In the course of my wanderings around Greece I have been fascinated by the traditional potteries that still survive in places such as the island of Sifnos and in central Crete.  My interest in ceramic production was based as well on the excavation that I led in the 1980s of an early 19th-century red earthenware pottery kiln and workshop in Jordan, Ontario.

The contemporary ceramic production traditions in the Aegean basin have their origins in the Byzantine and Ottoman periods. Outstanding specimens are found today in Greek museums specializing in artisan crafts such as the Benaki Museum and the Vasilis Kyriazopoulos Folk Ceramics Museum in the former mosque on Monastiraki Square. A broader treatment of the potting industry is the subject of the Museum of Traditional Pottery on Melidoni Street in the Kerameikos District.

Loading a boat with pottery]

On Monday, April, 20th at 6:30 PM Yorgos Kyriakopoulos will share his passion for traditional ceramics in the Aegean basin from 1700 through 1950 in an illustrated lecture. The title of Kyriakopoulos’ presentation is «Η Αρχαιολογια του Χθες: Με αφορμη μια συλλογν νεωτερων κεραμικων και ενα φωτογραφικο αρχειο». He has been collecting and studying traditional or “folk” pottery since he was 13. The result of his considerable efforts is a collection with 3,700 vessels, 6,000 sherds and an archive with 7,500 photographs. Kyriakopoulos has also conducted tens of interviews with potters. He is especially interested in the relationship of the vessel forms to the foods and beverages prepared, produced, cooked, served or stored in them. In the context of making his collection he has sought to interpret food ways reflected in the vessels with the manner of life over the past three centuries.

The lecture is part of the 2014-2015 Lecture Program of the Συλλογος Φιλων του Ιστορικου Αρχειου τνς Αρχαιολογικις Υπερεσιας. The lecture will be held at the Historical Archive building at Psaromylingou 22, on the cusp between the Kerameikos and the Psyrri Districts. The Theseio Train station is the nearest Metro system stop.

David W. Rupp