An aryballos (ἀρύβαλλος) was a small spherical or globular flask with a narrow neck used in Ancient Hellas to contain perfume or oil. They are often depicted in vase paintings where they are used by athletes during bathing. In these depictions, the vessel is at times attached by a strap to the athlete's wrist, or hung by a strap from a peg on the wall. The original shape of them is a bit boring. Over the years, though, the ancient Hellenes thought of something novel: animal shaped ones! I spent at least an hour yesterday googling as many as I could find an I'd like to spare you the search. So here are some of the cutest aryballoi in ancient Hellenic history.

Oh--point of interest: hedgehogs are among the most common forms of faience oil flasks. The center of production of these vases has traditionally been identified as Naukratis, a Hellenic trading colony on the Nile Delta, in Egypt. Faience, by the way, is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a delicate pale buff earthenware body, originally associated by French speakers with wares exported from Faenza in northern Italy. The term 'faience' has been extended to include finely glazed ceramic beads, figures and other small objects found in Egypt as early as 4000 BC and elsewhere in the Ancient Near East, the Indus Valley Civilization and Europe. However this material is not pottery at all, containing no clay, but a vitreous frit, either self-glazing or glazed.

600 BC, East Greek, Hedgehog
600-500 BC, East Greek, Hedgehog
630 BC, Corinthian, Owl
620–590 BC, Corinthian, Bird
600-500 BC, Rhodian, Rooster
600-500 BC, East Greek, Fish
600 - 550 BC, Corinthian, Hare