Commerce and development of the north Ionian polis of Teos


Teos was one of the most important cities of Ionia. Archaeometric analyses have now verified that it was a large pottery production center in the late Geometric and Archaic periods (ca. 800 - ca. 400 BCE). As part of a collaboration project, the pottery production and settlement development of pre-Hellenistic Teos is being studied.

The unknown among the cities of archaic Ionia


Teos was one of the largest and commercially strongest poleis of archaic Ionia. In the 6th century BCE it founded two colonies: Abdera on the Thracian Aegean coast and Phanagoreia on the Cimmerian Bosporus Although the importance of Teos has been known for a long time from the written sources, systematic excavations only began in 2010 by the University of Ankara under the direction of M. Kadıoǧlu. In the collaboration project of the OeAI and the University of Ankara, the pre-Hellenistic phases of the city, its material culture, and its economic development is being explored.

A large pottery production center in northern Ionia


The discovery of misfired pottery from the 6th/5th century BCE in the excavations 2011 and 2012 provided the key for the archaeometric identification of the local pottery production. Based on neutron activation analysis H. Mommsen was able to determine the chemical fingerprint of Teos. It is an origin group whose products were widely exported in the archaic period.

A large exporter in the archaic period


The peak of the Tean pottery production began in the late Geometric period with bird kotyle and bird oinochoe. From the mid-7th century BCE painted fine wares from Teos are not only found in the east and north Aegean Sea but also in the Black Sea, in the Levant, in Egyptian Naucratis, and in Italy. As the first in Ionia, the Tean potters managed to make their pottery competitive on even very distant markets by standardizing their production. Their most successful creations were the bird and rosette bowls. In the mid-6th century BCE their agricultural products also became part of a brisk trade, as is demonstrated by the wide dispersion of transport amphorae, particularly along the Black Sea, in Egypt, and in Italy.