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Archaeology of the Mediterranean World
Transcript of Archaeology of the Mediterranean World
Red Figure Pottery
Red figure technique is more or less like an inverted black figure style that originated around the 5th century BCE
The space around the figures is first drawn with charcoal or a blunt tool, then painted with a slip which is a mixture of water and clay (and sometimes pigment)
Then the pottery goes through a triple phase firing process. The first 2 phases use reduction which sets the slip and turns it the black or brown (or in our case green) color. The final phase re-oxidizes the clay of the pot but not the material painted on. This returns the reddish color to the clay.
This style made it possible to achieve a higher level of detail in the figures.
-On one side, Little Green depicts a man seated with a woman presenting a plate, perhaps an offering (image 1).
-The opposite side shows a man with a walking stick speaking to another figure, without one (image 3).
Both vases have similar iconography. Most figural vases depict historical events of mythological ones but we are unsure of which these depict, if any. The walking stick denotes a traveler or shepherd and came to also signify power and social influence but there are no other explicit signifiers that the scene depicted is of historical or mythological importance.
The alternate side could be a depiction of some sort of offering to someone of importance, or a scene of interaction between master and servant, or possibly husband and wife because the figures are the same size.
Where they came from...
These vases come from what is now the Apulia region of southern Italy. They've been dated to about 350 BCE. Although they are Greek in style, many such artifacts have been discovered in other parts of the Mediterranean besides Greece, where they are believed to have originated.
By the 6th and 7th centuries, Greeks had reached and colonized Sicily and Southern Italy, via maritime trade routes.
References and Acknowledgments
Article from the Argo, "Gold in a Grecian Urn"
http://www.metmuseum.org; article- "Ancient Greek Colonization and Trade and their Influence on Greek Art"
Special thanks to Peg Fiore, Amy Papalexandrou, Kate Ogden, Susan Rotroff and all the other people that helped make this project happen!
Big Black group
Little Green group
-The first side of Big Black (right image), the man is standing (as opposed to sitting like Little Green) there is a swirling design between the two figures. This could be smoke from a ritual fire.
-The other side shows both figures holding walking sticks. There is some type of between them that resembles the Greek character Psi, but it is not similar enough to be sure that that is what it is.
-Milda Clucas Balch donated the vases to Stockton in September of 2000.
-According to Kelli's correspondence with Peg Fiore, Mrs. Balch acquired them from a family friend who was an amateur archaeologist that found (or looted) them while on a "dig."
-It was hoped that the vases were worth one million dollars, but they're actually worth about 10,000 so here they remain in the college's permanent collection.
We would like to say a special thank you to Professors Amy Papalexandrou and Kate Ogden, the Director of Gift Fund Stewardship Peg Fiore, and Professor Susan Rotroff for aiding in the research of these vases.
The vases have been examined by many experts including Hellenic professors at Stockton College, the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Freemans Auction House in Philadelphia, Sotheby’s Auction House in New York, Professor John Oakley (The College of William and Mary), and Professor Susan Rotroff (Washington University).
Total Height: 26 cm
Total Width: 18 cm
13.5 cm wide
1.5 cm thick
Handles: 1.5 cm thick
11 cm wide
9 cm at narrowest part
Images: 11-11.5 cm tall each
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