Greek Pottery from c. 1000 to c. 400 BCE provides not only some of the most distinctive vase shapes from antiquity but also some of the oldest and most diverse representations of the cultural beliefs and practices of the ancient Greeks. Further, pottery, with its durability (even when broken) and lack of appeal to treasure hunters, is one of the great archaeological... [continue reading]
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published on 17 May 2013
A southern Italian lebes gamikos vessel, c. 340-320 BCE. Lebetes gamikoi are distinguished by their high handles and they were associated with wedding and funeral rituals. On this example a lady perhaps prepares for a wedding or festival as erotes fly overhead. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York).
Greek red figure stemless cup from Apula, 330-320 BCE, depicting a dancing maenad - female follower of Dionysus - holding a bell and tambourine. (Archaeological Museum, Milan)
Trustees of the British Museum
published on 02 August 2011
The first stage in making a pot is to dig the clay out of the ground. Pieces of grit or plant matter must be removed before the clay can be used. This was done in ancient times, as it is today, by mixing the clay with water and letting the heavier impurities sink to the bottom. This process could be carried out as many times as necessary. When judged... [continue reading]
published on 04 April 2014
In ancient Greece, the phrase "to make pottery" meant to work hard. While all Greek pottery was made by similar methods, the pottery techniques of Athens are especially well understood. The typical Athenian pottery workshop was a small establishment consisting of a potter and several assistants. The potter prepared the clay, threw or formed the vases, and oversaw... [continue reading]
Late New-Palace period (1450 BCE) clay jug with distinctive leaf pattern, from Phaistos. (Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete)
The ever evolving pottery from the Minoan civilization of Bronze Age Crete (2000-1500 BCE) demonstrates, perhaps better than any other medium, not only the Minoan joy in animal, sea and plant life but also their delight in flowing, naturalistic shapes and design. Kamares Style Following on from the pre-palatial styles of Vasiliki (with surfaces... [continue reading]
Late Minoan polychrome vase, mid-15th century BCE, from Isopata. (Archaeological Museum, Heraklion)
New-Palace period (1500-1450 BCE) Cretan Clay askos with 'Marine Style' decoration, (Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete)
Mycenaean bridge-spouted jug displaying a Minoan influence (1500-1450 BCE). Found in the Kalkani tomb, Mycenae. Archaeological Museum Mycenae.
The pottery of the Mycenaean civilization (1550-1050 BCE), although heavily influenced by the earlier Minoans based on Crete, nevertheless, added new pottery shapes to the existing range and achieved its own distinctive decorative style which was strikingly homogenous across Mycenaean Greece. Mycenaean wares typically display stylized representations... [continue reading]