What Is a Hydria Ancient Greece?

A hydria was an ancient Greek vessel used for carrying water. It was primarily used by women for household purposes but also had ceremonial and decorative value. This article will delve into the history, characteristics, and uses of this fascinating artifact.


The hydria dates back to the 6th century BCE and was mainly produced in Athens. It was made of clay and had a distinctive shape characterized by a large body, three handles, and a wide mouth. There were several variations of the hydria, such as the kalpis, which had a more elongated body shape.


The hydria’s unique design allowed it to carry large amounts of water while still being easy to transport. The three handles were essential for this purpose. Two side handles were used for carrying the vessel, while the third handle on top of the lid allowed for easy pouring.

The mouth of the hydria was wide enough to allow water to be easily collected from wells or fountains. The lid kept the water clean and free from debris during transportation.


As previously mentioned, women primarily used hydrias in their households for tasks such as cooking and cleaning. However, they also held ceremonial significance in ancient Greece. For example, young girls carrying hydrias were part of religious processions that celebrated marriage or fertility.

Hydrias were also decorated with scenes from Greek mythology or everyday life using intricate designs and patterns. Some even included inscriptions that served as dedications or commemorations.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, the hydria is an essential artifact that provides insight into ancient Greek society’s daily life and culture. Its unique design made it both practical and aesthetically pleasing while its use in religious ceremonies demonstrates its cultural significance. Today, these vessels can be found in museums worldwide, providing a glimpse into the past and the importance of water in ancient Greek society.