Hydria: Name of ancient Greek vessel used for the collection and transportation of water with two handles on the sides for lifting and a third at the back for pouring. In the byzantine period such vessels (water jars) can be found in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as round bodied amphoras, stamnos which is a closed shape vessel with a round body, a flat base and two or three handles, even flasks, jugs and pitchers, all used for drawing water. (Frantz 1938, 435, no. 27-28; Mackay 1967 284, 285, no. 79-80-81; Shear 1997, 534) Their shape can vary depending on the period and on the specific use, for example water jars carried in ships are known to have larger dimensions and a narrower base that those found in domestic context Μπακιρτζής 1989, 96, 98). They can be plain unglazed wares or have some type of decoration such as incised or matt painted (Sanders 1993, 268). Such vessels have been found in excavations associates with wells, houses and shipwrecks. Types of such water jars survived and continued to be manufactured still in the 19th and 20th c. in some parts of Greece (Blitzer 1990, 692).


(image from Shear, 1997)







The Translation is Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies, IAA, University of Birmingham 2008


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Last updated 19 June 2008