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Fragment of a Chest (Larnax)

This fragment is part of a decorated chest. Large boxes of this type were used for storing treasured household possessions throughout the ancient world and were often made of wood. This chest, however, is made of clay and was intended for use as a burial container. The women depicted on the box enact funerary rituals and touch their heads in a gesture of mourning. This chest was made in Boeotia, a part of Greece that was settled in this period by the Mycenaeans. Interestingly, this kind of chest was also used as a coffin by the Minoans. Artistic and societal links between the two cultures are known, but this chest and others like it may provide further evidence of cultural interactions.

Mycenaean, made in Boeotia (Greece)
Fragment of a Chest (Larnax)
1300–1200 BC
Terracotta and paint
H. 12 5/8 in. (32.07 cm.)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Acquired in honor of Herman B Wells for the 50th anniversary of the Eskenazi Museum of Art, 90.69