The pair of stunning gold cups, called the “Vapheio Cups,” are considered masterpieces of ancient Greek art. The expertly crafted gold objects were found at the Vapheio tholos tomb in the area of Lakonia in the late 16th century.
The pair of cups, which were created over 3,400 years ago, were the product of advanced Creto-Mycenaean metalwork. The delicate objects feature scenes dominated by a bull, which was a very important animal in many Bronze-Age civilizations in the Mediterranean.
On the first cup, a scene depicting the peaceful capture of a bull wraps around the entire object. A man is shown tying a rope around the animal’s leg as it is in the process of mating with a cow, as three other bulls graze in the background.
The second cup shows a less peaceful scene, as a bull is depicted captured in a net as another, which has likely escaped, attacks two hunters. A third man is shown fleeing the area.
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