The Cultural Biography of a Cycladic Geometric Amphora: Islanders in Athens and the Prehistory of Metics

by John K. Papadopoulos and Evelyn Lord, Smithson

Hesperia, Volume 71, Issue 2
Page(s): 149-199
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3182005
Year: 2002


This article presents the life history of a large, repaired Early Iron Age amphora imported to Athens, fragments of which were discovered in 1939 in and around the Hephaisteion. The context of the vessel suggests that it was used in a tomb. Decorated in an “archaizing” style reminiscent of Protogeometric, the amphora can be dated to the Late Geometric period. It finds its closest parallels on Syros, an island hitherto little known for its post-Early Cycladic antiquities. How the amphora made its way to Athens is addressed, and different types of evidence point to the existence of resident aliens (metics) in a period before the reforms of Solon and Kleisthenes.