Forming Identities: Technological Choices and Pottery Manufacturers in Archaic Corinth
AuthorRodriguez Alvarez, Emilio
Communities of Practice
AdvisorVoyatzis, Mary E.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis research focuses on the manufacturing techniques of Corinthian potters as well as the relationships established between these craftsmen and the consumers who acquired their wares. This perspective tries to understand better how this communication operated and conditioned workshop organization and trade demands beyond the limitations that the technology also imposes. The results of this research show that the advent of the Black Figure technique was intrinsically related to the adoption by Corinthian potters of new manufacturing techniques and recipes for their paints and slips. The significance of this discovery sheds new light upon the diversity of local styles in Greece, and challenges two previously untested assumptions about the manufacture of Corinthian pottery: that the paste and the slip for the vessels decorated in the Black Figure were made using the same clay, (this assumption was based solely on tests on Athenian wares), and that the source of raw material for the Corinthian pottery industry could not have been the calcium-rich natural clay deposits that surround the settlement. This change of the paint and gloss recipes required the use of new raw materials, which takes the discussion on pottery production at the site from purely technical issues to social and economic ones, such as access and control of these scarce resources or the relationships between potters and their local community. Despite the limitations imposed by the dataset, the application of different theoretical and methodological perspectives, which make an emphasis on the technology rather than the aesthetics of these vessels, have allowed a detailed diachronic reconstruction of the behavioral chain of Corinthian pottery. These perspectives have also opened new research venues for the understanding of the origins of the Black Figure technique and the different responses the potters adopted to cope with the limitations imposed by their technology and their access to raw materials. Finally, this work shows the potential of a careful application of pXRF technologies for the analysis of highly decorated wares in museum collections for which the other compositional techniques that require destructing sampling are not available.
Degree ProgramGraduate College