It’s a common misconception that the further you go in history, the poorer the materials and decorations used were. Materials were simpler, yes; complex metal alloys, synthetic textile fibres, or clean rooms, for example, were a long way in the future.
But the more we study extant material remains, the clearer it is that humans have always appreciated beauty in their surroundings and—if they possessed the means—decorated both themselves and their everyday environment. Case in point: Minoan mugs from ca. 1,500 BCE.
Mugs in similar shapes can easily be found in modern tea shops, even if we don’t use exactly the same decorative motifs in the same combinations or colors anymore.
What’s also fascinating is that the handles are exquisitely formed, with just about exactly the same range of variations you can find nowadays. These people clearly knew how to make a practical and pretty mug.
Image by George Plakides on Flickr
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