Hellenistic Pottery: The Plain Wares

by Susan I. Rotroff

Athenian Agora XXXIII
480 pp, 98 figs, 90 pls
9" x 12"
Cloth, ISBN: 978-0-87661-233-0
Publication Date: Nov 2006
Status: Active

Retail Price $150


This manuscript represents the third and final volume in the publication of the Hellenistic pottery unearthed by the American excavations in the Athenian Agora. The first installment (Agora XXII) was devoted to the moldmade bowls and the second (Agora XXIX) to the remainder of the fine ware. The third presents the plain wares, including household pottery, oil containers, and cooking pottery. In all, about 1,400 Hellenistic vessels in these categories have been entered into the excavation record, which are represented here in a catalogue of 847 objects. The study constructs a typology, based on both form and fabric, and a chronology for these ceramics, using the fact that many of the pieces were found in closed contexts like wells. Finally, the author discusses the possible functions of the ceramic shapes found, and uses them to reconstruct some of the domestic and industrial activities of Hellenistic Athenians. While it documents the pottery assemblage of one site, this book will be an essential reference tool for archaeologists around the Mediterranean.

About the Author: Susan I. Rotroff is the Jarvis Thurston and Mona Van Duyn Professor in Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis.

"This manuscript represents a stunning scholarly accomplishment. It clearly represents years of dedicated work and meticulous attention to detail. This volume will stand as a fitting capstone to a project of long duration, and it will enjoy many, many years as a vital and easy-to-use reference work." Andrea Berlin, University of Minnesota

"It cannot be emphasised enough what a visually pleasing book this is. The illustrations, tables and bar charts really enhance the contents of the book and its accessibility to the reader. [...] the book is surely already [a] handbook for pottery specialists working on Hellenistic Greece and beyond." Mark van der Enden, Journal of Greek Archaeology 5 (2020)

"[...] Rotroff's book on plain Hellenistic wares is an exceptional work and a major contribution to the study of ancient Greek pottery; it is bound to become a primary reference work for studies of the Hellenistic age throughout the Mediterranean." Anelia Bozkova, AJA 113.1 (2009)