Octopus Vase

Octopus Vase

Date ca. 1500 BCE

Movement Aegean | Late Minoan IB

Medium Ceramic

Dimensions height 11″

Provenance Palaikastro, Crete

Housed at Archaeological Museum, Iráklion, Crete


Marine motifs were especially common as pottery decorations. Here, an octopus swirls amidst blobs of algae, its dark form contrasting beautifully against the cream background. Like the beaked jug, the forms of the subject accentuate the shape of the vase—its sprawling body and head push the round of the vase, while its curling tentacles echo the stirrups and mouth.