A Detour to Kalenderberg

I’m not just interested in sippy cups. The pottery from this era and region has many wonderful features (including a variety of large vessels with multiple bull’s head spouts), and the cups found in excavations range from primitive vessels to elegant ware with distinctive curves and handles, and some with elaborate incised or pressed decorations.

A large number of such wares were found in Kalenderberg Group graves (eastern Hallstatt Culture, early Iron Age). Let’s take a look at some cups, comprising two general styles, Kalenderberg and Pseudo-Kalenderberg, described by Roberto Tarpini (translation here thanks to Google Translate):

“Roughly simplified, the typical decorations of the “classic calendar mountain ornament” are garland or angular notched strips and small knobs as fillings, which in turn are implemented in the “pseudo calendar mountain ornament” in the form of fluting and impressions (Fig. 6).”

Der Topf im Grab: Überlegungen zur Beigabe von Ritualkeramik in Bestattungen des Osthallstattraums. In: P.C. Ramsl, K. Rebay-Salisbury & P. Trebsche (eds.) Schichtengeschichten. Festschrift für Otto H. Urban. Universitätsforschungen zur Prähistorischen Archäologie. Bonn: Habelt.  328: 441– 457 

Admittedly, surface decoration is not a major focus of mine. I am more interested in forms. Here is Figure 6, mentioned above:

What on earth is going on at the bottom right? All these perfect normal – and extensively decorated cups – and then … Leggy Cup. So of course this one went on my list. My priority was getting a stable cup with such long legs and such small feet. I chickened out a bit on the feet, making them broader than the original and lightly connected at the heels. I also kept the general form of the cup a bit more compact. And I feel good about the result. In fact, this cup brings a smile to my face every time I think of it.

My earthenware adaptation of the Pseudo-Kalenderberg cup with
tall legs, an Eastern Hallstatt Culture cup dated to the early Iron Age.
This was bisque fired and will not be glazed.

This takes me to the end of my class this fall. I have a few pieces to repeat, refining their shapes to get closer to extant originals, and I’ll be working toward more period production techniques. There are also some larger forms I’m interested in working on. See you next year!

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