Le brochette askoidi nel Periodo Protopalaziale a Creta: distribuzione e funzionalità
Ilaria Caloi Rivista di Archaeologia 32-33 (2008-2009) : 5-23
The aim of this paper is to make a new revision of the askoid jugs attested in Crete in the Protopalatial period (MM IB-MM IΙB: 1900-1700 BC). These peculiar jugs, characterised by an asymmetric profile and a large handle, are commonly used as pouring vessel. Between the end of the Prepalatial and the beginning of the Protopalatial period they are attested only in funerary contexts, such as Haghia Triada, Koumasa and Kamilari, where they were probably used in libation rituals. From the Protopalatial period they are present in settlements too. They are widespread in the Mesara plain, mostly at Phaistos.
In this paper a peculiar type of askoid jug will be also analysed. It is characterized by a recurring dark on light decoration, consisting of two opposite series of curving stripes, which start from beneath the spout and meet at the handle. At Phaistos, where it is probably produced, this type of askoid jug is often associated with amphoras and containing vases (i.e. pitharakia); it is, therefore, supposed to be used not only as a pouring vessel, but also as a vase containing a specific liquid. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that this type of askoid jug is the only one which is found outside Phaistos in the Protopalatial Crete: it is attested at Kommos, Monastiraki and Mallia. In particular, in the Quartier Mu at Mallia, the askoid jug was found in a store, in association with an amphora imported from Phaistos. These findings make it likely the askoid jug with semicircular bands was attested or exported outside Phaistos for its specific liquid, which was probably typical of the Mesara plain (aromatic oil?).