Dissertation Defense: Emilio Rodríguez-Álvarez


Nov 16 2018 - 10:30am

Friday, November 16, 2018
10:30 a.m.
Southwest Lab, Room 402
Haury Anthropology Building

Title: Forming Identities: Technological Choices and Potters in Archaic Corinth

Abstract: My research focuses on the manufacturing techniques of Corinthian potters as well as the relationships established between these craftsmen and the consumers that acquired their wares. This perspective tries to understand better how this communication operated and conditioned workshop organization and trade demands beyond the limitations that the technology also impose. The results of my research have shown that the advent of the Black Figure technique was intrinsically related to the adoption by Corinthian potters of new manufacturing techniques and recipes for their paints and slips. The significance of this discovery sheds new light upon the diversity of local styles in Greece, and challenges two previous untested assumptions about the manufacture of Corinthian pottery: 1)that the paste and the slip for the vessels decorated in the Black Figure were made using the same clay, (this assumption was based solely on tests on Athenian wares), and 2) that the source of raw material for the Corinthian pottery industry could not have been the calcium-rich natural clay deposits that surround the settlement. This change of the paint and gloss recipes required the use of new raw materials, which takes the discussion on pottery production at the site from purely technical issues to social and economic ones, such as access and control of these scarce resources or the relationships between potters and their local community.

Committee members:  Prof. Mary Voyatzis, Prof. Daniela Triadan, Prof. David Killick

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