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 Museum Explorer

Tools and technology in Ancient Greece

A craftsman's grave

Height: 83.750 cm
Width: 50.750 cm

GR 1805.7-3.183 (Sculpture 628)

A craftsman's grave

From: Athens, Greece
Date: around 420 BC

The object that this bearded man is holding is shaped like a foot; it is called a last, and is used by shoemakers to help them shape the new shoes. Although most people in ancient Greece were farmers, in larger villages and towns there were craftsmen like potters, tanners (who worked with animal skins), jewellers, carpenters and shoemakers.

This gravestone marked the burial place of a shoemaker called Xanthippos. If you look closely, you can just see his name carved above his head. The two small girls standing on either side of him may have been his daughters.