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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Laconian pottery


Marianne Bergeron

Naukratis has yielded a small amount of mainly Archaic Laconian pottery, less than 1% of the total painted Greek pottery assemblage preserved from the early excavations. The range of shapes is restricted to mainly cups and kraters with few pouring vessels; most feature black-figure decoration, but some are also painted with simple patterns and figures in silhouette or are black-glazed. The hands of three major Laconian vase painters are represented: the Naukratis Painter, the Borads Painter and the Painter of the Taranto Fish.

Laconian fine ware arrived at Naukratis perhaps as early as the early 6th century BC, but the majority dates from between 575 and 550 BC, the main period of production for Laconian fine wares. Thereafter small amounts continued to trickle in until the early 5th century BC. Never a large scale import, Laconian pottery probably found its way to Naukratis via a number of different routes, mostly brought by traders and other travellers for use in ritual banqueting and as dedications.

Laconian black-figure kylix, c. 575-565 BC. British Museum, 1888,0601.523