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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Ptolemaic and Roman figures, models and coffin-fittings in terracotta


Ross Iain Thomas

From the late 4th century BC new styles and techniques of terracotta figure manufacture were introduced to Naukratis from Greece, replacing those of Late Period Egypt. The resulting Ptolemaic and Roman terracotta figures, coffin fittings and models from Naukratis comprise a large and varied group of artefacts. Spanning the period from the end of the 4th century BC through to the 7th century AD, they reflect the continued significance of the settlement to Roman times. They also highlight an increase in the production and demand for terracotta representations of Egyptian deities. With over 850 of the extant examples locally produced in Naukratis, they are evidence for a proliferation in local demand for terracottas for the home and the cemetery. This chapter introduces the large and diverse group of extant figures from Naukratis, their production, use and deposition.

Terracotta figure of Isis-Hathor, c. 300–100 BC. British Museum, 1888,0601.110