Cista of bronze



A container for toiletries in the Ancient Mediterranean Collection bears a narrative scene of Greek myths.

The container is made of bronze and is called a cista. The body is cylindrical and rests on three lion feet. It is closed with a slightly convex lid on which are set a naked man and a woman embracing. Similar figures appear on lids of clay or bronze as far back as the 8th century BC, and it is possible that what is shown here is a wedding scene. The cista may have been a wedding present. It is finely decorated with incised figures, among which Herakles fighting a centaur can be discerned.