Sacrifice of a wild pig

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sacrifice of wild pig

Title and date: Sacrifice of a wild pig, tondo from an Attic cup 510 – 500 b.C.
Author: Unknown
Technique: Red-figure painting on a black background
Theme: Sacrifice to a deity

Between the end of the VI and the IV century, red-figure style on a black background developed.
A layer of black painting used to be applied on the surface of the vase leaving out the figures which, in this way, kept their original red clay colour. Then, the details were drawn in black with a thin brush.

Inside the cup is depicted the scene of a ritual sacrifice: the killing of a young boar. In front of a stone altar, a man is holding the boar, while another one, with a long beard, standing behind him, is going to kill him with a machete. The figures are very dynamic and natural and are represented in profile. The presence of a tree in the background provides us some information about the surrounding landscape and, even if partially, gives the painting a sense of depth.
In the ancient Greece, sacrifices of pigs took place in very important periods of the social and the individual life, such as alliance stipulations between kings, weddings and, every year, in October, during the celebration of the ritual ceremony in honour of the Goddess Demetra, when some pigs used to be thrown into gorges or caves, others to be slaughtered on altars, boned and then their meat cooked and eaten according to a precise ritual pattern. Even the ways of cooking the killed animal represented an essential aspect of the Greek ritual sacrifice. They were basically two: the roasting of the offal and the boiling of the remaining parts in a large pot. The offal, differently from the other parts of the animal, which were boiled, was generally eaten flavourless.


50 servings
medium difficulty

Whole suckling pig n° 1
Pork loin or butt Kg. 3
Chopped garlic g. 50
Rosemary g. 100
Wild fennel g. 100
Fine salt g. 100
Coarse salt g. 100
Black pepper powder to taste
Black pepper grains to taste
Cooking string
Extra Virgin olive oil g. 100


Bone the suckling pig leaving the head attached to its flesh.
Prepare the aromatized salt mixing all the coarsely chopped aromas.
Season the inside of the suckling pig laying the loin in the centre to “fill it”, season again and roll it up.
Tie accurately, arrange it on a tin with its bones, grease with oil, sprinkle little salt and let it rest for a few hours until tasteful.
Cook at 160° for about 4 hours.
Slice and taste with fresh bread.

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