Abstract and Keywords
Applying the labels “Greek” and “Roman” to the study of ceramic technology from 700 bc to ad 500 involves profound problems of cultural labeling. The study of Greek and Roman ceramics carries a major historiographical burden in addition to cultural complexity. Greek vases gave rise to a perception of Greek painted pottery as the artistic and economic equivalent of expensive porcelain. Discussion of differing social and economic perceptions of Greek and Roman ceramics is not an abstract exercise. The clay preparation and pottery forming, firing methods, surface finishes and decoration are described in this article. The intertwining of history, culture, economics, production, and consumption is particularly clearly demonstrated by an examination of Greek and Roman pottery. The mass production, diversity, and wide diffusion of Greek and Roman ceramics coexisted with technological stability.
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