The Athenian Pottery project seeks to understand, at a fundamental level, the materials and techniques employed by ancient artisans to create the iconic red and black figure pottery of ancient Athens. Supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, scientists from the GCI, together with conservators and curators from the J. Paul Getty Museum, are partnering with The Aerospace Corporation and the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL) to conduct detailed studies on these important ancient artifacts. By analyzing examples of pottery produced by different artists and over a broad time period, the project team is seeking to better understand the relationships between ceramic technology, artistic expression and workshop practice. Read More

Selection of Study Set

Selecting pottery sherds for study

Visual Examination

Using 3-D microscopy for examination

Compositional Analysis
of Sherds

Characterization of
Ceramic Microstructure

Collecting high-resolution images

Characterization of
Ceramic Microchemistry

Reference and
Replicate Materials

Related Materials

Image Gallery