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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Portable stoves and braziers in terracotta


Ross Iain Thomas

Portable cooking stoves were elaborate products of the Hellenistic coroplast’s art, comprising both wheel and mould-made parts. Stoves were the main means of cooking and heating in Hellenistic houses throughout the eastern Mediterranean, consisting of a tall cylindrical pedestal with a bowl-shaped cavity for the fuel and three projections that supported the cooking pot. These projections, and occasionally the outside of the stoves, feature moulded decoration and occasionally record the maker’s names. Usually only the decorated components from the finer examples of these artefacts were collected by excavators. This chapter discusses the production and use of the small number of imported stoves and braziers as well as the more common copies made at Naukratis for an Egyptian market.

Egyptian portable stove, copy of a Knidian type, ‘Made by Hekataios’ in c. 150–100 BC. British Museum, 1886,1005.2