Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


5 January 2016

Luxurious cosmetic containers of Mycenaean times (16th – 14th cent. B.C.) (in Greek)

Ελένη Κωνσταντινίδη-Συβρίδη In P. Adam-Veleni & K. Tzanavari (eds), Δινήεσσα: τιμητικός τόμος για την Κατερίνα Ρωμιοπούλου (Thessaloniki 2012): 47-54


The present article brings together evidence on the existence of toiletries and cosmetics, and makes further suggestions on the use of a special class of objects that have not gained the appropriate attention: the gold chain lockets, destined to contain some precious substances/cosmetics. Two of those artifacts are held in the Mycenaean Collection of the National Archaeological Museum: there are miniature boxes of gold, from Shaft Grave III of Grave Circle A and from the Tholos tomb at Dendra respectively. Both lockets originally contained a substance of some kind: the example from Dendra held two small flat discs of a rich in calcite substance, while the Mycenae example held also remains of a powder. The only published parallels to our lockets are four small containers, two of bronze and two of gold from Archanes, Crete. The so-called “ear-picks”, luxurious spoon-like items, often richly decorated in granulation and filigree, are perhaps related to the small containers and were used to remove the make-up or the perfumed oil from them. Although some of the picks have been revealed in a ritual context and it has been argued that they had a relative use, it is quite possible that at least those found to furnish (female) burials, served as part of a “beauty-case”.



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