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Ancient Mediterranean Studies


In the past fifty years scholars have depended on R.M. Cook’s excellent classification and study of Fikellura pottery whenever dealing with examples of this East Greek ware in their work.1 Cook made additions and corrections to his original classification when he published the collection of Fikellura vases from the British Museum in the Corpus Vasorum series.2 For the most part this study and classification of the Fikellura remains an indispensable tool for our understanding of the style. There is little scope at present for improving Cook’s organization of the many Fikellura vases decorated with floral and linear ornament. Likeweise there are a fair number of vases with simple figural decoration, mostly animals and birds, which are best left in the groups to which Cook assigned them. Many of tehse, like the vases with floral and linear decoration, were produced quickly and often carelessly, and show little stylistic individuality. However, Fikellura vases with more careful and complex decoration, often involving scenes with human figures, can now be profitably re-examined in light of the more recnet finds of Fikellura from the Black Sea area and the Ionian coast, as well as occasional pieces from Cyprus, Cyrene, and other Greek areas. These pieces help fill in gaps in our understanding of the development of Fikellura, bring certain vases together which formerly had been kept in separate groups, and add another named Fikellura vase painter to the limited number which have so far been identified.


This article was originally published in Annual of the British School at Athens, 81: 251-295. © 1986 The Council, British School at Athens