White-ground Attic lecythus from Eretria, c.470-460 BC. (National Museum, Athens).
A lecythus is a flask used by the early Greeks for oil in the bath, the gymnasium, and funeral rites. The finest examples of this type of vase were gracefully shaped cylinders tapering to a base, with a thin handle fastened to a long neck and a flat shoulder. Funeral vases were decorated with brown paintings over a yellowish-white slip in which the home life of the departed one was depicted.
The spellings "leythus" and "lekythos" are also found.