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Kelder, Jorrit M.; Bricault, Laurent; Schneider, Rolf M. (2018): A Stone Alabastron in the J. Paul Getty Museum and Its Mediterranean Context. In: Getty Research Journal, Vol. 10: pp. 1-16
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Abstract

This paper aims to highlight the cultural biography of a small alabaster vessel in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. This anthropomorphic alabaster scent bottle, which is dated to ca. 575-550 BCE and thought to have been made in Naucratis in Egypt, is presented as a Greek artifact in the Getty Villa's permanent exhibition. This paper challenges this description and argues instead that the vessel is better understood as a cultural hybrid. We suggest that, by merging Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, and/or Cypriot influences into a single object, the artists that created such interesting vessels were catering to a surprisingly international market. Thus, objects such as the Getty alabastron can be understood as emblems for an increasingly connected world and as symbols of the eclectic nature of Classical Greek culture.