Jar with hunting scene


Archaeological site: Budakalász, grave no. 740
Inventory no.: 93.2.1
Material: brass with silver and copper inlay,
Period: end of 5th century AD or the beginning of 6th century
Storage: Gödöllő, Ferenczy Museum Center

The jar decorated with hunting scenes is a prestigious relic of the early Byzantine period of the Carpathian Basin. In accordance with Avar traditions, food and drink offerings of food and drink were placed in the vessel as supplies for the interred in the afterlife.

The jar was moulded with a lost-wax casting procedure and currently is covered with greenish brown noble patina. A gracefully curving handle was soldered onto the edge and belly of the jar, and the curve of the ear carries a rhombus-shaped leaf, from which, the figure of a predator appears on. Similarly to ate Antique vessels, the body is divided by horizontal floral and figural friezes. There are four plus four hunting scenes evoking Hellenistic traditions in the two wide friezes divided by an “earth line” of uneven width and framed by the Lesvos kyma. Still no analogy of the relief jar is known from ate Antiquity.

Context: The jar with a hunting scene found during the excavation of the Avar period (6th–8th century AD) cemetery in Budakalász in 1989 is a prestigious relic from the Early Byzantine period of the Carpathian Basin. In accordance with Avar traditions,offerings of food and drink were placed in the vessel as supplies for the interred in the afterlife. It was put in the corner of the grave, so it was overlooked by raiders of the tomb who disturbed the graves hunting for treasures.

Dr. Tivadar Vida

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