The Kylix with black figures was found in fragments inside one of the tombs in the Phoenician-Punic necropolis of Sulky. It has been almost entirely reconstructed, although one of the two handles has been lost.

It is decorated along the entire outer surface by a red band with black palmetto leaves (figs. 1-2).

Fig. 1 - The Attic Kylix from Sulky decorated with palmetto leaves (photo by Unicity S.p.A).
Fig. 2 - The Kylix from Sulky. The inside of the cup (photo by Unicity S.p.A.).

The cup presents a considerable deformation, this was perhaps already present before its firing, or it occurred during the process (fig. 3).

Fig. 3 - The Kylix from Sulky (photo by Unicity S.p.A).

The Kylix from Sulky is a specimen of Attic pottery, i.e. produced in Athens or other cities in Attica, which was imported to Sardinia between the late sixth and the fifth centuries B.C. (fig. 4).

Fig. 4 - Kylix found in Greece, with apotropaic eyes and black figures (from

This type of pottery was mainly found in graves, but it was also discovered in the town of Sulky, and is extremely widespread in Sardinia.

What were Kylixes used for? They were wine cups used for libations during Greek symposia and were therefore similar to another ritual feast which originated in near eastern areas, the marzeah. Besides the strong symbolic value, the presence of this type of ceramic in a tomb, indicates the deceased’s high social status.


  • P. BARTOLONI, Il museo archeologico comunale “F. Barreca” di Sant’Antioco, Sassari 2007.
  • P. BERNARDINI, I roghi del passaggio, le camere del silenzio: aspetti rituali e ideologici del mondo funerario fenicio e punico di Sardegna in Actas del III Seminario Internacional sobre Temas Fenicios (Guardamar del Segura, 3-5 de mayo 2002), Alicante 2004, pp. 131-169.
  • A. UNALI, Sulky: la ceramica attica a vernice nera in M. MILANESE, P. RUGGERI, C. VISMARA (a cura di), Atti del XVIII Convegno Africa Romana (Olbia, 11-14 dicembre 2008), Roma 2010, pp. 1227-1240.