A chalice from the Attarouthi Treasure

Anne and Evan discuss a Byzantine chalice (The Attarouthi Treasure — Chalice, Silver and gilded silver, 500–650 C.E., The Metropolitan Museum of Art)

For the classroom

Questions for study or discussion

Thinking about context

  • When and where was this chalice made?
  • How was this chalice used?
  • How did the survival of this chalice relate to the shifting borders of the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century?

Thinking about this object

  • What materials and techniques were used to create this chalice?
  • What role do materials and techniques play in the chalice’s appearance and the viewer’s experience of it?
  • How does this chalice’s materials and form reflect its ritual function?

Thinking about iconography

  • What is depicted on this chalice?
  • Why do you think this chalice was decorated with these images?
  • How might this imagery have resonated with the chalice’s ritual functions?

Thinking about art history

  • How does this chalice and its imagery fit within the broader history of art?


Additional resources

Smarthistory’s free Guide to Byzantine Art e-book

Cite this page as: Dr. Anne McClanan and Dr. Evan Freeman, "A chalice from the Attarouthi Treasure," in Smarthistory, August 10, 2019, accessed July 18, 2024, https://smarthistory.org/a-chalice-from-the-attarouthi-treasure/.