Common vase shapes in ancient Greece

Form and Function
Common vase shapes in ancient Greece

Ceramic vessels provide the largest body of information for the study of ancient Greek culture and practices. Ranging in size, shape, and level of decoration, these containers served a variety of purposes not only in the daily lives of their owners, but also in honoring the dead.


Amphora: A vase with two handles used to store or transport liquids such as olive oil or wine


Kylix: A wide drinking cup with two small handles and a narrow stem often associated with scenes of the symposium

Lekythos Lekythos: A narrow flask with one handle used for storing oils for lighting, cooking, and perfumes. Fragile white-ground lekythoi were often used at tombs to pour libations or left as gifts to the dead

Krater: A wide-mouthed bowl for mixing water and wine


Pyxis: A cylindrical box with a removable cover used to store cosmetics