The Enigma of the Vessel. A Masterpiece of Iberian Art

  • 14-11-2017 - 31-07-2018

“Treasures of the Prehistory Museum” is an exhibition programme which displays the Museum’s iconic pieces, whether they are recently-acquired objects or collections not on show in the permanent exhibition halls. These are collections of great artistic or scientific value which deserve an individual exhibition and a monographic study to allow a wide audience to discover these little-known archaeological gems.

The Enigma of the Vessel. A Masterpiece of Iberian Art

The Vessel of the Warriors was discovered in 1934, in pieces and partially burned, in a votive pit in Tossal de Sant Miquel (Llíria, Valencia). It is considered a masterpiece of 3rd-century BCE Iberian art due to the singularity of its execution.

This extraordinary object allows us to tell a social history, responding to the fundamental questions which guided the archaeological investigation: where was it found and which historical period does it belong to? What was it used for? Who commissioned it? Who made it and how? Why was it destroyed? The exhibition and its catalogue examine these questions and the meaning of its enigmatic decorated frieze, which has been interpreted from different, though mutually-enriching perspectives.

Coinciding with the ninetieth anniversary of the foundation of the SIP and the Museum, the Vessel of the Warriors is displayed after its recent restoration together with other ceramics which carry depictions of figures and weapons. Also exhibited are archive documents such as photographs, the excavation diary and the first tracings and drawings of the frieze, which have been stored in the Museum for more than eighty years and are now being shown to the public for the first time.

Helena Bonet Rosado
Jaime Vives-Ferrándiz Sánchez
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