Ancient Greek Pottery And Its Evolution

By Victor Epand | Submitted On February 19, 2008

Pottery can be used as a classical support for understanding the antique Greek culture and civilization. The graphic illustrations skillfully fashioned on fancy pottery, reflect the manifold aspects of Greek life. The Greek empire from Stone Age to Hellenistic era has undergone quite a lot of changes. These alterations can be examined in terms of seven different eras through which the Greek society has passed. We will discuss in the following paragraphs how the Greek art of manufacturing pottery also underwent changes with the change in the different historical periods.

1 Greek Pottery In The Stone Age-

In the early Neolithic period Greek pottery was unadorned. In the mid Neolithic period people started decorating pottery with red and white geometric patterns. The newly formed and decorated potteries were known as Sesklo wares. Then the Dimni people of Greece in the late Neolithic period made special kinds of pottery which were black or cream in color.

2. Greek Pottery in the Early Bronze Age-

During this period the Minyan ware was found and it was brought by the indo European Greeks. It is a well made ware in a potter's wheel and is plain gray in color. It also has wide range of interesting shapes and sizes which was not found in the Stone Age.

3. Greek Pottery in the Late Bronze Age-

It was the Mycenean period and the Greeks started making designs on pottery. They made geometric shapes, humans, animals, sea creatures in cream colored background. The Greeks in the late Bronze Age made designs in black or red.

4. Greek Pottery in the Dark Age-

In this age the Mycenean civilization collapsed and so also the Mycenean pottery. People lost interest in the manufacturing of pottery. However this age also came to an end and people began manufacturing pots again. The pottery was made with circular drawings on it.

5. Greek Pottery in the Archaic Period-

In the 900 BC which is the archaic period the potters of Athens and Cornith regained their passion in pottery. In Cornith the artisans festooned miniature pots where the figures of mythical animals had been portrayed. The Athenians started painting mythological tales on their pottery and exclusive tales from Homer's Illiad.

6. Greek Pottery in Black Figure-

Gradually the clay pots of archaic period took a different picture as the focus shifted from shape of the pot to more and more scenes on it. A new style of painting developed and as a substitute of making human structures on the sketch, the potters now started to make natives in silhouette. The paintings were solely in black color.

7. Greek Pottery in Red Figure-

The Athenian potters in 500 BC, instead of painting the people black prepared the background of the pot black and made images on this black surface with red color. Though the painting was quite difficult the figures on the pot looked more realistic than ever. But 40 years hence the red figure Greek pottery also became extinct.

Greek pottery, as can be seen, went through many evolutionary stages giving us a wide variety of pottery ware, each unique in its own way.

Victor Epand is an expert consultant for pottery, antiques, and figurines. When shopping for pottery, antiques and figurines, we recommend only the best online stores for greek pottery, antiques, and figurines []

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