One of the fans on the Kerberos forums brought up an interesting topic today: “What’s your favorite good luck charm?”
As an archaeologist and anthropologist, this is an incredibly tough question. I find fetishes, amulets and apotropaic objects REALLY fascinating, regardless of what culture they come from, and I’m always delighted to learn more about them.
That being said, if I have to pick one favorite? It’s got to be Greek Eye-Cups.
This is what the Eye Kylix looks like when it’s just sitting on the table or the shelf, which is already beautiful. But it’s intended to be a drinking cup for wine, and there’s an extra dimension to the object when you lift it to your mouth and take a sip.
I think that this is pretty neat. I also find it fascinating that this was a relatively brief fad, and that a lot of these cups were made for export to Italy and other Mediterranean trade partners of the Greeks in 540 BCE – 480 BCE. Like a lot of Greek pottery of that period, the majority of intact pieces have been recovered from Etruscan graves.
So these are my favorite good luck charms–they’re intended to ward off evil. What’s yours?