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Aristaeus Kylix


ca. 24 B.C.

Attributed to Rom av.JC

Its discovery in Hyères, Provence, in the summer of 2024, created quite a stir. Unearthed after 1,500 years in the ground, this ceramic belongs to the very rare category of so-called “large skate kylix” vases, of which only 4 complete examples are known to exist.

Found during excavations at the sanctuary of Aristaeus in Olbia, it was easy for archaeologists to identify the representation on this pottery, dedicated to the cult of the minor Greek mythological god Aristaeus. Son of Apollo and of the nymph Cyrene, Aristaeus was revered by shepherds and farmers for his skills in curdling milk, cultivating olive trees and keeping bees. This is why Aristaeus is shown here tending a beehive. Other elements confirm the origin of this large kylix, such as the olive leaf motif or the subtle palm motif, emblematic of the ancient town of Hyères from the Greco-Roman period.

Just as the sanctuary of Aristaeus in Olbia is the only one known to date, this ceramic is also the only skateboard representation of this minor god.

Title: Aristaeus Kylix

Artist: Attributed to Rom av.JC

Period: Archaic

Date: ca. 523 B.C.

Culture: Greek, Attic

Medium: Skateboards; black-figure

Dimensions: H. 43 in. (110 cm)
length 43 in. (110 cm)

Classification: Vases

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