Lead myrrh flask (koutrouvion)

  • Code:  ΒΑ 74/13
  • Type:  Lead myrrh flask
  • Chronology:  13th c.
  • Dimensions:  Height 8.1 cm; width 5.5 cm
  • Materials of Construction:  Lead
  • Origin:  Redina, Thessaloniki

For the Byzantines, "koutrouvia" were vessels made of clay or lead in which pilgrims carried the aromatic oil (myrrh) which they acquired from the cult centers of saints.

Flattened round body with cylindrical neck and two small suspension handles. Within medals one the one side Saint Demetrios is depicted in bust with cloak and spear, while on the other Saint Theodora in monastic garments. Ornamental strips with superimposed triangles and double spirals surround the medals, while the neck bears a crisscross pattern.