making a
sharp bend upwards, almost against rim, sticking out above rim.
(Figs. –; Fig. S.)

. Pr , R  ():

Height .; maximum diameter .; diameter foot ..


Heavy incrustation.
Reserved bands on inside and outside.
Shape is similar to , but slightly more elongated.
(Fig. S.)
PALMETTE CUPS FROM ANCIENT TANAGRA 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The research for this article was made possible by a grant of the Vereniging van Vrienden van het
Nederlands Instituut te Athene (VVNIA), and the support of the Nederlands Instituut Athene and
the Allard Pierson Stichting. I would like to thank Prof. V. Aravantinos and Dr A. Harami of the th
Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, Thebes, for allowing me to study the material. I
am particularly grateful to Prof. V.V. Stissi for his support and comments on the text, and to Prof.
H.A.G. Brijder for reading an earlier draft. The research further benefited from the expertise of
Dr. W. van de Put and Mrs. K. Kalliga, and from the technical support of the Institute of
Archaeology of Tel Aviv University. The responsibility for the result lies, however, with me.

elonheymans@gmail.com

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Ανθεμωτές κύλικες από την Αρχαία Τανάγρα


Το άρθρο αυτό αποτελεί μια επισκόπηση της εξέλιξης του διακοσμητικού θέματος των ανθεμίων σε κύλικες από την
αρχαία Τανάγρα. Τα συγκεκριμένα αγγεία, επίσης γνωστά ως κύλικες με φυτική διακόσμηση, αποτελούν την κύρια
κατηγορία διακοσμημένης κεραμικής κατά την κλασική περίοδο στη Βοιωτία και τις γειτονικές περιοχές. Η
παραγωγή των αγγείων, που είναι διακοσμημένα με σκιαγραφημένα απλά φυτικά μοτίβα (κυρίως ανθέμια),
κορυφώνεται προς το τέλος του ου και στις αρχές του ου αιώνα π.Χ. Η μελέτη βασίζεται σε έναν κατάλογο 
κυλίκων, άγνωστης προέλευσης, που φυλάσσονται στις αποθήκες του Μουσείου Σχηματαρίου, παράλληλα με άλλα
υλικά από ανασκαφές και συλλογές. Με τον τρόπο αυτό συγκροτείται το πιο ολοκληρωμένο σύνολο ανθεμωτών
αγγείων, γνωστά όχι μόνο από την Τανάγρα αλλά και οποιοδήποτε άλλο κέντρο παραγωγής. Με βάση κυρίως το
σχήμα και τη διακόσμηση των αγγείων, αναγνωρίστηκαν διάφορες ομάδες ή εργαστήρια. Η εικόνα που σχηματίζεται
συμβάλλει στην καλύτερη κατανόηση της πολυμορφίας και της εξέλιξης αυτού του τύπου κεραμικής, ενώ επίσης
προσφέρει πολύτιμες πληροφορίες για τις κεραμικές παραδόσεις της Βοιωτίας.