Argilos: Pre- and early colonial pottery

The pre- and early colonial pottery of Argilos produced in the northern Aegean 

Interesting aspects of the cultural identity of the indigenous precolonial and early colonial community of Argilos – settled from the Cycladic island Andros in the 7th century BCE – are reflected in the early Iron Age and early Archaic locally produced drinking and cooking vessels of the settlement along the Strymonian Gulf of Macedonia.


Cooking according to varying recipes 

In the early phase of the early Iron Age cooking vessels were used that are known from the Balkan as well as from the southern Aegean. The inhabitants of the pre- and possibly also early colonial settlement cooked according to the recipes from the Balkans as well as those from the Aegean as is indicated by several very characteristic vessel types, such as the pyraunoi originating from the north and the more well-known tripod frying pans from the Aegean. This variability in cooking vessels has only been established on very few sites in the northern Aegean and is indicative of a cultural complexity of the settlement predating its colonization.

Aegean drinking customs

A very specific hybrid pottery ware (K-22) of drinking vessels was used in Argilos already before the arrival of the first Greeks on the Cyclades. This Geometric pottery was produced with a hybrid technology and its types originated partially from the Aegean and partially from the Balkan. The use of this pottery in Argilos signals the settlement’s inclusion in a complex cultural network that extended into the northern Aegean and central Balkans. The drinking vessels of this ware constitute a homogeneous ceramic group of central Aegean inspiration and as a result their use is evidence for the adaptation of new drinking customs in northern Greece.

From the Thracian settlement to a Greek colony

The aim of the project is the analytical investigation of the Geometric and early Archaic pottery (various handmade, K-22, and G2-3 wares) from a recently excavated colony in the northern Aegean within the framework of the final publication of the current excavation results. Zisis Bonias (Greek ministry of Culture) and Jacques Perreault (University of Montreal) are in charge of the field work and coordination of the publication project of Argilos. The study of the material from the period before and shortly after the Greek colonization will elucidate the cultural diversity of a socially mixed community and clarify the change of local cultural identities in terms of the colonization process.