Pottery Pt.2

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  • Created by: Ruthfeath
  • Created on: 28-05-18 15:03
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  • Pottery Pt.2
    • Periods
      • Mycenaean I = 1550 - 1500BC
      • Mycenaean II = 1500 - 1370BC
      • Mycenaean III = 1370 - 1200BC
    • Importance
      • No fixed dates for events
        • For any date between 3000 - 2000BC different dating methods can produce wildly differing dates of 300 years or so
      • Radiocarbon dating does not work effectively this far back - can only reduce known date to range of 150 years
      • No written list of kings & the years or order in which they reigned
        • However there are dates of the kings in the Egyptian & Babylonian dynasties through their written records
      • Through evidence of Mycenaean contact with the Egyptians the developments in objects like pottery have been dated
        • This has then been used to date potsherds & pottery objects found in different levels at Mycenaean sites & in Mycenaean tombs
      • Dated pottery at Mycenaean sites can be used to date material & objects found in the same level or location (metalwork, jewellery, ivory, etc.)
        • More can then be understood about the development of these different objects & materials over time - relative chronology
      • Potsherds are some of the most valuable evidence for dating & chronology
        • As pots were fragile but fired clay itself was difficult to break the potsherd is seen as being made & broken at a similar time
          • This is different to when an entire pot is found
    • Development over time
      • Definite change in pottery style identified at start of period
        • Convenient - easier to identify pottery from pre-Mycenaean period
      • Protogeometric pottery type introduced at end of Mycenaean era - also useful for dating
      • Before the Mycenaeans a popular type of pottery was known as matt-painted ware
        • Matt paint used on a light background with geometric patterns
      • Mycenaean I
        • Patterns less formal, fresher, with a naturalistic element introduced
          • Change in style can be traced back to Crete & the Minoans
        • Forms of vases mostly follow those from Middle Helladic but new types are also introduced - most obvious is the alabastron
          • Alabastron Vase
            • Takes its name from a bag like type of vessel manufactured in Egypt in alabaster
            • Mycenaean version is squatter & more elegant in clay
            • Mycenaean alabastra vase was produced in Mycenaean sites & exported to Egypt & Syria
              • These vases found in Egypt & Syria are therefore important for dating
            • Vases not as popular in Crete
        • Another type of vase found in Egyptian tombs & therefore important for dating was the Vapheio cup
          • Terracotta version has long Cretan history dating back to c.2000BC
          • Vapheio cup represents one of the commonest types of vase found in use during Mycenaean I & II
      • Mycenaean II
        • Pottery still strongly influenced by Crete
        • Inspiration is freer
        • Era of the Palace style jar
          • Called this because of the large but elegant storage jars decorated in a florid style that were the fashion in the palace at Knossos
          • Although these jars originated at Knossos, they were more popular on the Greek mainland, and were also produced there
        • Greece still learning much from Crete but Mycenaeans had already started to add their own individuality to the influences they had absorbed through trade & cultural contact with Crete
      • Mycenaean III
        • Order & symmetry becomes increasingly important in the design of pottery
        • Geometric patterns of pre-Mycenaeans became important again, designs become quite abstract
          • New designs became popular for export
        • Forms of pottery still based on older pre-Mycenaean wares but new more elegant styles were also introduced from Crete eg stirrup jar which the Mycenaeans transformed
        • Stirrup jar became one of the most popular types of Mycenaean vase
          • Main advantage was that it poured slowly from the funnel
          • Jar was produced in all sizes from large, coarse grained, plainly decorated vesself used for olive oil to tastefully painted, small models which probably contained unguents and perfumes
        • Standard of production became of the highest order with carefully selected clays fired to a hardness that gives a clear clink when struck
        • Pots sometimes covered before firing with a slip of the same fine clay to make them impermeable - colour of this vase after firing was uaually buff
          • Patterns then added in red, brown or black paint
        • Pottery mass produced for home market & export
        • Three-handled jars, stirrup jars, alabastra, small jugs, large bowls (kraters), small bowls, kylikes, cups
        • Decoration often stylized with stripes & bands of paint, others included vivid scenes such as chariots & bull fighting
        • Famous krater vase is the warrior vase
        • Towards the end of the period the quality declines with often careless brushwork & paint lacks lustre
        • Local characteristics in style develop
          • Rhodes - unique design is produced based on Cretan designs, produced the Octopus jar and exported them widely
      • Mycenaean III Styles
        • Close
          • All available space decorated often with a complicated pattern
        • Granary
          • Decoration is kept to minimum with simple motifs and often just simple wavy lines
          • Large parts of pot painted in one colour, usually black or brown
          • Sometimes the whole pot is painted leaving a horizontal band in the middle that may or may not be filled with a geometric pattern
    • Rodney Castleden
      • Floral style (1550-1500BC)
        • Based on Minoan style
        • featured floral designs with informaldesigns of flowers, grasses, reeds etc.
      • Marine style (1500-1450BC)
        • all types of marine life are depicted including dolphins, fish, octopuses
        • Pottery is so different from before including a new design, (goblet) that we should assume that Cretan potters were brought into centres suchas Mycenae, Pylos and Thebes.
          • Clay potters’ disk along with Minoan ware has been found onthe Greek island of Aegina suggesting the presence of Cretan potters.
      • Palace style (1450BC)
        • Reuses motifs seen in the Floraland Marine styles but in a formal stylized way
        • Palace style decoration was applied to many large jars
        • Whereas Minoan wares are relaxed, Mycenaean wares are stiff and formal
      • Late Mycenaean period (1400-1200BC)
        • Mycenaean pottery was similar over a wide area– perhaps reflecting a political and economic union of some kind, perhaps centring on Mycenae.
        • Same style spreads across the eastern Mediteranean from Sicily to the Levant marking the extent of the Mycenaean trading area.
        • Cretan pottery remains distinct however, suggesting that they were perhaps autonomous.
        • From 1400BC the Mycenaeans used stirrup jars for storing and transporting wine and olive oilas were alabastron
        • Large bowls were used for storing dry goods and were decorated inpictorial and pattern designs
        • Large kraters are now thought to have been made east ofMycenae where suitable clays have been found.
          • These large kraters were perhaps specifically made for export to Cyprus where they were used as the centrepiece for drinking ceremonies.

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