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This small pot is an Early Bronze Age pigmy cup. These pots are also known as accessory vessels, incense cups, miniature vessels or simply cups. They are usually found accompanying cremation burials dug into barrows or cairns. This one was found alongside cremated human remains during amateur excavation of a barrow near Llanarth in Ceredigion sometime before 1939. It is one of the smallest cups in the collections at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales being only 63mm in diameter at its widest point. It is of biconical form and decorated with a double row of incised chevrons around the neck, a row of impressed dots around the shoulder and base and incised nested triangles between. The internal bevel of the rim is decorated with a similar row of impressed dots. These little cups usually have a pair of perforations piercing the shoulder which have been interpreted as being used for suspending or tying the pots during funerary or cremation rituals. However, the continuous row of dots around the shoulder of the Llanarth example suggests this cup was not perforated and may have been used in a slightly different way. Accession no: 39.563/4 Image reference: DH002483

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