A Wheelmade Bovid from the Palace of Nestor at Pylos

by Emily Catherine Egan

Hesperia, Volume 88, Issue 3
Page(s): 421-446
Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.88.3.0421
Year: 2019


This article examines fragments of a wheelmade terracotta bovid of “Mycenaean” type from the so-called Palace of Nestor at Pylos. The first such figure to be identified in Messenia, the bovid is considered in light of its physical features, excavation contexts, and similarities to published comparanda. An original storage context inside the palace at Pylos is proposed, as is a production date in Late Helladic (LH) IIIA2 or LH IIIB. In the latter period, the use of the figure is tentatively explored in light of local iconographic, faunal, and textual evidence, which points collectively to the bovid's ritual, and perhaps explicitly royal, use.