The plain ware rhyta in the form of a he-goat dating to the Hellenistic period (310-30 B.C) belong to the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. The three zoomorphic rhyta are displayed in Figure below. They are characterized by a moulded solid head with twisted horns and ‘beard’. They have well-modelled ears, eyes and muzzle; punctures on forehead. The wheel-made cylindrical body is supported on four short legs; short tail. Basket handle at the back of the neck. On the breast there is a short narrow spout; filling-hole at the back of the base of handle. Linear incisions, made before firing, are present over the entire surface of the body.


The three plain ware rhyta resemble one another strikingly, which suggests that were made in the same workshop. Their fabric and style of decoration recall the animal shaped Cypriote rattles of the same period. 

MNEMOSYNE’s Research Commitment

The three plain ware rhyta in the form of a he-goat have been identified as ‘feeding bottles’, however, there is no analytical data to support the claim. Biomolecular components of organic materials associated with human activity may have survived on the inner part of the potteries. MNEMOSYNE’s research plan aims on the identification of the nature and origins of any organic residues present using analytical organic chemical techniques that can reveal the principal use of the rhyta. The application of separation (chromatographic) and identification (mass spectroscopic) techniques can reveal preserved and altered biomolecular components of organic residues that hold archaeological information. In this way we can answer the long-held archaeological hypothesis and offer a new perspective on the study of human activity in the past. MNEMOSYNE research group will also focus on the digital reconstruction of the rhyta through photogrammetry. Group 3, after receiving the processed and structured data from Groups 1 and 2 (D5.2, sections 4.1.1, 4.1.2, 4.2.1, 4.2.2) will be able to create a virtual exhibition of the zoomorphic rhyta, through the implementation of XR technologies that can provide to users of different background the unique opportunity to examine them closely, employing at the same time, innovative, user-centered storytelling methodologies (D5.2, sections 4.3.5 and 4.3.6).

Essential Bibliography

Karageorghis, Vassos, and John Boardman. Ancient art from Cyprus: in the collection of George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides. Kapon Editions, 2002.

Evershed, Richard P. “Organic residue analysis in archaeology: the archaeological biomarker revolution.” Archaeometry 50.6 (2008): 895-924.