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The exhibit

Tylissos. 1500 - 1450 BC

This enormous cauldron was found together with other large vessels in a storage space in House A in Tylissos, by a villager digging for construction material from the Minoan building. This find led to the excavation of Tylissos by Iosif Hatzidakis in the early 20th century. The cauldron is made of hammered bronze sheets joined with rivets, many with double heads for greater stability. It was worn by use and repaired. The high level of technical expertise required to make it, and the copper itself, which was imported to Crete, indicate that the vessel was a luxury object used for special purposes. The great cauldrons of Tylissos were used to cook large amounts of food for banquets presumably attended by numerous guests, in the context of secular and religious ceremonies. They form part of the archaeological evidence for the organisation of large-scale banquets at the palaces, the villas and elsewhere. These banquets were occasions for the ruling groups of Minoan Crete to display their wealth and social status.
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