Apulia was a region of southern Italy that was famed for its glossy black glazed ware pottery and for its polychromatic decoration – often using shades of white, ochre and red. This type of vessel was used for sacred ceremonial purposes, rather than every day tasks. Ceremonial pieces were often placed as offerings in tombs, thus their subject corresponds with the iconography of funerary rituals.
Lekythoi were used in Ancient Greece to preserve and pour perfumed oil and ointments: its particular shape limited the release of the content and was suitable to prevent waste. Lekythoi were mainly used at baths and gymnasiums and for funerary offerings, as they were sometimes used for anointing dead bodies.
To find out more about different types of Greek vessel please see our relevant blog post: Collecting Greek Vases.