How cute is this Early Bronze Age red polished jug with figural decoration from Pyrgos? Yes, it is indeed cute. Ancient Cyprus seems to have a lot of cute ceramic objects. A while ago I posted a really cute little model shrine which is a perfect example of such things. The ceramic featured above is part of an exhibition of Cypriot objects that is being held at the National Museum of Natural History, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, up until May 2011. So all you Americans can go see it much easier than I can. There are 200 artefacts on display in this exhibition, including this jug. When I first saw it, on the cover of the CAARI newsletter, I thought the projecing "spikes" were intended to evoke bovine horns - which may very well be correct - but as you can see in the second image, those horns are pouring spouts. This does not preclude simultaneously being "horns". I must admit that I don't know much about this object and can only speculate that it is some sort of ritual libation tool or offering. Here's a little article here, the jug certainly seems to feature a lot in the promotion of the exhibition. So, happy viewing.