Recreating Ancient Greek Ceramics

Unloading our replica ancient Greek kiln after our oxidation-reduction-reoxidation firing to see our finished examples.

Unloading our replica ancient Greek kiln after our oxidation-reduction-reoxidation firing to see our finished examples.

 

 

This hands-on course in “experiential archaeology” brought together undergraduate students across disciplines to study the making of Athenian vases. Students worked closely with expert ceramic artists, and in consultation with art historians, archaeologists, art conservators, and materials scientists to attempt to recreate ancient Greek manufacturing processes. We were apprentices to both contemporary and ancient potters over 13 weeks. The focus of this course was on the physical experience and process of recreating ancient Greek red figure vessels. We were extremely fortunate to have access to the Archaeological Museum’s rich holdings in red-figure vases, and consulted them regularly in our recreation process. Our aim was to take seriously the physicality of these ancient objects, while also trying to understand something of their original contexts  and material characteristics.

The full syllabus can be downloaded here.

Information on the student-generated blog documenting the entire course can be found here.