White Ground Lekythoi

I thought I'd start a little collection of some of my favourite things on here (not all Classics/Ancient History related), so that I can get a feel for what sorts of things other people are researching/generally interested in.  After all, it's good to share! 

My knowledge of all things Greek pottery related owes a great deal to my time volunteering at Liverpool World Museum in my term breaks, as, until I started university, my learning and understanding of the Ancient World had been very text/literature centered, and I hadn't had much experience thinking about material evidence in a scholarly manner.  It was during my volunteering in the museum over the summer that, while working in the museum stores one day, I came across white ground lekythoi. I was amazed by their striking colour combinations, which instantly set them apart from the other pottery in the same cabinet.  The white ground technique emerged around 500 BC, with the distinctive white background meant to emulate white marble in wall paintings.  Typically used in funerary practices, from the mid 5th century BC, they often depict scenes of ritual, and show images of 'real people' involved with such rituals.

During my trip to the Berlin museums last summer, I was excited to come across more white ground lekythoi in the collections of the Altes Museum ( http://www.smb.museum/museen-und-einrichtungen/altes-museum/home.html ).  I was equally thrilled to see them feature in one of my lectures earlier this term!


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