Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt

Alexandra Villing, Marianne Bergeron, Giorgos Bourogiannis, Alan Johnston, François Leclère, Aurélia Masson and Ross Thomas

With Daniel von Recklinghausen, Jeffrey Spencer, Valerie Smallwood, Virginia Webb and Susan Woodford

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Supported by

The Leverhulme Trust
  • The Shelby White - Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
  • Christian Levett and the Mougins Museum of Classical Art
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Greek terracotta figures

 

Ross Iain Thomas

With few exceptions, the large number – over 400 fragments – of ‘Greek’ figures found at Naukratis date from the period between 620 and 300 BC when Naukratis operated as an eastern Mediterranean trade hub and port of Egypt. The majority of imported Greek figurines are of East Greek origin and were found in Archaic and Classical Greek sanctuary deposits. Six broad groups can be distinguished, with parallels known from other East Greek, Cypriot and Phoenician sites. The Greek figures include: Archaic East Greek hand-made and mould-made figure plaques; Archaic East Greek mould-made figures and figure vases; Late Archaic and Classical East Greek protomes and figures; and late Classical and early Hellenistic East Greek and Greek mould-made hollow figures. This chapter introduces the wide variety of Greek figures brought to Naukratis, their production, use and deposition.

East Greek Classical protome of a woman. Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, GR.3.1898. Photograph © The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Photography by British Museum staff.