Mastoid (Drinking Cup)

A work made of terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique.


about 500/480 BC


Attributed to the Leafless Group
Greek; Athens

About this artwork

The Greek Symposium
The modern symposium is an academic gathering where people discuss a topic of common interest, debunking old theories and putting forth new hypotheses. Afterward the participants might continue the conversation, discussing their impressions in greater detail or simply socializing over a drink. The men of ancient Athens did the same, regularly coming together in a private home to exchange ideas. The vases displayed in this case were used to prepare, serve, and consume wine at such gatherings. As the evening progressed, participants engaged in other pleasures, including games, performances, and sex.

Larger vases were used for preparing wine at a symposium and smaller vessels like this one were used to serve and drink it.

Currently Off View

Ancient and Byzantine Art


Leafless Group


Mastoid (Drinking Cup)




500 BC–480 BC


terracotta, decorated in the black-figure technique


9.2 × 10.8 × 10.8 cm (3 5/8 × 4 1/4 × 4 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Philip D. Armour and Charles L. Hutchinson

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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