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Ceramics in Antiquity

Vessels in Antiquity
Figurines in Antiquity

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Prehistoric vase
Clay vase ('alabastron') from the prehistoric cemetery at Kastri, Thasos, 2nd millennium BC, Kavala, Archaeological Museum.

Attic kantharos
Clay double-faced 'kantharos' (drinking-cup) imported from Attica found in the acropolis of Akanthos, 480-470 BC, Thessaloniki, Archaeological Museum.

Lekanis cover
Clay cover of a black-glaze lekanis from a workshop at Pella, third quarter of 3rd century BC, Pella, Archaeological Museum.

Moulld for vessels with relief decoration
Clay mould for vessels with relief decoration with representation of the Fall of Troy, from a workshop at Pella, early 1st century BC, Pella, Archaeological Museum.

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Prehistoric vase
Thasos, 2nd millennium BC


Lekanis cover
Pella, third quarter of 3rd century BC


Moulld for vessels with relief decoration
Pella, early 1st century BC

The first vessels, hand-made of course, began to be produced in Macedonia about 6000 BC and had simple shapes and linear decoration. As time passed and techniques progressed, new shapes were devised, more complex and with richer ornamentation.

The study of Macedonian vessels reveals that the art of pottery and its decoration was influenced throughout its course by neighboring regions and the important artistic centers of each period. Side by side with clearly local characteristics the influence of Thessaly and the East, but chiefly of Attica and Corinth, renowned centers for the production of high quality vessels, is discernable.


Attic kantharos
Akanthos, 480-470 BC

The craft of these cities came to northern Greece through trade and was established there aided by the presence of the southern Greek colonies on the Macedonian coast. Attic and Corinthian vessels thus introduced are being unearthed in quantities in excavations of tombs and houses, while from the Classical period onward local workshops themselves produced imitations of these vessels.

In the Hellenistic period Macedonia followed the styles predominating in the rest of Greece. Of note is a group of 'skyphoi' (small cups) with relief decoration depicting scenes from the Homeric epics, considered to be the product of Macedonian workshops.

See Also
Travelling - Ancient Pella
Ancient Veroia
Aiane
In Focus - Macedonian Tombs


Macedonian Heritage
Content courtesy Ekdotike Athenon S.A.