Chelys-Lyra, Greece, 400 BCE

by Jolly Killmer, '97

Used in classical Athens, the Chelys-Lyra is a lyre consisting of a tortoise-shell sound compartment with skin stretched over the opening. Two bars with a crossbar attached extend from the shell and hold the strings. Compared to other Greek instruments of the time, the Chelys-Lyra was small and light, a versatile instrument which could be played sitting, standing or walking. It was played by both men and women, although it is most often depicted in art being played by a man.

rear view

front view

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