Pottery was important to the ancient Greeks for storage. Everything from wheat to wine was stored in pottery. Pottery was made by shaping clay on a wheel, decorating the pot, and then heating the clay in a kiln. In early Greece, (1000 to 700 B.C.), pots were decorated with geometric designs. The time period from about 700 to 550 B.C. was known as the Oriental period and had influences from the Egyptian culture. From 550 to 300 B.C., the dominant pottery style was Athenian. It showed Greek gods and goddesses as well as scenes from everyday life.
The clay around Athens had high iron content, causing it to turn red when fired. The Athenians learned that by painting the pots, they could make beautiful black and red pottery. Athenian pottery became very popular in Greece and across the Mediterranean region.
In most cities, an area known as a keramikos was where potters located their shops. The cost of items was from one to two drachmas. Vases cost between two and three drachmas. Vases which were ornately decorated, and depending on the design, brought in even more money.
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