In the typology of ancient Greek pottery, the kernos (Greek κέρνος or κέρχνος, plural kernoi) is a pottery ring or stone tray to which are attached several small vessels for holding offerings. Its unusual design is described in literary sources, which also list the ritual ingredients it might contain. The kernos was used primarily in the cults of Demeter and Kore, and of Cybele and Attis.
Athenaeus preserves an ancient description of the kernos as
|“||a terracotta vessel with many little bowls stuck on to it. In them there is sage, white poppy heads, wheat, barley, peas (?), vetches (?), pulse, lentils, beans, spelt (?), oats, cakes of compressed fruit, honey, olive oil, wine, milk, and unwashed sheep's wool. When one has carried this vessel, like a liknophoros, he tastes of the contents.||”|
Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Buffer' not found. Lua error in package.lua at line 80: module 'Module:Buffer' not found.
- Jacquelyn Collins-Clinton, A Late Antique Shrine of Liber Pater at Cosa (Brill, 1976), pp. 29 –30 online.
- Phillippe Borgeaud, Mother of the Gods: From Cybele to the Virgin Mary (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, English translation 2004), passim.
- Excavations at Mohenjo Daro, Pakistan: The Pottery (University of Pennsylvania Museum, 1986), p. 226 online.
- Athenaeus 11.478c = Polemon, frg. 88 Preller; English translation from Homer A. Thompson, Hellenistic Pottery and Terracottas (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1987), p. 448 online.
- The verb kernophorein means "to bear the kernos"; the noun for this is kernophoria; Stephanos Xanthoudides, "Cretan Kernoi," Annual of the British School at Athens 12 (1906), p. 9.