Traditional Pottery and Potters in Cyprus: The Disappearance of an Ancient Craft Industry in the 19th and 20th Centuries, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Traditional Pottery and Potters in Cyprus

The Disappearance of an Ancient Craft Industry in the 19th and 20th Centuries, 1st Edition

By Ioannis Ionas


296 pages

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Hardback: 9780754603238
pub: 2001-04-12

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The conservative character of traditional hand-made pottery in Cyprus has long attracted the interest of archaeologists and ethnoarchaeologists. But these have mainly been concerned with manufacturing techniques, while this book considers the subject from wider perspectives and highlights the complementary relationship between hand-made pottery produced by peasant-potters and wheel-made pottery issuing from urban workshops. By considering the social position of the potter and modes of pottery production, Ionas opens out the discussion of craft production and illustrates its dependency on socio-economic organization. At the core of the book is a classification of more than 100 hand- and wheel-made objects according to their function, and a detailed analysis of techniques, from earth-gathering to firing. By then exploiting all existing data - including ancient writings, etymologies and toponyms - the static nature of ethnographic information is partially overcome and the author shows how craft-production is an integral aspect of the troubled history of the Eastern Mediterranean. The conclusions reached in this important study will undoubtedly encourage new research into the evolution of craft-production from the medieval period onwards in the lands of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Administration, economy and daily life; Traditional Pottery: Centres of production and repertoires; Classification; Surface treatments: decoration, inscriptions, coating for impermeability and glazing; Use; Pottery Manufacture: The potter’s implements; Raw materials and their treatment; Forming and finishing methods; Kilns and firing; Potters, Production and Distribution: Potters; Discussions on the modes of production; Words Linked to the Pottery Craft: Older names for the classes of potters and etymologies; Toponyms; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

About the Series

Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies

Birmingham Byzantine and Ottoman Studies is devoted to the history, culture and archaeology of the Byzantine and Ottoman worlds of the East Mediterranean region from the fifth to the twentieth century. It provides a forum for the publication of research completed by scholars from the Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek Studies at the University of Birmingham, UK, and those with similar research interests from around the world.

For further information about the series please contact Michael Greenwood at


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General