Greek Pottery: An Archaeological Study with Helena Meskanen

Greek Pottery: An Archaeological Study with Helena Meskanen


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Greek vases have dedicated sections in many of the world's major museums, from the British Museum in London to the Louvre in Paris, and the Met in New York, not to mention the hundreds of museums in Greece. While vases are often displayed as individual art objects, this webinar looks at Greek pottery through the eyes of archaeologists: as source material for studying the Greek past.

After a quick introduction to what the vases were and how they were made, we will dive deeper into how archaeologists use them as source material. The study of pottery can give us insight into a wide range of aspects of ancient life, from everyday activities like shopping to the political intrigue of democratic Athens; ostraka, the small inscribed shards of pottery found on the Athenian Agora, testify to the ostracism of some of our most famous Athenian leaders. But first and foremost, many of the vases were used for drinking and dining, and we will discuss the Greeks' messy drinking habit. Some vases contain visual jokes revealed during use, while others were used for drinking games on boozy nights with friends. You can find the whole range of life on just a few humble pieces of pottery!

Led by an expert on Greek archaeology, Dr. Helena Meskanen, this interactive seminar will leave you with a greater understanding of why pottery is so important. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will be inspired to look at Greek vase collections with a new sense of perspective once travel resumes.

Dr. Helena Meskanen is an archaeologist specializing in ancient Greece, with research focusing on ancient Spartan religion. She has been leading tours of the British Museum for 3 years and feels passionate about the wide range of objects on display, and the stories they tell about the museum and the cultures that created them.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.