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Pandora and her box
- "--In popular culture--
This is not popular culture, it is advertising. The web site cited is an advertisement. Moreover, somewhere someone in WP has made a bad mistake. The myth of Pandora is not associated with any type of container. The pithos you know is not the small box usually shown in art, it is a jar into which Pandora could easily hide herself. It is time this nonsense got off WP. By the way pithoi are not clay jars, they are ceramics.Dave (talk) 12:32, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Later. All right. I checked Hesiod, and Hesiod does use the term pithos. The sense is fairly clear. Woman brought so many evils on the earth that they could only be contained in the largest storage unit the Greeks had, the pithos. Well, this misogyny certainly would not be tolerated by women today. According to them, the problem is men. The Pandora's box article has a number of philosophic problems, however. It professes that the box was "really" a pithos. Wait a minute! There was not really any Pandora and she did not really let the evils out of a box; furthermore, there was no box of evils and no concrete person, place or thing on which to pin this story. This is nothing but a figment of a poet's imagination. The article should be stating things like "for a container of evils, Hesiod used the largest Greek jar, the pithos." When the WP editors start trying to reconstruct what really happened here they go off into never-never land. I know there are children on WP, and children love a good story, but let us not confuse an imaginary story with history. Other poets did not necessarily use pithos. It isn't that the fabled box was not a box at all, it is that there was no box and no pithos either. It was fabled. The advertising stays out as advertising. I'm leaving Pandora out because this article is about real pithoi. If someone wants to write a section about the use of pithoi in Greek literature that would of course be a different matter.Dave (talk) 01:31, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
The conical 2-ton vessel
"Pithoi were often handled with ropes. Some vases display raised decorative ropes. Those with pointed rather than flat bases and narrow, sealable mouths were made specifically for shipping: a pithos, however broad-based, had no chance of remaining upright in an ancient ship; therefore pithoi with pointed ends were packed together as tightly as possible, and secured with ropes around their necks for the duration of the sea voyage.-- Those are amphorae, surely. It's hard to imagine transporting pithoi in excess of 1.5m. --"
This is speculation of the sort discouraged by WP. The full pithos weighed several hundred pounds, possibly up to a few tons if it was full of heavy oil. This is like saying a full drum of oil was lowered by crane to rest on a point on a wooden deck. But, the handlers had not only to lower them in by crane, they had somehow to to hold them up and hold them together until the last was in and they could rope them. A little knowledge of physics goes a long way. I have not done the calculation but I would guess that all the weight on the point would shatter it like an eggshell. There is a geometric problem as well. The most efficient packing would be straight-sided cylinders. Furthermore, the editor proposes that over half the storage capacity of the pithos was diminished to make a pointed shape. I do not know what text the original editor saw. Maybe it didn't even mean tapering or pointed, it only meant the base was smaller that the body. Maybe the author mistook smaller vessels for pithoi, as someone else suggested. I would expect a ref to an analysis by a professional archaeologist, not a passing comment by an archaeological idiot. Actually though I was taken in myself by this suggestion until I thought about it. Like everyone else, I'm gullible. I wonder how many of these loci I will have to remove.Dave (talk) 18:06, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
Decoration of pithos
"The extensive surface area of a pithos was a common field for decoration. For example, pithoi recovered at Knossos exhibit simulated rope designs.--C. Michael Hogan, Knossos fieldnotes, Modern Antiquarian (2007)-- The best decor was reserved for table and service ware, but most pithoi have some kind of pattern or scene, most often raised and arrayed in bands around the jar."