The design of 3,000-year-old sippy cups is totally adorable

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How long it will take for somebody to appropriate the design?

They’re cute.


Wow, they are cute. And I learned the word “ruminant” (“Milk of ruminants…”).


A fine image, but “ceramic” implies that they wouldn’t be likely to survive an encounter with a hard stone floor, doesn’t it?

Do you drop 100% of your ceramic dishes?

I think the existence of 3000 year old ceramics indicates some of them were capable of lasting multiple generations.


The museum needs to put out a public-domain 3D scan so people can print out their own cute ancient sippy cups with feeties.


Surely the typical sippy-cup user would not be unlikely to do so, given the opportunity?


Sure, those little monsters drop and break things all the time, but they’re pretty short, and most (not all) floors of the time were soft. Ceramics aren’t so fragile that they never survive.

They probably also had a lot of great 3000 year old toys that they broke deliberately just so we wouldn’t get the chance to see them.


Children have a tendency to break things.I doubt most of these lasted quite as long as implied in the story. There is also the question of how fresh these cups became after a while.
The Romans discarded entire mountains of vessels after a single use, especially those used to store oil so one shouldn’t assume people in the ancient world always reused items.


Children break things ≠ Children break everything

Nobody assumes they always reused items. The article makes a moderate claim that the level of craftsmanship suggests they weren’t completely disposable after one child used them.

That’s positing that a ceramic dish would last a few years. If you think that’s a wild theory, you should write a paper debunking it academically.


Kangaroo ducks in wellingtons.

Adorable certainly


Notes from a student of product design:
Flare of lip of opening is a good anti-dribble feature
Appendages make excellent grips without being overly frail
Proximity of lip to bulbous body spares relatively frail lip by having the stronger body take the blows

CF cellphone design:
All grips removed
All of one face is input device, so wrapping grip forbidden
Composed largely or entirely of materials with low impact resistance.

Cellphone manufacturer says: You dropped your phone? You’re stupid and clumsy. Buy another.

All cellphones should have holes for attaching a lanyard, so any drop stops at the end of the tether, an inch below the holder’s hand.


This would have been a highly prized possession. Children are capable of taking care of the things they truly care about. When you have lots of stuff the individual items become less and less precious, even disposable. Our culture of disposability doesn’t really serve as a viable reference when observing other cultures.


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