Both sides feature a departure scene with a central armed warrior carrying a Boeotian shield, a hound in the scene on one side and an owl in the other. The panel has a framing device of a palmette-lotus band above the figural scenes, which is typical for Type B amphorae.
The departure of hoplites to battle was a popular subject for Athenian vase-painters of the 6th Century B.C. In the 7th Century B.C., many Greek city-states formed volunteer armies, composed of adult male citizens who could afford to acquire the panoply of a hoplite - namely spear, helmet, cuirass, greaves and most importantly the large defensive shield. The name of hoplites derives from the Greek 'hoplon', the word for arms and more specifically when used in the singular, shield. It was an honour to serve as a hoplite since it conferred status and was an outward expression of citizenship and wealth, as well as affording the opportunity to gain glory.