You are on page 1of 28



Pots, Workshops and EIA Society, ULB, 16/11/2013.

© Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine (CReA-Patrimoine)
Université libre de Bruxelles
50, av. F.D. Roosevelt | CP 175
B-1050 Bruxelles

ISBN : 9789461360502
Impression : Le Livre Timperman
Mise en page : Nathalie Bloch (CReA-Patrimoine)

The publication of the conference proceedings is implemented within the framework of the Action “Supporting
Postdoctoral Researchers” of the Operational Program “Education and Lifelong Learning” (Action’s Beneficiary:
General Secretariat for Research and Technology), and is cofinanced by the European Social Fund (ESF) and
the Greek State.

Kantharos from Kerameikos gr. 28 (inv. 268). Ephorate of Antiquities of Athens - Kerameikos Museum.
© Hellenic Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs / Archaeological Receipts Fund.

Études d’archéologie 8
Études d’archéologie 8



Proceedings of the International Symposium

held at the Université libre de Bruxelles
14-16 November 2013

Edited by
Vicky Vlachou

With the contribution of

Bruno d’Agostino, Alexandra Alexandridou, Anne Coulié, Anastasia Gadolou,
Jean-Sébastien Gros, Nota Kourou, Susan Langdon, Maria Costanza Lentini,
Manolis Mikrakis, Lydia Palaiokrassa-Kopitsa, John K. Papadopoulos,
Stavros A. Paspalas, Evangelia Simantoni-Bournia, Samuel Verdan,
Evangelos Vivliodetis, Vicky Vlachou, James Whitley, Dyfri Williams



Foreword 7
Athena Tsingarida

Abbreviations 9

Introduction. Production and Function of Ceramics in Early Greece 11

Nota Kourou and Vicky Vlachou

I. Production and Workshops 19

Geometric Pottery for Beginners: Children and Production in Early Greece 21

Susan Langdon
L’atelier du Dipylon : style, typologie et chronologie relative 37
Anne Coulié
From Pots to Workshops: The Hirschfeld Painter and the Late Geometric I
Context of the Attic Pottery Production 49
Vicky Vlachou
Defining a Workshop for the Production of Domestic Pottery: the Case of Xobourgo on Tenos 75
Jean-Sébastien Gros

II. Context and Function 81

Early Iron Age Mortuary Contexts in the Cyclades. Pots, Function and Symbolism 83
Nota Kourou
Agency, Personhood and the Belly-Handled Amphora: Exchange and Society in the Ninth Century Aegean 107
James Whitley
Images, supports et contextes: sur quelques « amphores funéraires » érétriennes 127
Samuel Verdan

III. Pottery and Rituals 139

Domestic Ware, Ritual Utensils or Funerary Vases? Functions of the Late Geometric Pottery
from the “Sacred House” of the Academy in Athens 141
Alexandra Alexandridou
The Sanctuaries of Artemis Mounichia and Zeus Parnessios. Their Relation to the Religious
and Social Life in the Athenian City-State until the End of the 7th Century B.C. 155
Lydia Palaiokrassa-Kopitsa and Evangelos Vivliodetis
More Cups for “Dionysos”: A Selection of Geometric Drinking Vases from the Sanctuary of Hyria on Naxos 181
Evangelia Simantoni-Bournia

IV. Mobility and Interaction 199

Owls to Athens: Imported Pottery in Early Iron Age Athens 201

John K. Papadopoulos
Imported Complexities among the Painted Fine Wares at Zagora, Andros 217
Stavros A. Paspalas
Pottery and Cultural Interaction in EIA Tyrrhenian Settlements 231
Bruno d’Agostino
Some Late Geometric and Early Orientalising Tableware from Sicilian Naxos 241
Maria Costanza Lentini
V. Iconography and Early Society 251

Ship, Horse, Battle: Some Attic Geometric Fragments from the Sanctuary of Aphaia, Aigina
and Attic Geometric Gold Jewellery 253
Dyfri Williams
Narrative Art and Ritual in the Sanctuary of Poseidon Heliconius in Ancient Helike, Achaea 267
Anastasia Gadolou
Pots, Early Iron Age Athenian Society and the Near East: The Evidence of the Rattle Group 277
Manolis Mikrakis

About the Contributors 291


Ath ena T si ngar i da

The Proceedings of the symposium Pots, Workshops sites. Among them was Vicky Vlachou: she joined the
and Early Iron Age Society is the eighth volume in the CReA-Patrimoine on a postdoctoral project (ESF)
CReA-Patrimoine series and the fourth publication undertaken in collaboration with the University
that concerns Ancient Greek pottery. These figures of Athens. Vicky brought to the Centre her deep
reflect the importance of this field in the research knowledge of Early Iron Age pottery and took a
programs developed by the CReA-Patrimoine over very active part in the on-going research topics. The
the last years. symposium she organized in Brussels grew out of
From the very beginning, with the first international several questions she was facing in her own research
research program undertaken at the Centre in 2004, on the Marathon region and beyond. She has
study has focused on the social and economic aspects successfully brought together the leading scholars in
of pottery in ancient societies, covering a broad the field: the resulting volume will certainly become
spectrum of products (fine, cooking and coarse a standard reference book on the subject, completing
wares) from wide-spread geographical areas (Egypt, the thorough study on Greek Geometric pottery
the Near East, Greece, Roman) and over extensive recently published by Anne Coulié3.
chronological periods (from the Archaic to the The symposium and the long-term collaboration
Medieval period). The present volume maintains with Vicky would not have been possible without
this interest in social and cultural issues: it puts the support and the expertise of Nota Kourou, who
emphasis on questions about craft organisation, acted as the co-promoter of the research project
trade and distribution networks, relations between carried out in Brussels and Athens. It was a great
producers and purchasers, uses and function of vases pleasure to welcome Nota as a Visiting Professor to
throughout the Ancient Mediterranean world. Its ULB at the International Chair Eleni Hatzivassiliou
chronological span is focused on the Early Iron Age: in Greek Art and Archaeology. Here, she delivered a
it thus compliments the earlier publications by the series of lectures on Early Iron Age pottery and gave
CReA-Patrimoine on Ancient Greek pottery which the keynote lecture that opened the symposium (now
concentrated on the Archaic and Classical periods1. published in this Proceedings). I am very grateful
Greek Early Iron Age pottery became a subject of to her for sharing generously with us her wide
study in ULB only recently courtesy of the joint knowledge and kind friendship.
program of research developed (between ULB and I would also like to use the opportunity of this preface
the University of Oxford, in the person of Prof. to express my gratitude to Vicky for organizing the
Irene Lemos). Entitled “Beyond the polis. Ritual conference and for achieving the editing in such a
practices and the construction of social identity in short time. Many thanks are also due to the CReA-
Early Greece (12th-6th century B.C.)”2, this attracted Patrimoine and its Director, Laurent Bavay, for
several young scholars working on Early Iron Age providing unfailing assistance on all initiatives related
to ancient Greek pottery. I am also very grateful
to Jean Vanden Broeck-Parent, Ph.D. student and
Assistant in Classical Archaeology at ULB, and to the
1 A. Tsingarida (ed.), Shapes and Uses of Greek
students who offered their help on technical matters
Vases (7th- 4th centuries B.C.), Brussels, 2009 [Études
during the organization of the symposium. Last
d’archéologie 3]; S. Sarti, The Campana Collection at the
Royal Museum of Art and History (Brussels), Brussels, 2012 but not least, I would like to thank the Université
[Études d’archéologie 4]; A. Tsingarida and D. Viviers libre de Bruxelles (ULB) for its continuous support
(eds), Pottery Markets in the Ancient Greek World (8th -1st for the development of Greek Archaeology and
centuries B.C.), Brussels, 2013 [Études d’archéologie 5]; pottery studies.
I. Algrain, L’alabastre attique: origine, forme et usages,
Brussels, 2014, [Études d’archéologie 7].
2 See 3 Coulié 2013.



AGORA VIII = E.T.H. Brann, Late Geometric and KERAMEIKOS IV = K. Kübler, Neufunde aus der
Protoattic Pottery: mid 8th to late 7th century B.C., Nekropole des 11. und 10. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 1943
Princeton, 1962 [The Athenian Agora VIII]. [Kerameikos. Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen IV].
Coldstream 1968 = J.N. Coldstream, Greek KERAMEIKOS V.1 = K. Kübler, Die Nekropole des
Geometric Pottery. A Survey of Ten Local Styles and 10. bis 8. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 1954 [Kerameikos.
their Chronology, London, 1968. Ergebnisse des Ausgrabungen V.1].
Coldstream 1977 = J.N. Coldstream, Geometric LEFKANDI I = M.R. Popham, L.H. Sackett and
Greece, London, 1977. P.G. Themelis (eds), Lefkandi I: The Iron Age: The
Coldstream 2003 = J.N. Coldstream, Geometric Settlement, The Cemeteries, London, 1980 [British
Greece, 900-700 B.C., 2nd ed., New York, 2003. School at Athens Suppl. 11].

Coldstream 2008 = J.N. Coldstream, Greek LEFKANDI II.1 = R.W.V. Catling and I.S. Lemos,
Geometric Pottery, 2nd ed., Bristol, 2008. Lefkandi II. The Protogeometric Building at Toumba,
Part 1: The Pottery, Oxford, 1990 [British School at
Coulié 2013 = A. Coulié, La céramique grecque aux Athens Suppl. 22].
époques géométrique et orientalisante, (XIe-VIe siècle av.
J.-C.), Paris, 2013. LEFKANDI III = M.R. Popham, with I.S. Lemos,
Lefkandi III. The Early Iron Age Cemetery at Toumba.
Crielaard et al. 1999 = J.P. Crielaard, V. Stissi The Excavations of 1981 to 1994, Plates, Oxford,
and G.J. van Wijngaarden (eds), The Complex Past 1996 [British School at Athens Suppl. 29].
of Pottery. Production, Circulation and Consumption
of Mycenaean and Greek Pottery (Sixteenth to Early LIMC = Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae
Fifth Centuries B.C.), Proceedings of the ARCHON (Zurich, Munich and Düsseldorf, 1981-1999, 2009).
International Conference, Held in Amsterdam, 8-9 ThesCRA = Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum
November 1996, Amsterdam, 1999. (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2004-2006,
CVA = Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum [Union 2011-2012).
Académique Internationale].
IG = M. Fraenkel, Inscriptiones Graecae (Berlin,
1895– ).


BA Bronze Age LPC Late Protocorinthian

DA Dark Age LPG Late Protogeometric
EG Early Geometric MG Middle Geometric
EIA Early Iron Age MPC Middle Protocorinthian
EO Early Orientalising MPG Middle Protogeometric
EPC Early Protocorinthian PC Protocorinthian
EPG Early Protogeometric PG Protogeometric
G Geometric PGB Protogeometric B
LBA Late Bronze Age SG Sub Geometric
LG Late Geometric SM Sub Mycenaean
LH Late Helladic SPG Sub Protogeometric
LO Late Orientalising

Production and Function of Ceramics in Early Greece

Nota Kourou and Vicky Vl achou

This volume brings together a number of papers The study of Greek pottery has been a prolific and
that were presented at the international symposium productive discipline almost from its very beginnings
on Pots, Workshops and Early Iron Age Society held back in the 19th century and remains dynamic today.
at the Université libre de Bruxelles in November Emphasis has been directed largely onto vase painting,
2013. In the symposium’s eight sessions nineteen mainly Attic black-figure and red-figured vase
papers by scholars from Europe and the United painting, their styles, workshops and iconography.
States were presented, of which fifteen are published This can be easily and promptly confirmed by a
here. Two more contributors, Stavros Paspalas, simple look at the Bulletin Archéologique. Céramique
who was unable to attend the meeting, and Dyfri regularly published every two years in the Revue des
Williams, whose queries and comments during Études Grecques. Another accurate and unbiased
the conference stimulated long discussions and testimony for this can be found in a most up-to-date
responses, were invited to participate in the present “state of the discipline” review published in 2009
volume, broadening our approaches on pottery and (Oakley 2009). In this proper and accurate, albeit
early society. selective, review of pottery studies during the 15 years
The conception and the arrangement of the preceding the publication, the author considers the
symposium emerged within a post-doctoral current situation of pottery research: by identifying
project (ESF) on issues of ancient Greek pottery “emerging practices and trends in the field” he tries to
carried out between the Université libre de formulate “a synthesis of the developments in the field
Bruxelles, CReA-Patrimoine, and the University of of Greek vase painting”. With only few exceptions,
Athens, Department of Archaeology. The project however, the studies considered in this article deal
concentrated on pottery production and early society with Archaic and Classical pottery, again mostly Attic
at Marathon in Attica1. In this context, the primary black- and red-figured vase painting. A large part of
focus of the symposium was to discuss aspects of the these pottery studies present and discuss workshops,
production, function and role of ceramics in early potters or painters and less frequently dating
Greek societies. Prominence was placed on pottery problems or regional styles in general. Iconography
manufacture and society in Attica and in areas within and religious or mythological interpretations also
its close social, cultural and economic proximity and remain constants in the field, forming the centre of
contact, such as Euboea, Aigina, the Corinthian interest for monographs, exhibitions or conferences.
gulf, the Cyclades, as well as Crete and some other Some new trends –  exploring vase fabric and
areas further overseas, which have recently produced technique2, historiography or trade, markets and
important Greek Geometric pottery, namely Sicilian economy3  – are on the rise in the last years, but
Naxos and the Tyrrhenian coast. still they mostly handle pottery of the Archaic and
The role of CReA-Patrimoine, a really pottery Classical periods. Evidently the focal point for the
oriented research centre was decisive in conceiving study of Greek pottery still firmly remains Archaic
a project on EIA pottery and society, planning the and Classical vase painting.
conference in an inspiring atmosphere and accepting
the publication of the proceedings in the series of
Études d'archéologie.

2 Tsingarida 2014.
1 Vlachou forthcoming. 3 Tsingarida and Viviers 2013.

Nota Kourou and Vicky Vlachou

The systematic study of Early Greek pottery has tangling issues related to pottery and EIA society.
a much shorter history4, as it was properly shaped More fresh ideas are always valuable and our
only after Coldstream’s fundamental organization symposium tried some new “lines of attack” to
of his “ten local styles” in Greek Geometric Pottery answer specific questions. The five sections in this
in 1968 and Snodgrass’s treatment of “the regional volume present a selection of contributions on issues
pottery-styles” of The Dark Ages of Greece in 1970. dealing with aspects of pottery and society in early
Later, the dynamics of pottery studies in approaching Greece and some areas of influence in Sicily and Italy.
the society of the early first millennium were most The contributions handle issues of production and
forcefully confirmed in the collective volumes that workshops, context and function, cult and rituals,
followed the conferences organised in Amsterdam5 mobility and interaction, iconography and early
and the University of Missouri, Columbia6. Since society. They offer a wide range of avenues to the
that time several studies organizing ceramic styles and study of pottery, aiming at a better understanding
workshops from various parts of the Greek world and of Early Iron Age society. Overall they represent
different stages of the Early Iron Age have appeared. an attempt to reconcile new material with fresh
In pottery studies style is an indispensable tool for approaches. Each section focuses on more than one
tracing regional features. Fabric is the other major concern in the study of ancient ceramics, presenting
decisive factor, although it is not always easily and discussing fresh interpretations and in some
identifiable. As a result provenance studies, requiring cases also some new material.
a high accuracy in clay identification and the
techniques used, frequently turn into complicated The first section includes four papers that tackle
issues; consequently scientific techniques started production and workshops by differing approaches
gradually, albeit vigorously, to be introduced. and try to answer distinct questions. The organization
Chemical, petrographic and other scientific methods, of pottery production in a region or inside a specific
including the powerful Neutron Activation Analysis, workshop still remains a poorly known and little
were more and more frequently and systematically discussed topic, although recent archaeological
applied in provenance studies7. Methodological research has thrown some new light on practical
approaches such as the introduction of quantitative matters; for instance the location and layout of the
and qualitative measurements to ceramic analysis working areas is now better known9. Ethnography
have lately received considerable attention by and ethno-archaeology have proven powerful
excavators and pottery specialists seeking precision tools for approaching and understanding craft and
in their attempts to tease out social matters from production by drawing analogies and highlighting
pottery fabrics8. Such developments in the study of factors that have left little trace in the archaeological
Early Iron Age pottery have eventually led to its better record10. As a result the variability of parallel modes
understanding and have opened up the prospect of a of production depending, among other factors, on
more telling study of ancient society. The Early Iron the size and social links of the community is now
Age is a transitional and largely experimental period: markedly evident. But the wide-ranging degrees
its study requires an appropriate combination of of involvement of the varied population groups in
more than one method to properly tackle not only the whole process of pottery production is still in
ceramic, but also social and other issues. Ongoing need of further clarification and research, while the
fieldwork and scholarly research have turned our identification of artisans still remains a prolific and
attention to the dynamics of material culture fruitful topic.
and especially pottery in approaching and better A discussion of the involvement of younger members
understanding social change and evolution. Our of the community, and especially of children, in the
Brussels conference contributed in this discussion by production process, as presented in this volume by
Susan Langdon, reflects a new line of input to the issue
of pottery production. This atypical investigation
looks afresh at ancient perceptions of childhood and
4 Cf. a short history on the reception of the art of the
by extension offers new explanations for the artistic,
Geometric period, Siebert 2010.
labour and social organization of ancient society.
5 Crielaard et al. 1999.
6 Langdon 1993; 1997.
7 Cf. recently Kerschner and Lemos 2014. 9 E.g. Esposito and Sanidas 2012; Denti and
8 E.g. Horejs et al. 2010; Verdan et al. 2011; and Villette 2014.
Kotsonas 2014. 10 E.g. Costin 2000; Hasaki 2011.

Introduction. Production and Function of Ceramics in Early Greece

Applying theories from other disciplines here, such as The second section in this volume brings together
the cultural inheritance theory, eventually leads to a four papers that discuss pottery in terms of context and
better understanding of apprenticeship methods and function from various angles. Contextual approaches
transmission of manufacturing techniques, as well as have already demonstrated the importance of the
of the causes behind stylistic changes or cultural and milieu in viewing archaeological assemblages as
social transformations. records of social behaviours, communal activities
Another approach to the issue of pottery production, and consequently of cultural characteristics and
presented in this volume by Anne Coulié, is the regional identities. Pottery, as the largest corpus of
identification and discussion of artisans working material evidence in almost every context, serves as
inside a workshop. This inquiry allows, among an important indicator of human activity11.
other things, new perspectives for the approximate The contribution by Nota Kourou in this volume
calculation of the size of workforce in a workshop discusses aspects of Early Iron Age society in the
to emerge. Following the Beazley method of pottery Cyclades based on ceramic and contextual evidence.
analysis, stylistic complexities inside the major By focusing on some particular mortuary contexts,
Athenian workshop of the Dipylon Painter are their cultural background and their evolution,
investigated. Innovations in potting and painting the regional identities of two distinct islands
are discussed in the light of new identifications of are delineated. Ceramic contextual evidence,
long-standing and fragmentary material, leading to comparative discussion of local and imported pottery
a significant reconstruction and understanding of and its possible symbolism are used to trace regional
one of the most important Athenian painters of the divergence and social changes in each region.
Geometric period and his workshop. Another path for discussing vase function on
A second major, albeit obscure, personality of the contextual evidence presented in this volume by
same period, the Hirschfeld Painter, and the artistic James Whitley investigates the variability of the
milieu of Athenian Kerameikos of the LG I period are social role of a distinctive shape with a characteristic
newly scrutinized in this volume by Vicky Vlachou. decorative scheme. The belly-handled amphora,
Concentrating on recent finds and applying a detailed which apparently had a particular social significance
stylistic and iconographic analysis, complemented in Attica and was broadly exported and imitated,
by shape discussion, the complexities of tracing this comes under scrutiny by employing two new
highly disputed stylistic persona inside the LG I concepts, agency and personhood, adopted from
period are largely resolved: a pottery workshop with a other disciplines. Anthropological modelling has
number of artists is outlined. Teamwork on the same been used with success in prehistory before: it seems
vase proves to be a not uncommon practice at least in to work well for the Geometric period. With the
major Athenian workshops and provides an excellent application of these new concepts to the study of vase
case for discussing issues of a specialized pottery function a fresh approach is adopted in analyzing and
production. Stylistic analysis of painting and shape understanding the use of pottery in ancient societies.
taken together with manufacturing techniques are A different approch to a similar issue is taken by
proven to be reliable factors in identifying craftsmen Samuel Verdan in his examination of the function
working together and sharing space, resources and of a particular shape known from burial and ritual
ideas. Consequently the research assists in tracing contexts at Eretria. The matter of the relationship
social transformations. between a vase’s form and its decoration, as well as
A different approach to pottery production is taken its function in the context it was found in, have not
up by Jean-Sébastien Gros, who focuses on defining received much attention so far: they are discussed
the notion of workshop from the surviving pottery on in some detail here. This case study focuses on
a regional scale. Concentrating on a group of plain, a particular class of Euboean amphorae of the
mostly handmade or moulded pottery from the site of Orientalizing period: iconographic analysis is also
Xobourgo on Tenos, the difficulties of distinguishing integrated to address aspects of the shape’s role in
a local production in terms of technique and style ritual contexts.
are portrayed. Through comparison with other kinds
of pottery from the same region, questions regarding
local stylistic preferences and space issues of minor
workshops surface are discussed.

11 E.g. Hodder 1996; Hurcombe 2007.

Nota Kourou and Vicky Vlachou

In the third section of this volume contextual suggesting a fertility cult with a chthonic character.
approaches are extended to ceramic studies Another way to identify rituals at sanctuaries developed
dealing with cult and rituals in sanctuaries. Three by Evangelia Simantoni-Bournia concentrates on an
contributions discussing pottery from sacred places evaluation of the pottery from the Hyria sanctuary
offer a new look at sanctuaries and other sacred places at Naxos. In this site an old open-air shrine was
of the Early Iron Age. Material evidence for feasting gradually developed in the Geometric period into an
activities in early Greek sanctuaries and cultic areas important place of congregation and worship with
soundly demonstrates that the shared consumption three successive temple buildings. An investigation to
of food and drink had been the steady focus of ritual identify the deity worshipped is conducted through
action through the Late Bronze Age down to the Early a discussion of the Geometric and Sub Geometric
Iron Age12. Cult and rituals, as prescribed by tradition pottery from the sanctuary. The focus is on the
and religion in a community, are characterized by drinking vases from the sanctuary, basically skyphoi,
formalism and symbolism and involve specific classes cups, kantharoi, kotylai and kalathoi, mostly painted
and forms of ceramic utensils. They are irrevocably in current styles, but also black-glazed. In this novel
related to not only rites or rituals, but to every other ceramic approach to the sanctuary and by taking
use of the hallowed space. into consideration other factors, such as architectural
To this end a reappraisal of the much debated remains, cooking pots and charred animal bones
significant Athenian site known as the Sacred House in retrieved from the temple and suggesting meals, the
the Academy is taken up by Alexandra Alexandridou deity is suggested as being most probably Dionysos.
on ceramic and contextual evidence. To evaluate the
role of the Sacred House the pottery found inside the In the fourth section of this volume four
building, but in a context related also to a number contributions on ceramic issues deal with aspects
of pyres found lower than it, is analyzed. Competing of mobility and interaction. The transportation
views for the role of the building are discussed of pottery and the resultant interaction between
against the implicit function of the pottery and the local and imported ceramics are issues that can
range of activities inferred as performed there. The provide a variety of readings concerning a society.
ceramic material, including fine and domestic wares, In exploring trade connections and interaction, the
is analyzed in detail so as to follow the chronological integration of pottery is a fundamental approach,
range of the space’s employment and to revaluate the as stylistic analysis can lead to mapping established
use of the building. routes of communication and to identifying socio-
A more daring approach, mostly based on ceramic cultural entanglements with one another. The past
material, by Lydia Palaiokrassa and Evangelos decades have seen the rise of interest in issues of
Vivliodetis brings together for comparison two cultural identity and social status or ethnicity13. But
little known Attic sanctuaries, the sanctuary of in ceramic studies the effect of imported pottery on
Artemis Mounichia and Zeus Parnessios, whose local wares, alongside the transmission of ideas, are
cult is securely identified by inscribed sherds. Both topics that have received few positive contributions.
sanctuaries were incompletely excavated in the past, Less investigated issues include the search for factors
but the surviving pottery is of extraordinary quantity underlining imports or exports other than maritime
and variety, characterized as unique among the trade. The question was taken over in this volume by
sanctuaries of Attica. By analyzing the pottery from John Papadopoulos with a study focusing on Athens.
both sanctuaries the character of cult is approached By discussing import and export patterns of pottery
and the deity and the worshippers in each sanctuary at four distinct Early Iron Age sites in the Aegean,
are identified. A detailed comparison of the type and including Athens, an effective path for drawing
origin of pottery of the two sanctuaries indicates that conclusions for factors underlining these patterns is
although they started with common features, they laid down. In presenting an articulated framework
subsequently became differentiated under the impact of pottery distribution the individual characteristics
of the emerging polis. Judging by the quality of pottery of the discussed sites are identified alongside the
a distinction is made between the characters of the distribution system operating and the dynamics that
sanctuaries. Nonetheless the pottery analysis also shaped it.
indicates that both were related with rituals involving
animal sacrifice; vases with pierced holes for libations

13 E.g. Hall 1997; and 2007; Luce 2007; Rizza

12 Cf. Dietler and Hayden 2001; Wecowski 2014. 2011.

Introduction. Production and Function of Ceramics in Early Greece

Inter-Aegean networks are also looked at in this figured pottery of the Early Iron Age, iconographic
volume by a paper focusing on pottery from Zagora analysis has been better used to discuss issues of
on Andros, where imported pottery abounds. By continuity and discontinuity, aspects of everyday life,
analyzing a small number of fine painted vases from interconnections and interaction15. The main socio-
the domestic contexts of the settlement, Stavros political events of the period still remain hidden
Paspalas discusses the nexus of connections and behind the images and have received only little
interaction between Euboean, Cycladic and Boeotian scholarly attention.
workshops. Shape, style and iconographic analysis An iconographic approach based on three Attic
are the main tools of this approach in identifying the sherds from the sanctuary of Aphaia at Aigina,
dynamics of interaction inside a social and cultural presented by Dyfri Williams in this volume,
network in which the main influential factor was the attempts to recreate the historical background of the
compelling Euboean styles circulating everywhere in island through a thorough analysis of the figurative
the Mediterranean at the end of the 8th century. scenes. By comparing their iconography with similar
Another new approach to interaction by Bruno representations on contemporary Attic jewellery their
d’Agostino investigates interplays between Greeks particular significance is brought out. In keeping
and natives in the West. By comparing a few graves with the symbolic role of certain motifs, such as of
containing Greek pottery with the rest which do not the ship and horse, regarded as symbols of wealth
at the Villanovan cemetery of Pontecagnano, ideas and status, propositions for wealthy traders ordering
are presented here for the possible function of the their vases in Athens are put forward. The narrative
Greek pottery in Villanovan graves. After a careful context of the images portrayed is discussed against
examination and discussion of burial strategies an Hesiodic fragment that names the Aiginetans as
adopted during the first fifty years of contact, the role the first Greeks to build ships and offers the necessary
of the first Greek imports at the site emerges gradually. setting for the interpretation.
This line offers an alternative view of their reception, Another iconographic analysis of some ceramic
as well as the meaning and function of imported products with figured decoration from the sanctuary
wares in the funerary system of a certain area. It of Poseidon Heliconius in ancient Helike in Achaea
introduces new perspectives in interaction studies. by Anastasia Gadolou offers a spirited approach
Extrapolating from pottery to society on the basis for the assumed rituals taking place at the site.
of new material is always appealing. The evidence The aim is to assess the iconographic narratives in
from Sicilian Naxos, presented here by Maria the light of the historical and cultural environment
Costanza Lentini, provides an overview of the of the sanctuary. The scenes are interpreted as
networks operating and linking the Aegean with the representing rituals expressing cultural values of the
Sicilian coast. Ceramic assemblages containing large dedicators. A male dance-scene on an oenochoe is
quantities of Attic, Euboean and Corinthian pottery connected with festivals and symbolism related
are associated with the earliest colonial remains. to initiation ceremonies of boys coming of age. A
Material culture from Naxos provides an exceptional procession of horses on another oenochoe is seen
group of Protoattic vessels, a pottery class associated as holding particular significance for the deity and
with the Athenian elite groups and rarely attested the worshipers because of the animal’s particular
from areas beyond the close vicinity to Athens and symbolism for wealth or status. A detailed analysis of
Attica. The association of this class of pottery with a composite and complicated scene, painted on the
the Athenian aristocrats reopens the question about roof of a small temple model, is connected with rituals
who the first colonists were, their tastes and the way taking place at the sanctuary, such as chariot races,
the local and overseas pottery markets were adjusted or related mythological scenes with the dedication
to the demand. of an abducted woman as a prize to the deity.
The section closes with an innovative approach by
The final section of this volume brings together Manolis Mikrakis, who focusing on a small Athenian
three studies that deal with iconography and early pottery workshop of the late 8th century, the Rattle
society. Iconographic studies form a vast field in group, discusses images as having a formative
archaeology: frequently dealing with mythological impact on the emerging world of the polis. Detailed
scenes, they result in conflicting views and interesting iconographic analysis placed against the historical
debates14. But in view of the limited repertoire in the setting of the Near East and late 8th century Athens,

14 E.g. Buxton 1994; Snodgrass 1998; Greco 2008. 15 Cf. Rystedt and Wells 2006; Langdon 2008.

Nota Kourou and Vicky Vlachou

when the introduction of feasting practices with the Bibliography

performance of music can be pinned down, traces
new social values and identifies a shift in Athenian Buxton 1994 = R. Buxton, Imaginary Greece. The
aristocratic self-representation. Contexts of Mythology, Cambridge, 1994.
Costin 2000 = C.L. Costin, « The Use of
It has been repeatedly, albeit accurately, said that
Ethnoarchaeology for the Archaeological Study of
every book is a product of its time: this volume is
Ceramic Production », Journal of Archaeological
no exception. The key theme running through the
Method and Theory 7 (2000), 377-403.
pluralistic approaches taken by every contributor
in this volume is early society, whose re-creation is Crielaard et al. 1999 = J.P. Crielaard, V. Stissi
attempted insofar that the material evidence, and in and G.J. van Wijngaarden (eds), The Complex Past
particular pottery, allows. One of the main objectives of Pottery. Production, Circulation and Consumption
has been to demonstrate the importance of pottery of Mycenaean and Greek Pottery (Sixteenth to Early
for the study of early society: every contributor has Fifth Centuries B.C.), Proceedings of the ARCHON
progressed in their own way in this direction. Indeed International Conference, Held in Amsterdam, 8-9
Pots, Workshops and Early Iron Age Society were all November 1996, Amsterdam, 1999.
themes very much relished in this symposium: we Denti and Villette 2014 = M. Denti and M.
hope that its Proceedings will be equally enjoyed. Villette, « Ceramisti greci dell’Egeo in un atelier
indigeno d’occidente: scavi e ricerche sullo spazio
We would like to thank all our participants for artigianale dell’Incoronata nella valle del Basento
their enthusiasm, fruitful ideas and stimulating (VIII-VII secolo a.C.) », Bollettino d’arte 17 (2014),
discussions during the symposium, as well as for 1-36.
their congenial co-operation during the publication
of this volume. We very much enjoyed the vital Dietler and Hayden 2001 = M. Dietler and B.
input of knowledgeable and responsive colleagues Hayden (eds), Feasts. Archaeological and Ethnographic
participating in the exchange of ideas throughout. Perspectives on Food, Politics, and Power, Washington,
It has been a great pleasure working with Athena D.C., 2001.
Tsingarida for the organisation of the conference: we Esposito and Sanidas 2012 = A. Esposito and
are grateful to her both for the successful conduct G.M. Sanidas (eds), Quartiers artisanaux en Grèce
of the conference and its culmination in the edition ancienne: une perspective Méditerranéenne, Lille,
of the Proceedings. We are grateful to the Rector 2012.
of the Université libre de Bruxelles, Prof. Didier
Viviers and the director of the CReA-Patrimoine, Giuliani 2003 = L. Giuliani, Bild und Mythos:
Prof. Laurent Bavay, for their unfailing and positive Geschichte der Bilderzählung in der griechischen Kunst,
response to any difficulties that arose throughout. Munich, 2003.
Our thanks are most certainly due to Irene Lemos, Greco 2008 = E. Greco (ed.), Alba della città,
who undertook the difficult task of pulling together alba delle immagini. Da una suggestione di Bruno
some of the most important points discussed and d'Agostino, Athens, 2008 [Tripodes 7].
debated during our conference in a most precise and
Hall 1997 = J.M. Hall, Ethnic Identity in Greek
comprehensive manner.
Antiquity, Cambridge 1997.
Many thanks are due to Anja Stoll, Isabelle Algrain,
Jean Vanden Broeck-Parant, Marie de Wit, Maria Hall 2007 = J.M. Hall, « Polis, Community
Noussis, Héloise Smets, Alexandre Fourbet and and Ethnic Identity », in: H.A. Shapiro (ed.), The
Sharon Greuse for their valuable assistance during Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece, Cambridge,
the conference. Equally to Dr. Don Evely who edited 2007, 40-61.
the English of a number of papers in this volume. Hasaki 2011 = E. Hasaki, « Crafting
Last but not least our thanks are due to Nathalie Spaces. Archaeological, Ethnographic and
Bloch, CReA-Patrimoine, for so nicely and efficiently Ethnoarchaeological Studies of Spatial Organization
producing this volume in a relatively short time. in Pottery Workshops in Greece and Tunisia »,
in: M. Lawall and J. Lund (eds), Pottery in the
Archaeological Record. Greece and Beyond, Acts of the
International Colloquium Held at the Danish and

Introduction. Production and Function of Ceramics in Early Greece

Canadian Institutes in Athens, June 20-22, 2008, Rizza 2011 = G. Rizza (ed.), Identità culturale,
Aarhus, 2011, 11-28. etnicità, processi di trasformazione a Creta fra Dark
Age e Arcaismo: per i cento anni dello scavo di Priniàs
Hodder 1988 = I. Hodder, The Archaeology of
1906–2006, Convegno di studi (Atene 9–12 novembre
Contextual Meanings, Cambridge, 1988.
2006), Catania, 2011 [SMAG 10].
Horejs et al. 2010 = B. Horejs, R. Jung and P. Pavúk
Rystedt and Wells 2006 = E. Rystedt and B.
(eds), Analysing Pottery. Processing, Classification,
Wells (eds), Pictorial Pursuits. Figurative Painting
Publication, Bratislava, 2010 [Studia Archaeologica et
on Mycenaean and Geometric Pottery. Papers from Two
Medievalia 10].
Seminars at the Swedish Institute at Athens in 1999
Hurcombe 2007 = L.M. Hurcombe, Achaeological and 2001, Stockholm, 2006.
Artefacts as Material Culture, London, 2007.
Siebert 2010 = G. Siebert, « La réception de l’art
Kerschner and Lemos 2014 = M. Kerschner géométrique grec dans l’historiographie (fin du XIXe
and I.S. Lemos (eds), Archaeometric Analyses of - milieu du XXe siècle) », Ktèma 35 (2010), 299-312.
Euboean and Euboean Related Pottery. New Results
Snodgrass 1998 = A. Snodgrass, Homer and
and their Interpretations. Proceedings of the Round
the Artists. Text and Picture in Early Greek Art,
Table Conference held at the Austrian Archaeological
Cambridge, 1998.
Institute in Athens, 15 and 16 April 2011, Vienna,
2014 [Ergänzungsheft zu den Jahresheften des Tsingarida 2014 = A. Tsingarida (ed.), Shapes and
Österreichischen Archäologischen Institutes in Wien 15]. Uses of Greek Vases (7th- 4th centuries B.C.), Brussels,
2009 [Études d'archéologie 3].
Kotsonas 2014 = A. Kotsonas (ed.), Understanding
Standardization and Variation in Mediterranean Tsingarida and Viviers 2013 = A. Tsingarida and
Ceramics: Mid 2nd to Late 1st Millennium B.C., D. Viviers (eds), Pottery Markets in the Ancient Greek
Leuven-Paris-Walpole, 2014 [Babesch Suppl. 25]. World (8th -1st centuries B.C.), Brussels, 2013 [Études
d'archéologie 5].
Langdon 1993 = S. Langdon (ed.), From Pasture to
Polis. Art in the Age of Homer, Columbia, MO, 1993. Verdan et al. 2011 = S. Verdan, T. Therurillat
and A. Kenzelmann Pfyffer (eds), Early Iron Age
Langdon 1997 = S.H. Langdon (ed.), New Light on
Pottery. A Quantitative Approach. Proceedings of the
a Dark Age. Exploring the Culture of Geometric Greece,
International Round Table organized by the Swiss
Columbia, MO and London, 1997.
School of Archaeology in Greece, Athens, November
Langdon 2008 = S. Langdon, Art and Identity in 28-30, 2008, Oxford, 2011 [British Archaeological
Dark Age Greece, 1100-700 B.C.E, New York and Reports Inter. Ser. 2254].
Cambridge, 2008. Vlachou forthcoming = V. Vlachou, Burials and
Luce 2007 = J.-M. Luce (ed.), Identités ethniques dans Society in Early Iron Age Marathon (Attica), 10th
le monde Grec Antique, Actes du colloque international to early 7th Century B.C., Études d'archéologie 9,
de Toulouse organisé par le CRATA 9-11 mars 2006, Brussels.
Toulouse, 2007 [Pallas 73]. Wecowski 2014 = M. Wecowski, The Rise of the
Oakley 2009 = J. Oakley, « Greek Vase Painting », Greek Aristocratic Banquet, Oxford, 2014.
American Journal of Archaeology 113 (2009), 599-627.

Pottery and Cultural Interaction in EIA Tyrrhenian Settlements

Br uno d’Agost i no

The study of Greek pottery exported to the West appearance at Pontecagnano around 780 B.C., until
before the beginning of colonization has long the foundation of Greek colonies around 730-720
focused on recognizing and classifying new evidence, B.C. The question is capable of being posed, because
with the aim of forming a picture of the (re)discovery sets of grave-goods are structured systems, in which
of the West. E. Lepore must be credited with the the circumstances of chance are essentially excluded.
recasting of the questions archaeologists should be I will therefore attempt to learn whether over time
asking of this new evidence, way back in 1968 at the the relationship of native with Greek or Greek-type
Naples-Ischia conference1. Research, Lepore argued, pottery alters and, if so, whether these changes show
could not limit itself to determining how many and any sort of connection with other components of the
of what types were the imported vases present in a funerary system. To this end, we first need to discern
burial ground; instead, we needed to ask ourselves the reasons that led early Greek prospectors to offer
in what measure the interaction between “Greeks” this pottery as a gift, and the possible meaning of its
and “natives” had modified their respective cultural inclusion among native grave-goods.
systems. Today we may take this perspective for
granted, and it is to be hoped that in the near future
we will be able to frame the issue in an even broader Dynamics that Favoured the Reception of
way, thanks to the evidence brought to light by Greek Pottery4
intensive excavation in the centres of coastal Etruria2.
However, since this new evidence has so far been A possible answer to the first of these questions is
published only selectively, focusing exclusively on suggested by the vase shapes chosen in the initial
eminent tombs, we need to look at a set of material stages of this contact, during the early decades of
that allows us to compare the few graves with Greek the 8th century B.C.: it is a very limited range, which
pottery with the rest which do not have any. Only occur regularly over the whole area extending from
an approach based on the axiom “compare and Etruria to Latium and Campania (fig. 2-3). These
contrast” can allow us to move from the descriptive exclusively comprise drinking cups, and especially
to the interpretive level, in the full awareness that our skyphoi of Middle Geometric (MG) II and Late
efforts are nothing but hypotheses. Geometric (LG) Ia types. Greek pottery was more
Therefore, I have chosen Pontecagnano as my case- attractive than the local hand-made impasto pottery,
study (fig. 1): for the magnitude of the sample, the due to the regularity and elegance of its shapes – a
(relative) homogeneity of the adopted excavation result facilitated by the Greeks’ adoption of the fast
methods, albeit in rescue situations, and the fact that potter’s wheel, the light colour of its surface, and the
at least part of the finds are published3. pleasantness of its painted decoration. However, the
In the present paper, I strive to shed light on the most prestigious characteristic of these drinking vases
possible function of the inclusion of Greek and was that they were components of the sets used in
Greek-type pottery in “Villanovan” graves, and the symposium, a ceremony to which only members
to determine whether this function remained of elite groups were admitted. It is plausible that the
unchanged in the fifty years or so from its first symposium ceremonial was used by the aristocrats
coming from Euboea and the Cyclades in the early
decades of the 8th century as a means of establishing
1 Incontro di studi sugli inizi della colonizzazione greca relations and forging bonds of hospitality with local
in Occidente (Napoli-Ischia. 29 febbraio - 2 marzo1968), elites. This hypothesis is arguably confirmed by the
Dialoghi di Archeologia 3,1-2 (1969), 44-82.
2 d'Agostino 2006 ; d'Agostino 2009.
3 d'Agostino and Gastaldi 2012; d'Agostino and 4 Bailo Modesti and Gastaldi 1999; Kourou 2005;
Gastaldi, in press. d'Agostino 2014.

Bruno d’Agostino

A) Necropoli di S. Antonio Nord (Prop. Barbarito, Vitolo); B) Necropoli di S. Antonio Sud (Prop. Adriatica, Guadagno, Conforti, Landolfi;
. di S. Antonio Ovest (Prop. ECI); D) Necropoli meridionale; E) Necropoli del Picentino (Prop. Colucci, Stanzione, Bovi, Aedilia).
C) Necropoli

Fig. 1. Pontecagnano, Early Iron Age necropolis. Re-worked version of C. Pellegrino and A. Rossi, Pontecagnano I.1.Città e campagna
nell’agro picentino, Fisciano 2011, fig. 127).

Fig.  2. Development of pendent semicircle skyphoi (after Fig. 3. Development of chevron skyphoi (after Kourou 2005).
Kourou 2005).

Pottery and Cultural Interaction in EIA Tyrrhenian Settlements

Fig. 4. T.7392. Grave goods (Cf. fig. 5).

Fig. 5. T.7392. Pendent semicircle skyphos.
Fig. 6. T.3211. Single bird cups.

Bruno d’Agostino

fact that Euboean imports to the West do not include fine pottery with geometric decoration, albeit in
dishes, whereas Euboean dishes with pendent- a minority in comparison with the local impasto
semicircle decoration were very popular in the Near production. The repertoire is extended with the
East and reached the Iberian peninsula5. introduction of new shapes, which are figuline clay
elaborations on, or transformations of, the local
impasto repertoire.
Greek Pottery The most successful example of this kind of
hybridization is a mug with a high-swung handle
As I mentioned above, the repertoire of imported graced by a frieze alternating groups of vertical lines
vases almost exclusively comprised MG II or LG Ia with single bird figures (fig. 8). Its globular body
types of skyphoi, prevalently from Euboea and the shape is a feature of a renewed impasto repertoire that
Cyclades. Kearsley’s pendent-semicircle types 5 and takes hold in Tyrrhenian centres during the second
6 (fig. 4-5) are regularly featured, as is the classical phase of the Iron Age. A clay version graced with the
chevron type, also attested in two graves of Pre- Metopengattung style is found in south Etruria, where
Hellenic Cumae. Alongside these types, skyphoi the phenomenon is confirmed by the presence of
decorated with a meander, metopes with birds another shape typical of this period: a small amphora
(fig. 6), or chains of diamonds are found. A rarer type with characteristic knotted handles.
is one believed to be characteristic of Chalcis, where The more characteristic local style comprises vases
a single metope is set between groups of horizontal decorated with a frieze of concentric circles of
lines. While this repertoire is shared by other centres modest size. Here, too, the model is Euboean.
of the Tyrrhenian coast, the frequent occurrence of Skyphoi with rows of concentric circles on the lip
black skyphoi is a peculiar trait of Pontecagnano. are widespread both in Euboea and in the West.
The type is commonly found in Greece in the earlier However, they are not to be found at Pontecagnano,
phases of the Geometric, but is rare in the time range where this decoration is used rather on the shoulder
we are concerned with here, both in Greece and at of closed-shape vases (fig. 9-10) whose decoration
other sites in the West. In Pontecagnano, beside the includes metopal friezes with wavy lines, birds, and
skyphoi only a very few other drinking shapes are bands with combed zigzags. As Coldstream rightly
represented, namely the oinochoe and the kantharos, observed, they all seem to be patterned after the
the latter being represented by a single specimen, Euboean krater and the Cesnola Group styles7.
probably from Naxos. Nevertheless their function must have been different
As in other centres on the Tyrrhenian coast that from that of the krater, since their mouths are much
came into early contact with the Greeks, and as in narrower, and it is a well-known fact that in a ritual
Pithecusae later on, so too in Pontecagnano grave- ceremony the shapes of the paraphernalia must
goods never included kraters, which symbolically remain unchanged. Other forms are also represented,
express the social function of the symposium. The such as the oinochoe which faithfully reproduces
reason for this absence has been much debated. Euboean-Cycladic models (fig. 11), or the jug where
Murray’s opinion on the subject is well-known: this Greek decoration is applied to a typically local shape
scholar sees a structural opposition in the Greek (fig. 12)8.
mentality between the symposium and death6.
In the local ceramic repertoire, along with Euboean-
type products, a class of open-shape, deep vases
Greek-Type Pottery used for food consumption now becomes popular.
These are either versions of a large bowl with an
During Phase II, the typological variety of the upright handle (fig. 13) typical of the local impasto
skyphoi drops. In Phase IIB (third quarter of the 8th repertoire (Tombs 3006, 6527), or elaborations of
century B.C.), only the variants with either bipartite a lekane with two large sub-rectangular lugs with
(fig. 7) or hanging chevrons occur, both well attested double holes, ornamented with vertical hatching on
in Euboea. the back. In both shapes, the exterior of the body is
The local milieu appears to have begun to produce decorated with a row of large concentric circle motifs

7 Coldstream 2001.
5 Coldstream 1998 8 Bailo Modesti and Gastaldi 1999, 64 ff fig. 18,
6 Murray 1988. pl. 5.1

Pottery and Cultural Interaction in EIA Tyrrhenian Settlements


Fig. 7. T.3224. Bipartite chevron cup.

Fig. 8. T.6509. Mug with single bird’s frieze.
Fig. 9. T.538. Closed vase with metopal frieze (birds).
Fig. 10. T.3009. Closed vase with frieze of concentric circles.

Bruno d’Agostino

Fig. 11. T.7765. Greek type jug with frieze of concentric circles. Fig. 12. T.538. Local type jug with concentric circles.

The Relationship with the Treatment of

the Corpse and Tomb Type

I should point out immediately that skyphoi, which

are both the earliest imported Greek shape and
the earliest Greek shape to be duplicated by native
potters, are found both in wealthy and less wealthy
tombs, both in male and female tombs, and in
some cases also in children’s tombs. Furthermore,
no special emphasis is placed on their original
Fig. 13. T.3006. Bowl with large concentric circle motifs. relationship with the symposium. To verify whether
the inclusion of this vase class in tombs can be
regarded as a prerogative of a specific social class or
that are the marker of this workshop. Kourou sees group, we need to look at the modes of expression of
the typical decoration of these vases as a derivation of funerary variability: first at two closely interrelated
8th century Cypriot pottery9. The same type of lekane aspects, namely, the treatment of the corpse and
with large concentric circles commonly occurs at tomb typology.
Francavilla Marittima, where the motif is apparently Ever since the First Iron Age, two different options for
also found on other shapes10. the treatment of the corpse coexist at Pontecagnano:
it can be cremated, or inhumed. The modes of burial
are always the same for inhumation: the deceased
is laid on his or her back at the bottom of a grave.
For cremation, there are different ways of preserving
the charred bones and the residues of the pyre, and
different types of burial. These plausibly reflect
9 Kourou 2005, 506. specific traditions of different kinship groups.
10 Jacobsen, Handberg and Mittica 2008-2009.

Pottery and Cultural Interaction in EIA Tyrrhenian Settlements

Cremation tombs Only in some cases can the gender of individuals

buried in cist tombs with Greek-type pottery be
The only thing that the different kinds of cremation determined. With two exceptions, these are all male
at Pontecagnano have in common is the manner tombs characterized by urns with helm-lids. The
of treating the corpse. The rite is always that of placing of the charred bones at the bottom of the cist,
secondary deposition. The remains of the deceased, without the urn, is only found in two cases. One is that
carefully fragmented, were usually gathered in a of Tomb 3214, on whose complex ritual organization
biconical vase – a typical artefact of the “Villanovan” I will return to presently. The other is Tomb 3285.
culture  – along with the residues of the pyre and Here the residues of the pyre were gathered in a cloth
some personal belongings of the deceased. The vase closed with a large iron “serpentine” fibula. Alongside
was then closed with a large bowl or, in some male them were a spearhead and an iron axe stuck into
tombs, with an impasto imitation of a bronze helm. the ground. The association of Greek-type pottery
The connection between the helmet and the role with weapons is a recurrent feature, although not a
as warrior of the deceased is clearly denoted by the constant one, of both cist tombs and inhumation
high number of burials where this object is further tombs.
associated with explicit role indicators, such as The choice of cremation and of the new cist-tomb
weapons. On the other hand, it is also true that the does not seem dictated by a difference in rank or
item is a polysemic one, as its marked resemblance to status; rather, it appears to be ideological in nature.
a model hut bears out. This discontinuity with traditional tomb types seems
As regards burial types, the “pozzo” tomb typical to be a way of emphasizing a cultural openness, and
of the Villanovan tradition is well attested at one that is not limited to Greek contacts.
Pontecagnano, but tends to disappear during the During Phase II, we also find tombs that occupy a
second phase. Alongside the “pozzo” tomb, ever middle-ground of sorts between the cremation and
since the beginning of the First Iron Age a more the inhumation rites. These are large graves, but
elaborate type of burial has existed, the “receptacle” contain a cremated individual. Of the four graves
tomb, consisting of a “pozzo”, into one side of which containing Greek-type pottery probably belonging to
a niche was dug, containing the urn and the grave- this type, only two are well preserved and thus allow
goods, and sealed by a closing slab. Also this type of the gender of the deceased to be determined. One
tomb, which assumes a “monumental” aspect in the of these (Tomb 4697), dating from early Phase II, is
transition to Phase II, then declines and eventually male. The cremated bones were gathered in a jar. Of
disappears. the three figuline clay cups found here, one is of the
Greek or Greek-type pottery is never found in these pendent-semicircle type. The other one is a female
two types of traditional burial. Among cremations, it tomb (number 4871). It contained an ordinary urn
only occurs in a new type of tomb, which appears at with a bowl lid and an unusual chevron cup, possibly
the beginning of Phase II, namely, a stone cist, often a local product.
surrounded by an enclosure which may sometimes
encompass two or three tombs.
In cist tombs, too, the remains of the cremated body Inhumation tombs
and the residues of the pyre are usually gathered in
a biconical urn with a helm or large bowl for a lid. Greek or Greek-type pottery, however, is found only
Alongside these “traditional” aspects, a different ritual in a minority of cremation tombs. More frequent
in some cases is used: the bones and pyre residues, with inhumation tombs –  which are anyway much
possibly gathered in a cloth, were placed at the bottom more numerous than cremations – it occurs just as
of the pit, in an area distinct from that where the frequently in male and in female tombs. As in the
grave-goods were placed. This custom is well-attested case of cremations, judging by their grave-goods
in Greece, where the cist tomb became widespread inhumations with Greek or Greek-type pottery seem
from the beginning of the first millennium B.C. to belong to various social levels. However, as already
Since these innovations go hand in hand with the said, the male burials are frequently distinguished
appearance of the first examples of Greek or Greek- by the presence of weapons. The existence of a
type pottery (second quarter of the 8th century), it is hierarchy within the warrior group is confirmed by
legitimate to suppose that all of them, taken together, the fact that, beside the spear, which was the standard
denote an adoption of the Greek model under the lure weapon, two tombs also contained a sword. The
of the complexity and richness of its cultural values. world of weapons, however, is not the only value-

Bruno d’Agostino

function. Social consideration is also granted to

craftsmanship, as the inclusion in graves of sets of
working tools bears out. The complementarity of
these two worlds is evident: for example, in Tomb
3284, where the warrior function is stressed, even
in the filling above the grave, by the presence of two
spear heads and a bronze sauroter, yet working tools
are also represented by a hatchet, a chisel and an axe.
Such tools, which are widespread in the Oenotrian
world and also found in Etruria11, occur regularly at
Pontecagnano, where in Phase IIB they eventually
became a distinctive feature of eminent burials. They
appear to evoke an archaic value system, similar to
that which would have been familiar to Odysseus.
Among female tombs, many of those with Greek or
Greek-type pottery show other signs of distinction.
Two have a bronze girdle (Tombs 3208, 7384). These
had in common with other burials the presence
of a rich parure and a more or less complete set
of weaving tools –  spindle, spindle whorls, spools, Fig. 14. T.3892. Jar decorated in the style of the Cesnola.
and a needle  – connoting the role of a domina12.
Among dominae, higher rank is again denoted, this
time by the inclusion of accessories of the domestic
hearth – spits, firedogs – which are also found in a employ the cremation ritual. They differ, however, in
few elite male burials. These are especially significant the fashion of treating the cremated bones. While in
indicators, because they prove that women, as well Tomb 3241 these are placed inside the urn, in the
as men, could be regarded as guarantors of the female burial they are partly scattered on the travertine
continuity of a lineage. These status and function slab that serves as a lid, and partly placed in a space
indicators, however, are not exclusive to tombs reserved for them on the floor of the grave. Of the
containing Greek pottery. two tombs, the male one belongs to an armed adult,
but the Greek-type pottery – a hanging-chevron cup
and two lekanai – occurs in the female tomb.
Conclusions We should not find this inversion of roles surprising.
During Phase II the cemeteries of Pontecagnano
As one can gather from this brief overview, and tend to be laid out in clusters reflecting extended
especially from the broader investigations carried out kinship groups. Within these clusters there is an
recently, the choice in the way of treating the body emphasis on the solidarity of conjugal couples, which
and of the form of burial does not imply differences are sometimes surrounded by the graves of infants,
in status or rank, nor a distinction by age-group or who are admitted to formal burial for the first time.
gender. The same is true of the inclusion of Greek A prime example of this kind of organization is
or Greek-type pottery among grave-goods. Although observable in a group of tombs excavated in an area
it may seem to occur more frequently in the tombs in the eastern necropolis. At its core was a limited
of weapon-bearing adults, it is also the sign of a number of female tombs surrounded by child graves.
ceremonial role that can also be taken over by the Along the edges of these were the tombs of armed
wife. This probably explains the case of Tombs men, or pairs of tombs of both cist and trench
3214 and 3241, both of the cist type, one male, the types, probably belonging to man and wife. Greek
other female. They stood within the same enclosure, pottery is disseminated in tombs that are different
reflecting a trend to highlight conjugal and kinship in type and in the gender of the deceased. Their
relations which emerges during Phase  II. Both presence sometimes occurs in both of the burials
of a couple. In the above-mentioned case of the
couple  in cist tombs 3214-3241, however, the task
of displaying openness to the Greek world falls
11 Iaia 2006. to the female tomb, which also adheres to Greek
12 Gastaldi 2007.

Pottery and Cultural Interaction in EIA Tyrrhenian Settlements

custom in the manner of disposing of the deceased. tombs within the same group, two of which were of
The complexity of the adopted ritual is a sign armed males, each containing three spearheads and a
of distinction, reserved for eminent individuals. javelin (Tombs 3089, 3093). It is thus possible that
Creative decisions in the field of funerary variability at the very top of the social hierarchy a prohibition
are typical of a dynamic, transitional period. This was observed, similar to that seen in some “princely”
perspective also throws light on the elaborate ritual tombs of the Orientalizing period, where the heroic
distinguishing the only other female cist tomb ideal was judged incompatible with the use of Greek
(3892), besides Tomb 3214, that contained Greek pottery. As always, it is the deviations from the norm,
or Greek-type pottery. This tomb stood inside an or from the dominant trend, that provide insights for
enclosure with an entrance. The enclosure delimited our understanding of a social system.
a zone of respect around the tomb. The earth filling The suggestions I have made so far argue that in a
that covered the square travertine lid was probably mere 50 years the “meaning” of Greek or Greek-type
surmounted by some kind of “monumental” pottery within the funerary system had changed.
structure. The domina the burial had been created Having been initially introduced for its connection
for exhibited a rich parure and a bronze spindle. For with the symposium, it acquired a ceremonial
the ossilegium and the transport of the bones and the significance, by virtue of which it was admitted to
residues of the pyre, a biconical urn was used: this was the grave-good repertoire. Local potters reworked the
however broken intentionally after being emptied of shapes, partially drawing on the repertoire of impasto
its contents in the north half of the tomb. Some of its pottery. It is legitimate to wonder what criteria guided
sherds were arranged around the remains of the pyre, their choice of shapes to be so transformed. It is likely
the rest on top of the grave-goods. In its deep domed that clay vases were still preferred for ritual functions.
lid there was a small aperture. During the excavation Some clues for this can be found in the available data.
of the filling near the west edge of the enclosure, were In three burials, including Tomb 3892, mentioned
found sherds of a decorated jar with a metopal frieze above, there is relatively certain evidence of the use of
showing horses at a manger (fig. 14), a typical motif a vase for ceremonies performed during the closing
of the Cesnola Group repertoire, and one that occurs of the tomb. The clay pot, sometimes a modest one,
regularly in Euboean-type Pithecusan production. may be marked out by its particular position in
respect to the other vases in the burial, as in the case
of the kantharos in Tomb 3146, which was possibly
What Research prospects for the Future? placed by the hand of the deceased. These and similar
observations call for examination in greater depth of
To draw some conclusions from the above the taxonomy of grave-goods in Phase II of the First
observations, we need to admit that the strategies Iron Age.
adopted by “simple  societies” to mark their inner
differences are too various to be reduced to binary
oppositions. There is nothing more complex than so- Bibliography
called “simple societies”. In our case, however, we can
at least try to tease out some trends. In all of the above Bailo Modesti and Gastaldi 1999 = G. Bailo
discussed tomb types, males show a preference for an Modesti and P. Gastaldi (eds), Prima di Pithecusa.
association of Greek pottery and weapons. As is well- I più antichi materiali greci del Golfo di Salerno,
known, in ancient societies the adult male who is a Naples, 1999.
full-fledged member of a community is distinguished
by the possession of weapons. This theme, however, Coldstream 1998 = J.N. Coldstream, « Drinking
lends itself to infinite variations. In a pair of warrior and Eating in Euboean Pithekoussai  », in: M.
tombs placed side by side, both containing a sword, Bats and B.d’Agostino (eds), Euboica. L’Eubea
one (Tomb 3179) contained three clay vases, the e la presenza Euboica in Calcidica e in Occidente.
other (Tomb 3184) none. In a group of burials Atti del Convegno Internazionale di  Napoli, 13-16
of individuals standing at the top of their social novembre 1996, Naples, 1998, 303-310 [Annali
hierarchy, the two most eminent tombs, belonging dell’Istituto Universitario Orientale di Napoli, Arch
to two warriors buried side by side (Tombs 3090 St Ant 12].
and 3090 bis), while sporting wealthy sets of bronze Coldstream 2001 = J.N. Coldstream, «  Greek
vases, contained no Greek or Greek-type pottery. Geometric Pottery in Italy and Cyprus. Contrasts
These last are found, instead, in three surrounding and Comparisons  », in: L.Bonfante and

Bruno d’Agostino

V.Karageorghis (eds), Italy and Cyprus in Antiquity: Gastaldi 2007 = P. Gastaldi , «  L’identità della
1500-450 B.C., Nicosia, 2001, 227-238. donna nei centri villanoviani della Campania  »,
in: P. von Eles (ed.), Le ore e i giorni delle donne.
d'Agostino 2006 = B. D’Agostino, «  The first
Dalla quotidianità alla sacralità tra VIII e VII secolo
Greeks in Italy », in: G. Tsetskhladze (ed.), Greek
a.C. Catalogo della Mostra, Museo Civico Archeologico di
Colonisation. An Account of Greek Colonies and
Verucchio, 14 Giugno 2007 -6 Gennaio 2008, Verucchio,
Other Settlements Overseas I, Leiden-Boston, 2006,
2007, 111-116.
Iaia 2006 = C. Iaia, « Strumenti da lavoro nelle sepolture
d'Agostino 2009 = B. D’Agostino, « Pithecusae e
dell’Età del Ferro italiana  », in Studi di protostoria in
Cuma all’alba della colonizzazione », in: Cuma. Atti
onore di R.Peroni, Florence, 2006, 190-201.
del 48 CSMG, Taranto 27 settembre-1 ottobre 2008,
Tarentum, 2009, 169-197. Jacobsen, Handberg and Mittica 2010 (2008-
2009) = J.K. Jacobsen, S. Handberg and G.P.
d'Agostino 2014 = B. D’Agostino, «  The
Mittica (eds), « An Early Euboean Pottery Workshop
Archaeological Background of the Analysed Pendent
in the Sibaritide  », Annali dell’Istituto Universitario
Semicircle Skyphoi from Pontecagnano  », in: M.
Orientale di Napoli. Sez. di Archeologia e Storia Antica
Kerschner and I. Lemos (eds), Archaeometric
15-16 (2008-2009), 89-96.
Analyses of Euboean and Euboean Related Pottery:
New Results and their Interpretations. Proceedings Kourou 2005 = N. Kourou, « Greek Imports in Early
of the Round Table Conference Held at the Austrian Iron Age Italy  », in: G. Bartoloni and F.  Delpino
Archaeological Institute in Athens 15 and 16 April (eds), Oriente e Occidente: Metodi e discipline a
2011, Wien, 2014, 181-190. confronto. Riflessioni sulla cronologia dell’età del Ferro
in Italia,  Mediterranea I, Pisa-Rome, 2005, 497-516.
d'Agostino and Gastaldi 2012 = B. d'Agostino
and P. Gastaldi, «  Pontecagnano nel terzo quarto Murray 1988 = O. Murray, «  Death and the
dell’VIII secolo a.C.  », in: C. Chiaramonte Treré, Symposion  », Annali dell’Istituto Universitario
G. Bagnasco Gianni and F. Chiesa (eds), Munera Orientale di Napoli. Sez. di Archeologia e Storia Antica
amicitiae, Scritti in onore di Maria Bonghi Jovino, 10 (1988), 239-257.
2012, 323-367 [Quaderni di Acme 134].
d'Agostino and Gastaldi in press = B. d’Agostino
and P. Gastaldi, « La cultura orientalizzante tirrenica Credits
come frutto di una crescita endogena. L’esempio di The photos of the pottery are taken from the Archive
Pontecagnano  », in: L. Donnellan, V. Nizzo and of the Soprintendenza alle Antichità di Salerno.
G.J. Burgers (eds), The Contexts of Early Colonisation Translation
(Contextualising Early Colonisation I), Rome, in press. F. Poole

About the Contributors

Bruno d'Agostino Lydia Palaiokrassa-Kopitsa

Università di Napoli "L'Orientale" Department of Archaeology University of Athens
University Campus, 15784 Zografou, Athens, Greece
Alexandra Alexandridou
Chargée de Recherches F.R.S-F.N.R.S
Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) John K. Papadopoulos
Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine Department of Classics
(CReA-Patrimoine), CP 175 Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
50 av. F.D. Roosevelt University of California, Los Angeles
B-1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Stavros A. Paspalas
Anne Coulié Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens
Département des AGER 17, Zacharitsa Street, Koukaki
Palais du Louvre 117 41, Athens, Greec
75058 Paris cedex 01
Evagelia Simantoni-Bournia
Anastasia Gadolou Department of Archaeology
Department of Archaeological Sites and Monuments of University of Athens
the Directorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities University Campus, 15784 Zografou, Athens, Greece
Hellenic Ministry of Culture,
20-22, Bouboulinas Street,
106 82, Athens, Greece
Samuel Verdan
École suisse d’archéologie en Grèce /
Université de Lausanne
Jean-Sébastien Gros CH-1015 Lausanne
British School at Athens
52, Souedias Street
10676, Athens, Greece
Evangelos Vivliodetis
Department of Archaeological Sites, Monuments,
Research and Museums of Ephorate of Antiquities of
Nota Kourou Phokis (Delphi), Delphi Archaeological Museum
Department of Archaeology PO Box 90, 33100 Amphissa
University of Athens
University Campus, 15784 Zografou, Athens, Greece
Vicky Vlachou
Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
Susan Langdon Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine
Department of Art History and Archaeology (CReA-Patrimoine), CP 175
365 McReynolds Hall 50 av. F.D. Roosevelt
University of Missouri B-1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Columbia, MO 65203
James Whitley
Maria Costanza Lentini School of History, Archaeology and Religion
Parco archeologico di Naxos Cardiff University
Lungomare Schisò John Percival Building, Colum Drive
98030 Giardini, Naxos, Sicily Cardiff CF10 3EU Wales, United Kingdom
Manolis Mikrakis
School of Architecture Dyfri Williams
National Technical University of Athens Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB)
42, 28th October (Patission) Street Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine
GR-10682 Athens, Greece (CReA-Patrimoine), CP 175 50 av. F.D. Roosevelt
B-1050 Bruxelles, Belgium

Related Interests