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Pots and Trade: Spacefillers or Objets D'Art?

  • David W.J. Gill (a1)


It is now a commonplace view that fine pottery may not have formed the major part of any cargo in antiquity. The archaeological evidence of shipwrecks seems to confirm the view held by most students of the ancient economy that pots—both fine and coarse—were merely ‘parasitic’ on the main items of trade, staples, metals and slaves. However there are some who plead a special case for the fine wares—especially the figure-decorated—during the archaic and classical periods. J. Boardman, for example, though in principle in agreement with the general view that pottery accompanied ‘more important materials’, still seems to hold the view (which he formulated in 1964) that ‘Corinthian vases were being carried for their own sakes, as objets d'art, or at least best plate’. This paper will examine the recent claim—in response to those who, it is maintained, have ‘demoted the consignments of Greek pottery, plain or decorated, to “space-fillers” or “profitable ballast”’—viz., that ‘Athenian decorated pottery was not cheap and … was as valuable and profitable a trade commodity as most that any classical ship took on board’.



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1 E.g. Boardman, J., ‘Silver is white’, RA 1987, 293: ‘The export of fine pottery may have been of great importance to the potters' quarter, but the vases may not have been a major element in any cargo. This is a commonplace view by now …’

2 Frederiksen, M. (Purcell, N. ed.), Campania (Rome 1984) 343 n. 96: ‘It is of the greatest importance that the production of these forms of pottery can now so clearly be seen to be parasitic upon developed trade rather than directly on agriculture’; Finley, M. I., Ancient history: evidence and models (London 1985) 23: ‘other ceramic goods—table ware, cooking vessels, lamps—also shipped in large quantities, were ‘parasitic’ on the containers and their contents in their occupation of shipping space’.

3 Boardman, J., ‘The material culture of Archaic Greece’, in CAH2 iii.3, 453; cf. Boardman, J., Gnomon xlii (1970) 500: ‘the problem will always be to determine how far it may be almost casually accompanying trade in other goods, rather than a bulk commodity in its own right’; ‘The excavations’, in Boardman, J. and Hayes, J., Excavations at Tocra 1963–1965: the archaic deposits i (BSA suppl. iv [1966]) 14.

4 Boardman, J., The Greeks overseas (Harmondsworth 1964) 33; id. (London 1980) 17. This aspect of his views on trade is omitted in Boardman 1988a, 27.

5 Boardman 1988a, 27.

6 Boardman 1988a, 33.

7 E.g. Fulford, M., ‘The interpretation of Britain's late Roman trade: the scope of medieval historical and archaeological analogy’, in Cleere, H. and du Plat Taylor, J. (eds.), Roman shipping and trade: Britain and the Rhine provinces (London 1978) 5969; ‘Carthage: overseas trade and the political economy, c. AD 400–700’, Reading Medieval Studies vi (1980) 68–80; Morel, J.-P., ‘La céramique comme indice du commerce antique (réalités et interprétations)’, in Garnsey, P. and Whittaker, C. R. (eds.), Trade and famine in classical antiquity (Cambridge 1983) 6674; Gill, D. W. J., ‘METRU.MENECE: an Etruscan painted inscription on a mid-fifth century B.C. red-figure cup from Populonia’, Antiquity lxi (1987) 8287; Gill 1988b; Gill 1988c.

8 Fulford 1980 [n.7] 69. The term ‘profitable ballast’ is borrowed from studies of porcelain in the Dutch China trade; cf. Vickers, M., ‘The influence of exotic materials on Attic white-ground pottery’, in Brijder, H. A. G. (ed.), Ancient Greek and related pottery: proceedings of the international vase symposium, Amsterdam 1984 (Amsterdam 1984) 90 n. 30. On porcelain and the Dutch East India Company: van der Pijl-Ketel, C. L. (ed.), The ceramic load of the ‘Witte Leeuw’ (1613) (Amsterdam 1982); T. Volker, Porcelain and the Dutch East India Company as recorded in the Dagh-registers of Batavia Castle, those of Hirado and Deshima and other contemporary papers 1602–1682 (Leiden 1954). On the nature of saleable ballast: Hobhouse, H., Seeds of change: five plants that transformed mankind (London 1985) 107–8. McGrail, S. (‘The shipment of traded goods and of ballast in antiquity’, OJA 8 (1989) 353–8) discourages the use of term ‘ballast’ in relation to ceramic cargo but accepts ‘spacefillers’; see also Parker, A. J., ‘Classical antiquity: the maritime dimension’, Antiquity 64 (1990) 342.

9 Boardman 1988a, 27. This is the context in which the present writer has placed black-glazed pottery: Gill, D. W. J., Attic black-glazed pottery in the fifth century BC: workshops and export (Oxford D.Phil, diss. 1986); ‘Attic black-glazed pottery’, in Kenrick, P. M., Excavations at Sabratha 1948–1951 (London 1986) 276–7; ‘The date of the Porticello shipwreck: some observations on the Attic bolsal’, IJNA xvi (1987) 32; cf. Vickers, M. and Gill, D. W. J., ‘Archaic Greek pottery from Euesperides, Cyrenaica’, Libyan Studies xvii (1986) 106. In Table B bolsals, which are normally black-glazed, have a greater value by volume than the red-figured pots.

10 Boardman 1988a, 28.

11 Snodgrass, A. M., Archaic Greece, the age of experiment (London 1980) 124–6. On the implications of the ‘positivist fallacy’ for classical archaeology: Gill, D. W. J., ‘Expressions of wealth: Greek art and society’, Antiquity lxii (1988) 735–43.

12 Johnston 1979, 35. Johnston, has now reassessed the evidence: ‘Amasis and the vase trade’, in Proceedings of the Amasis Painter and his world, Malibu 1986 (Malibu 1988) 135. This appeared too late for Boardman (1987 [n.1], 293) who continues to use them as indicators that ‘some potters seem to have acquired a degree of wealth’. See also Vickers, M. & Gill, D. W. J., ‘Reflected glory: pottery and precious metal in classical Greece’, JdI cv (1990) 68.

13 Johnston, A. W., ‘The rehabilitation of Sostratos’, PdP xxvii (1972) 416423; followed with more caution by Harvey, F.D., ‘Sostratos of Aegina’, PdP xxxi (1976) 206214. This identification is described as ‘too optimistic’ by Cook, R. M. (JHS ci [1981] 224). Johnston has restated his position in the Supplement to Jeffery, L. H., Local scripts of archaic Greece (Oxford 1990) 440: ‘Sostratos on [the anchor] is persuasively equated with the trader whose fame Herodotus felt no need to explain … the letter forms … would allow an equation with So(…), who marketed many Attic black-figured vases to Etruria in previous years’.

14 Johnston 1972 [n. 13] 420, 422. Similar views may be found in Salmon, J.B., Wealthy Corinth (Oxford 1984) 106, 110, 113. For an account of how Greek ceramics became commodities to be sold on the European art market: Vickers, M., ‘Value and simplicity: eighteenth-century taste and the study of Greek vases’, Past and Present cxvi (1987) 98137. See also: Ramage, N. H., ‘Sir William Hamilton as collector, exporter and dealer: the acquisition and dispersal of his collections’, AJA xciv (1990) 469–80; Gill, D. W. J., ‘Fictile vases from the Disney collection’, Journal of the History of Collecting ii.2 (1990) 227–31.

15 Coldstream, J. N., Geometric Greece (London 1977) 167; cf. for an opposite view, Morgan, C. A., ‘Corinth, the Corinthian Gulf and Western Greece during the eighth century BC’, BSA lxxxviii (1988) 337.

16 Coldstream, J. N., Greek geometric pottery (London 1968) 372. Elsewhere Coldstream (pp. 384–5) argued that ivory—now recognised as water buffalo horn (Francis, E. D. and Vickers, M., ‘“Ivory tusks” from Al Mina’, OJA ii [1983] 249–51)—was exchanged for Late Geometric pottery of Cycladic type found at Hama.

17 Johnston 1979, 33. Boardman, J. (Athenian red figure vases: the classical period [London 1989] 238) asserts that black-glazed pots ‘were of course cheaper than decorated vases’.

18 Johnston, A. W., ‘Trademarks on Greek vases’, Greece and Rome xxi (1974) 148.

19 Johnston 1979, 35. Boardman (1988b, 372) follows Johnston at this point and states that prices for pots ‘do seem to decline through the fifth century’.

20 The only reduction which may be observed (Johnston 1979, 33) is between a 9 obol black-glazed bell-krater (‘480–430’) and 4 obol red-figure bell-kraters (‘430-’). For his earlier views: Johnston 1974 [n. 18] 148–149.

21 Johnston 1979, 34; Boardman 1988a, 30. These views, arguing for high prices for highly decorated pots, would seem to contradict the privileging of the status of pots with simple decoration: see Vickers 1987 [n. 14] 99–104.

22 Boardman 1988a, 30. Boardman (1988b, 372) also believes that prices are related ‘to size and to complexity of decoration (number of painted figures)’.

23 Boardman, J., Athenian red figure vases: the archaic period (London 1975) 91.

24 Johnston 1979, 159, Type 10F, nos. 21, 23 and 24, figs. 9w and 12p. The apparent ‘mark-up’ between the Type A belly-amphora by the ‘Berlin Painter’ and an amphora perhaps ‘near the Berlin Painter’ may not be significant due to the differences in size and potting.

25 The pelike is on loan to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Auktion lxx [1986] 75, no. 216, the drawing of the graffito is inaccurate; Vickers, M., ‘Golden Greece: relative values, minae, and temple inventories’, AJA xciv [1990] 616, 617 figs. 3–4). The price and batch inscription is preceded by a ligatured al or ma which may refer to a personal name (a suggestion I owe to Alan Johnston; cf. Johnston 1979, Type 2B, i–ii).

26 Johnston 1979, 250 n. 1, Type 26G, no. 1; cf. Amyx, D.A., ‘The Attic stelai III: vases and other containers’, Hesperia xxvii (1958) 299. This graffito, Johnston (1979, 34) feels, ‘would seem to me to be a batch of similar slight pelikai, but I retain a question-mark’.

27 Johnston 1979, 113, Type 18C, no. 63, 165, Type 21F, no. 8. For the relationship between these silver hydriae and their clay equivalents: Vickers 1984 [n. 8] 90 and n. 26; ‘Artful crafts: the influence of metalwork on Athenian painted pottery’, JHS cv (1985) 116; Gill, D. W. J., ‘Classical Greek fictile imitations of precious metal vases’, in Vickers, M. (ed.), Pots and pans: a colloquium on precious metals and ceramics in the Muslim, Chinese and Graeco-Roman worlds, Oxford 1981 (Oxford 1986) 10.

28 Boardman 1988a; 1988b.

29 In Table C figures are presented for large (0.80 m high) and small (0.65 m high) amphorae. Taking the greatest diameter as 0.30 m, there would be 14 large amphorae per cubic metre and 17 small. For Chiot amphorae: U. Knigge, Der Südhügel (Kerameikos ix, Berlin 1976) from grave nos. 95, 150, 166, 226, 290, 304.

30 Boardman 1988a, 33.

31 Prices are derived from Johnston (1979, 33) where the highest certain figure is taken.

32 Gill 1988a.

33 Boardman 1988b, 371.

34 Boardman 1988b, 373.

35 Boardman 1988a, 30; 1988b, 373.

36 Boardman 1988b, 372. These views also appear in Boardman 1989 [n. 17] 235.

37 Johnston 1979, 33. The lekythos is Type 11C, no. 1. It should be noted that Boardman (1988b, 372–373) uses revised measurements for ‘an early lekythos’.

38 Johnston 1979, 34, 201; Gill 1988a, 369.

39 Johnston 1979, 201. Boardman 1988b, 372 refers to Johnston 1979, 63 n.10.

40 Johnston 1979, 16.

41 Boardman 1988b, 372.

42 Boardman 1988b, 372.

43 Johnston 1978.

44 Johnston 1978, 223.

45 Johnston 1978, 224.

46 Boardman 1988a, 30. Boardman does not record if the measurements for the bolsal are those for the ones marked with the price graffiti. His estimate may be too high as the size of bolsals vary. At 0.5 obol each, 1m3 of bolsals would be worth:

Boardman hypothetical: 0.055 × 0.17 × 0.108 = 85 dr

Cambridge GR. 107.1890: 0.057 × 0.178 × 0.108 = 76 dr

Oxford 1879.187: 0.063 × 0.94 × 0.119 = 57 dr

As these values vary so much I do not include them in Table C; in any case boisais are usually black-glazed rather than red-figured.

47 Boardman 1988b, 373; Boardman 1989 [n. 17] 235.

48 Boardman 1988b, 372.

49 Gill, D. W. J., ‘The workshops of the Attic bolsal’, in Brijder 1984 [n. 8] 106.

50 Johnston 1979, Type 10F, no. 21, fig. 12p; Beazley, J.D., Attic red-figure vase-painters2 (Oxford 1963) 196, no. 2.

51 Boardman 1988a, 30.

52 Boardman 1988b, 372.

53 Jones, J. E., Sackett, L. H., and Graham, A.J., ‘The Dema House in Attica’, BSA lvii (1962) 83–4. The Corinthian tiles from the Dema House measured 0.692 × 0.55 × (0.03 or 0.06) and this compares well with tiles from the Athenian agora, Delphi and Olynthus. Prices: Pritchett 1956, 282–3.

54 Amyx 1958 [n. 26] 289–92, pl. 52; Johnston 1979, 161, Type 14F, nos. 1–5. They are decorated by Beazley's ‘Kadmos’, ‘Pothos’, and ‘Dinos’ Painters.

55 Beazley, J. D., ‘Some inscriptions on vases, IV’, AJA lxi (1957) 8; Johnston 1979, 162, Type 14F, no. 17.

56 This is derived from the graffito on the underside of an Attic bowl in the Villa Giulia: Cristofani, M., ‘Rivista di epigrafia etrusca’, SE 1 (1982) 341, pl. lii, 102. It was part of a batch of 35.

57 Johnston 1978; 1979, 162, Type 14F, no. 15, fig. 12C.

58 These figures are derived from measurements taken from the ex-Castle Ashby bell-krater by ‘the Kadmos Painter’: CVA Castle Ashby (15) pl. 51 (706); Greek, Etruscan and South Italian vases from Castle Ashby, Christie's, Wednesday 2 July 1980, 48–9, lot no. 30. Ht. 0.333m. Johnston (1979, 35) noted that the average height of the kraters of Type 14F was 0.315m. A stack of three would be c. 0.6m, and the space occupied by the six would be 0.6 × 0.35 × 0.63. An illustration of the attention given to a ceramic cargo, despite it being a spacefiller, is provided by the Dutch East India Company which packed porcelain in special crates of standard measurements, 6 square feet and 18 inches in height: Jörg, C.J.A., The Geldermalsen: history and porcelain (Groningen 1986) 58.

59 Gill 1987 [n. 7] 85; Gill 1988c, 180; Nash, D., ‘Celtic territorial expansion and the Mediterranean world’, in Champion, T. C. and Megaw, J. V. S. (ed.), Settlement and society: aspects of west European prehistory in the first millennium BC (Leicester 1985) 4567.

60 Fulford, M., ‘Economic interdependence among urban communities of the Roman Mediterranean’, World Archaeology xix (1987) 5875. See also Frederiksen 1984 [n. 2], 328–9.

61 Fulford 1987 [n. 60] 69.

62 Jones, R. E., Greek and Cypriot pottery: a review of scientific studies (Athens 1986) 666.

63 Casson, L., Ships and seamanship in the ancient world (Princeton 1971) 182–3.

64 This figure may be appreciated when it is realised that the Beazley Computer Archive in Oxford (August 1987) only recorded 25,000 items (not sets); however this does not include Beazley's attributed pots. I am grateful to Thomas Mannack for this information. Cf. Boardman, J., Athenian black figure vases (London 1974) 7: ‘something like twenty thousand Athenian black figure vases have been discovered’. The price of 16 dr per medimnos for wheat refers to ‘famine’ conditions.

65 Garnsey, P., Famine and food supply in the Graeco-Roman world, responses to risk and crisis (Cambridge 1988) 105.

66 Garnsey 1988 [n. 65] 90.

67 Garnsey 1988 [n. 65] 91; Foxhall, L. and Forbes, H.A., ‘Sitometreia: the role of grain as a staple food in classical antiquity’, Chiron xii (1982) 4190.

68 In the autumn of 340 Philip seized a grainfleet of 230 (or 180) ships; cf. Garnsey 1988 [n. 65], 143.

69 Boardman 1974 [n. 64] 7.

70 Finley, M. I., The ancient economy (London 1973) 33; cf. Humphreys, S. C., Anthropology and the Greeks (London 1978) 119.

71 Martelli, M., ‘Prime considerazioni sulla statistica delle importazioni greche in Etruria nel periodo arcaico’, SE xlvii (1979) 3752; Meyer, J.C., ‘Roman history in light of the import of Attic vases to Rome and Etruria in the 6th and 5th centuries BC’, Analecta Romana Instituti Danici ix (1980) 4768. We await the final publication of the fine pottery from Gravisca.

72 A. W. Johnston (1988 [n. 12] 126) ‘would spread gloom about our ability to assess survival rates in sixth-century [pottery] production’. Cook's, R. M. (‘Die Bedeutung der bemalten Keramik für den griechischen Handel’, JdI lxxiv [1959] 114–23) attempt to estimate what proportion of pots are extant today depends on the survival rate of prize Panathenaics. Johnston has pointed out that their survival rate is ‘not likely to be consistent with that of less special vases’ (Johnston 1979, 50) as they are not ‘a typical indicator’ (Johnston 1988 [n. 12] 126). Moreover Johnston (1988 [n. 12] 126) feels ‘unhappy about taking back into the sixth century figures derived … from circa 375’: cf. Johnston, A. W., ‘IG II2 2311 and the number of Panathenaic amphorae’, BSA lxxxii (1987) 125–9.

73 Jörg 1986 [n. 58]; The Nanking cargo: Chinese export porcelain and gold, European glass and stoneware recovered by Captain Michael Hatcher from a European merchant ship wrecked in the South China Seas, Christie's Amsterdam, Monday 28 April—Friday 2 May 1986.

74 Gill, D. W. J., ‘An Attic lamp in Reggio: the largest batch notation outside Athens?’, OJA vi (1987) 121–5. The correct height of the lamp crate should have read 2.76m not 0.276m.

75 Johnston, A. W., ‘Two-and-a-half Corinthian dipinti’, BSA lxviii (1973) 186.

76 Gamsey 1988 [n. 65] 74–9.

77 Johnston 1979, 34 and 229; cf. Boardman 1988a, 30 (‘Some of the decorated vases have prices … scratched upon them, apparently in the potters' quarter or at least before shipment rather than after’) and 32 (‘The prices scratched on vases were put on in the potters' quarter and are wholesale’).

78 Johnston 1978; 1979, 34, Type 14F, no. 15: ‘The marks of 14F were applied in Athens, as the spelling on 1–5 and the overincision on 15 show’.

79 Johnston, A. W., ‘Rhodian readings’, BSA lxx (1975) 160, on no. 72.

80 Johnston 1978, 222. This type of simple line falls into Johnston's category of Type 18C (iii), where he comments (Johnston 1979, 202): ‘The marks were applied very early in the life of the vase; this is indicated by the very wide distribution for the vases …’

81 Shefton, B. B., ‘The Greek Museum, University of Newcastle upon Tyne’, AR 19691970, 6061, no. 14; Johnston 1979, Type 8F, no. 11.

82 Johnston 1979, Type 26F, no. 21.

83 Johnston 1979, 63 n. 15. He cites Hill, G. F., Catalogue of the Greek coins of Cyprus (London 1904) xxii–xxiii.

84 E.g. Babelon, E., Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines ii (Paris 1910) 742 nos. 1214 (0.98g, 0.86g) and 1215 (0.94g).

85 3 Persic obols @ 0.94g — 2.82g. 4 Attic obols @ 0.72g = 2.87g. For the price of red-figure bell-kraters: Johnston 1979, 33, Type 14F, nos. 1–4 and 6.

86 Boardman 1988a, 31. Boardman does however concede that trade in pottery was probably not ‘important’ to the ‘state’ (Boardman 1987 [n.1], 295), even though he had attempted to demonstrate that ‘Athenian decorated pottery … was as valuable and profitable a trade commodity as most that any classical ship took on board’ (Boardman 1988a, 33; but cf. Gill 1988a).

87 Boardman 1988a, 28. This claim is in direct disagreement with the historical view of the ancient economy: Finley 1973 [n. 70] 134: ‘Silver was the most important Athenian resource, exported in substantial quantities’; Osborne, R., Demos: the discovery of classical Attika (Cambridge 1985) 11: ‘it is arguable that it was the only significant Athenian export’. Boardman's position does not take account of the silver listed in the Naucratis stele: Gunn, B., ‘Notes on the Naukratis stele’, JEA xxix (1943) 55–9.

88 E.g. Eiseman, C.J., ‘The Porticello shipwreck: lead isotope data’, IJNA viii (1979) 339–40; Eiseman, C.J. and Ridgway, B.S., The Porticello shipwreck: a Mediterranean merchant vessel of 415–355 BC (College Station 1987); Johnston, A. W., ‘Some non-Greek ghosts’, BICS xxv (1978) 7980; Sutherland, C.H.V., ‘Overstrikes and hoards: the movement of Greek coinage down to 400 BC’, NC6 ii (1942) 118. On the date of the Porticello shipwreck: Gill, D. W. J., ‘The date of the Porticello shipwreck: some observations on the Attic bolsals’, IJNA xvi (1987) 3133.

89 Boardman 1988a, 28. These figures do not refer to ‘output’ but rather to the amount which accrued to the state. R. Osborne (1985 [n. 87] 116) urges caution over this evidence: ‘it is not clear whether this is the income from a single year or has built up over some lengthy period, but it tells us nothing about the organisation of the exploitation’.

90 Vickers 1985 [n. 27] 112.

91 Boardman 1988a, 28.

92 On levels of imports: Garnsey, P., ‘Grain for Athens’, in Cartledge, P.A. and Harvey, F.D. (eds.), Crux: essays presented to G.E.M. de Ste. Croix on his 75th birthday (Exeter 1985) 6275. For comments on Demosthenes and grain imports: Garnsey 1988 [n. 65] 96–9.

93 Conophagos, C. E., Le Laurium antique et la technique grecque de la production de l'argent (Athens 1980) 341354. This figure should however be used with caution.

94 Boardman 1988a, 28.

95 Xen. Poroi iii 1–2; cf. Finley 1973 [n. 70] 134.

96 Gunn 1943 [n. 87].

97 Plovdiv 1515: Filow, B. D., Die Grabhügelnekropole bei Duvanlij in Südbulgarien (Sofia 1934) 63–5, fig. 80, pl. iv, no. 2. H: 0.03; d. 0.205. A stack of ten could be calculated as follows:

(9 × 0.02 + 0.03) × 0.205 × 0.205 = 0.009 m3. For the significance of the phiale's weight: Gill, D. W. J., ‘Luxury vases’, Omnibus xv (March 1988) 10. See also Vickers 1990 [n.25].

98 New York 62.11.1: von Bothmer, D., ‘A gold libation bowl’, BMMA xxi (19621963) 154166; idem., ‘A Greek and Roman treasury’, BMMA xlii, 1 (1984) 50, no. 86; Vickers, M., ‘Demus's gold phiale (Lysias 19.25)’, AJAH ix (1984 [1988]) 4853. A stack of ten has been calculated as follows:

(9 × 0.02 + 0.037) × 0.224 × 0.228 = 0.011 m3.

99 Value by weight might be a factor for cargoes crossing the isthmus of Corinth; cf. MacDonald, B. R., ‘The diolkos’, JHS cvi (1986) 191–5.

100 Boardman does not provide us with details of the pots he weighed which makes it hard to undertake an independent assessment of his work.

101 E.g. Boardman 1980 [n. 4] 16; Shefton, B. B., ‘Greeks and Greek imports in the south of the Iberian peninsula. The archaeological evidence’, in Niemeyer, H.G. (ed.), Phönizier im Westen (Mainz 1982) 337–70; Gill 1988b; Johnston 1978, 82; Johnston 1979; Johnston, A. W., ‘Etruscans in the Greek vase trade?’, in Il commercio etrusco arcaico: atti dell'incontro di studio, 5–7 dicembre 1983 (Rome 1985) 249–55.

102 Boardman 1980 [n. 4] 40, cf. p. 42: ‘The evidence for the Euboeans' role in the east is wholly archaeological. The literary record does not contradict it; indeed it says nothing at all of this truly epoch-making enterprise.’ His views have been restated in Boardman, J., ‘Al Mina and history’, OJA 9 (1990) 169–90, which will provide a useful springboard for future debate.

103 Boardman 1980 [n. 4] 46.

104 E.g. the ceramic part of the cargo of the 6th century Giglio island shipwreck (M. Bound, ‘Una nave mercantile di età arcaica all'Isola del Giglio’, in Il commercio etrusco arcaico [n. 101] 65–70; M. Bound and Vallintine, R., ‘A wreck of possible Etruscan origin off Giglio Island’, IJNA xii (1983) 113–22) included Etruscan bucchero, Corinthian, Ionian and Laconian wares.

105 Blakeway, A., ‘Prolegomena to the study of Greek commerce with Italy, Sicily and France in the eighth and seventh centuries BC’, BSA xxxiii (1932/1933) 170208. More recently: Boardman 1980 [n. 4] 106: ‘archaeology, geography and common sense combine to suggest that trade normally preceded the flag’; Ridgway, D., ‘The first western Greeks: Campanian coasts and southern Etruria’, in Hawkes, C.F. and Hawkes, S. (ed.), Greeks, Celts and Romans (London 1973) 538; contrast Coldstream 1968 [n. 16], 374.

106 Bernal, M., Black Athena: the Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization i: the fabrication of ancient Greece 1785–1985 (London 1987). Contrast Boardman (1990 [n. 102] 170): ‘In more recent years special emphasis has been placed again on the role of the Phoenicians … Some recent discussions have been motivated mainly by contemporary interests in racism, and through the justified suspicion that earlier scholars have been themselves motivated mainly by a grossly Greco-centric viewpoint; but this is not the way to an acceptable scholarly revision of received ideas’.

107 Blakeway 1932/3 [n. 105] 172 n. 5.

108 Blakeway 1932/3 [n. 105] 172.

109 Coldstream 1977 [n. 15] 228–230.

110 Thuc. vi 2.6; but see Boardman (1980 [n. 4] 210) who thinks that this testimony ‘was not true’. Whether or not Thucydides is reflecting a ‘learned’ position rather than the ‘truth’, we should hesitate before dismissing the possibility of Phoenician activity in the West.

111 “Blakeway 1932/3 [n. 105] 170–1, and see p. 208.

112 E.g. Cartledge, P., ‘“Trade and Politics” revisited: Archaic Greece’, in Garnsey, P., Hopkins, K., and Whittaker, C.R. (ed.), Trade in the ancient economy (London 1983) 115. However it should be realised that Hasebroek underestimated the amount of ‘international’ trading by the Greeks in the archaic period. For the original discussion: Hasebroek, J., Trade and politics in ancient Greece (London 1933).

113 Garnsey 1988 [n. 65] 107–110.

114 Hdt. i 178.

115 Cf. Lloyd, A.B., Herodotus Book II. Introduction (Leiden 1975) 26–7.

116 Boardman 1980 [n. 4] 121.

117 Payne, H., Necrocorinthia: a study of Corinthian art in the archaic period (Oxford 1931) esp. 2327.

118 On the importance of the foundation dates: Snodgrass, A. M., An archaeology of Greece: the present state and future scope of a discipline (Berkeley 1987) 5164. Snodgrass' view that Payne's chronology had been ‘vindicated’ (p. 56) rests on the results of excavations at Selinus presented by Martin, R., ‘Histoire de Sélinonte d'après les fouilles récentes’, CRAI (1977) 4663. Recent excavations have discovered pottery at least as early as sub-Geometric Protocorinthian: Wilson, R.J.A., ‘Archaeology in Sicily, 1977–1981’, AR xxviii (19811982) 101–2; idem, ‘Archaeology in Sicily, 1982–1987’, AR xxxiv (1987–1988) 144–8. Cook, R. M. (‘The Francis-Vickers chronology’, JHS cix [1989] 165) feels that Herodotus' statement about Naucratis ‘favours’ the proposed chronology.

119 Parker, A.J., ‘Shipwrecks and ancient trade in the Mediterranean’, Archaeological Review from Cambridge iii 2 (1984) 99114; Fulford 1987 [n. 60] 61. We should certainly wait for the full publication of the shipwreck off Dattilo before we concur that it carried ‘a cargo apparently almost exclusively of BG [black-glazed] tableware’ (Wilson, R.J.A., ‘Archaeology in Sicily, 1982–87’, AR 19871988, 125; and cf. Fulford 1987 [n. 60] 60–1). On the wreck: Bound, M., ‘The Dattilo wreck (Panarea, Aeolian Islands): first season report’, IJNA xviii (1989) 203–19. I am grateful to Mensun Bound for information on his excavation. Brian Shefton reports a late archaic shipwreck with a significant cargo of pottery off Marseilles.

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Pots and Trade: Spacefillers or Objets D'Art?

  • David W.J. Gill (a1)


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