Objects of Clay

Clay, a naturally occurring, malleable material, has been used all over the world to make objects that are functional and artistically expressive. Initially, vases were built up from coils or slabs until the potter's wheel—developed in Mesopotamia in the mid-fifth millennium B.C.—made its way westward into Cyprus, mainland Greece, and the Cyclades sometime in the mid-third millennium B.C.

Figures were modeled by hand and while they share stylistic similarities, each one is unique. Through the process of firing in an oven or pit, clay becomes hard, durable terra-cotta. This durability allows terra-cotta pieces to survive for millennia, and these artifacts are often the only clues archaeologists have to study the everyday activities of ancient societies.

Red Polished Ware Bowl
Red Polished Ware Bowl Enlarge
Collared Jar of the Pelos Group   Red Polished Ware Jug