Puzzle vessels are the oldest known mechanical puzzles. Several Phoenician puzzle vessels are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They have been made throughout history and reached their peak in ninth century Turkey.
The puzzle part of these vessels is to drink from them without spilling the contents. They have holes all over the place! There is usually a hidden or disguised hole that must be drunk from like a straw while covering selected others with your fingers. Often, the liquid is designed to be drawn up through the handle and around the diameter of the vessel to the drinking hole.
Many of the vessels are beautiful examples of the potter's art. I wish I had more photographs to include because they are certainly examples of high-quality handcrafted puzzles.
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