RESEARCH / ANALYSIS PAPER / ANCIENT GREEK VESSELS
The vessel I chose to research is an Ancient Greek vase called the amphora. Amphora was one of the principal vessel shapes in Greek pottery, a two-handled pot with a neck narrower than the body. There are two types of amphora; the neck amphora, in which the neck meets the body at a sharp angle, and the one-piece amphora, in which the neck and body form a continuous curve (the picture I am showing is the one-piece). The first is common from the Geometric 8th century period (c. 1000–700 B.C.); the second appeared in the 7th century (c. 700-600 B.C.) during the Archaic Style. The height of amphorae varies from large Geometric vases of 5 feet (usually seen at weddings or funerals) to a smaller one of 24 inches (most used) or even smaller yet (called amphorisko worn around ones neck). Amphorae were used as storage and transport vessels for olive oil, honey, water and wine. The wine amphora was a daily Greek staple. Wide-mouthed, painted amphorae were used as decanters, and the smaller amphorisko were worn around their necks, both usually given as gifts.
Every four years Athens held the Panathenaic Games, awarded to each winner of an event or game was an amphora, painted in black-figure. At the Panathenaic Festivals from the 6th to the 2nd century B.C., each amphora was filled with olive oil and had an inscription “I am one of the prizes from Athens”.
The potter and painter by the name of Exekias made the amphora vessel of my choice. He painted a scene known as “Achilles and Ajax Playing a Board Game”, dated 540–530 B.C. He made this vessel at a height of 24 inches. Exekias puts such dramatic and insightful feelings into his artwork with the elaborately detailed patterned cloaks, arm and thigh armor with its elegant spiral designs. He makes his artwork in a way it catches your eye. You can feel the story, and focus right in on what he is telling of the people and place he captures in his...