Digital Heritage Research Lab

Zoomorphic clay vases

The plain ware rhyta in the form of a he-goat dating to the Hellenistic period (310-30 B.C) belong to the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation. The three zoomorphic rhyta are displayed in Figure below. They are characterized by a moulded solid head with twisted horns and ‘beard’. They have well-modelled ears, eyes and muzzle; punctures on forehead. The wheel-made cylindrical body is supported on four short legs; short tail. Basket handle at the back of the neck. On the breast there is a short narrow spout; filling-hole at the back of the base of handle. Linear incisions, made before firing, are present over the entire surface of the body.

The three plain ware rhyta resemble one another strikingly, which suggests that were made in the same workshop. Their fabric and style of decoration recall the animal shaped Cypriote rattles of the same period.

In this work, non-invasive analytical techniques for the study of three ceramic zoomorphic rhyta were employed, belonging to the museum of George and Nefeli Giabra Pierides located at the Bank of Cyprus Cultural Foundation in Nicosia, Cyprus. The Hellenistic pottery that has been found proves that Cyprus has an important tradition in ceramics, along with the large quantities of imported pottery that it receives from all over the Mediterranean. The three animal-shaped rhyta of simple goat form, which are prominently exhibited in the museum of the George and Nefeli Tziapra Pierides collection, are also part of this context. The animals are rendered with pragmatic features, especially their heads. Archaeologists suggested that the three plain ware rhyta have been used as ‘feeding bottles. The heads of goats are compact, have twisted horns and two of them have beards. They have elegantly constructed ears, eyes, and muzzle. They have spots on the forehead. The body is cylindrical and wheeled and rests on four short legs. The animals have a short tail and a reed-shaped handle at the back of the neck. The sternum has a short and narrow forechest. There is a filling hole at the back of the handle. These three rhyta come from the same pottery workshop and probably from the same craftsman. The preservation of tangible cultural heritage and its intangible information requires a holistic documentation approach. The development of such approaches requires a collaborative and multidisciplinary research, including the three-dimensional documentation of cultural heritage assets (data acquisition, data processing and modelling), the materials analysis of the artefacts, the knowledge management, and the use and re-use of the acquired information Cultural assets of historical value need to be holistically documented to ensure long-term preservation, to define authenticity, to prevent or identify illicit trafficking and to assist cultural heritage storytelling via new technologies, e.g., augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.

3D Fabrication – Modelling


Data Acquisition (Computer Tomography and Chemical Analysis with the kind support of the Radiology Department of YGIA Polyclinic Private Hospital and the University of West Attica)

Data Acquisition (2D/3D Scanning)

CT Scan

Use and ReUse – 3D Fabrication

Estimation of Complexity & Quality based on EU 3D Study/VIGIE 2020/654




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