A pithos is a large ceramic jar used by certain ancient civilizations that bordered the Mediterranean during the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. It was primarily used to store liquids, such as wine and oil, or food, such as grain. Some pithoi were also used for rituals and burials.
According to the ancient Greek poet Hesiod's Theogony,Pandora's box was originally a large jar, a pithos. The shift in object is attributed with the 16th-century humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, who erroneously mistook the Greek pithos (storage jar) as the Greek pyxis (small box) when he translated Hesiod's original story into Latin.
In Greek mythology, Pandora's box is said to have contained all the evils of mankind, such as death and disease. Pandora, or her husband Epimetheus in some variants, opened the box and released all the evils, except for one, into the world. The one item that did not escape and remained within the box was hope.