History of Ancient Greek Pottery

History of Ancient Greek Pottery

Ancient Greek pottery reflects the true image of Greek society and uncovers many important aspects of Greek history. Most of the Greek artwork has been lost and pottery is one of the few ways left to get a glimpse of ancient Greek mythology and day-to-day life of Greece. Greek pottery was developed for utilitarian purposes and it was used mainly for storage. In the initial period of Greek pottery (1000 to 700 B.C.), Greeks used geometric signs for their pottery designs and decorative purposes. Greek pottery was very much inspired from Egyptian pottery especially between 550 and 700 B.C. The Athenian style of pottery happened from 550 to 300 B.C. and involved the use of Greek Gods & Goddesses as well as depictions of their daily lives. We are going to discuss some of the most important pottery techniques used in ancient Greek culture.

Important pottery styles in ancient Greek culture

Greek pottery was known for their perfect manufacturing techniques, standard styles, and designs which made them famous throughout the Mediterranean. Some of the most famous and preferred pottery types are explained below:

Pelike Pottery

Pelike Pottery: The origin of Pelike dates back to the Red-figure period and it was first used by Euphronios . The main purpose of Pelike was to store important food like oil or wine. It was designed for practical purposes and it was also used to store cremated remains since the 5th century.

Stamnos Pottery

Stamnos Pottery: The Red-figure period produced many pottery designs, one of them known as Stamnos pottery. These are lidded storage jars that serve the purpose of storing liquids. This kind of pottery is glazed inside with a straight body tapered around the bottom and has a short, stout neck with a flat rim. The widest part of the jar has horizontal handles for carrying purposes.

Volute Krater Pottery

Volute Kraters: Kraters were very much in use during the late 6th century and these were primarily used for mixing water and wine. The name volute is derived from its scrolled handles and these kraters were designed using the Gnathian technique, i.e. vine tendrils and female head.

Pysketer Pottery

Psykter: Psykter was designed with a cylindrical stem, short neck, and broad bulbous body. The main use of Psykter was a wine cooler and the earlier versions of Psykter had no handles on them. But with time, the Psykter were designed with two short handles which could be carried easily.

Hydriai Pottery

Hydriai Pottery: Hydriai pottery was mainly used to serve and store water. These pots were perfect for acting as water jars with two horizontal handles for carrying it and another one for pouring water out of it.

Alabastra Pottery

Alabastra Pottery: Alabastron was used for storing perfume and it had a flat mouth equal to the size of its body. These came into existence toward the middle of 1st century and were later made with molded glass.

Greek pottery was based on ancient techniques and studying it gives us a chance to have an insight into the past. These pots carried a rich cultural heritage with them and there is no doubt that Greek pottery contains some of the richest history in the world.

November 25, 2013