School of Humanities, MA in Black Sea & Eastern Mediterranean Studies
This dissertation was written as part of the MA in Black Sea cultural Studies at
the International Hellenic University. The thesis title is: “Kerch vases in the Black
The final decades of Attic red
figured vase paintings are dominated by the
. This style, current between 370 and 330 BC, combined the preceding Rich and
Modest Styles, with a preponderance of the Rich. Crowded compositions with large
statuesque figures are typical. The added colours now include blue, green and
others. Volume and shading are indicated by the use of diluted runny glossy clay.
Occasionally, whole figures are added as “appliqués”, thin figural reliefs attached to
the body of the vase.
Some fifty years before Attic red
figure pottery came to an end, a style that
has been named after the Crimean city of Kerch made its debut. Kerch is the classical
Panticapaeum, and many pots of this type have been discover
ed there. (The Kerch
style died with red
figure pottery itself). The shapes most commonly found are the
pelike, the lekanis
, the lebes gamikos
, and the
. As for the subjects, they
generally have to do with mythological beings popular among the peoples of the
Black Sea: for instance,
, Arimaspians, and Amazons.
The sites where, Kerch vessels were found prove the trade network of the 4th
century BC in areas situated beyond the Greek metropolis. Most cities where Kerch
vessels had been distributed were Greek colonies. Kerch vessels are “mirrors” of the
merchant and cultural activities, reflecting the needs of the people who used them.