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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Corinthian Pottery


Marianne Bergeron

The Corinthian fine ware pottery from Naukratis is a small yet interesting group, representing some 4% of the extant corpus of Greek fine wares found at the site and comprising a range of shapes and styles. Examples of the Transitional style, dated between 630 and 620/615 BC, are rare; numbers peak during the Middle Corinthian period and dwindle significantly by c. 550 BC. Few examples continue until the 4th century BC. The majority of pieces with known findspots come from the sanctuary of Apollo, but there are also finds from the sanctuaries of the Dioskouroi and Aphrodite.

This chapter presents the evidence and sets it into its wider context, considering in particular the question of trade routes and the patterns of use and consumption of Corinthian pottery at Naukratis.

By the late 7th century BC, when the earliest Corinthian material arrived at Naukratis, Corinthian wares were widely traded and common at sites throughout much of the Greek world. However, unusually for a Greek sanctuary site, at Naukratis column-kraters are the most common shape, follo¬¬wed by drinking cups (kotylai and kylikes). The character of the assemblage at Naukratis suggests that, especially between 595 and 570 BC, Corinthian wares arrived not so much as trade items, but more as individual dedications destined for the local sanctuaries.

Late Early Corinthian or early Middle Corinthian black-figure column krater. British Museum, 1888,0601.1204