Village Potters of the Troodos Mountains: Ceramic Production in Agios Demetrios, Cyprus 1891-2002


Series: Monographs 84
ISBN: 978-1-950446-50-6
Publication Date: May 2024
Price: $96.00

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Gloria London

This volume is a study of four generations of female potters working in a remote Cypriot mountain village. Their coil-built jars, jugs, cookware, beehives, ovens, and decorative pots are the subject of Gloria London’s ethnoarchaeological research, including her quantitative data on pot dimensions, production rates, firing times, and rate of loss. The material evidence of potting practice is informed by 40 years of ongoing observation and conversations with the potters and their families. The history of production encapsulates the rich diversity of responses to economic and social challenges of individual potters, their extended families, and social networks within and between the mountain villages of the recent past. This addition to the archaeology of rural landscapes and preservation of the intangible cultural heritage of the Troodos will serve archaeologists worldwide who are concerned with craft specialization and standardization, learning frameworks, markings on pots, identifying production locations, and modelling the potential microhistories of potters that can be postulated from settlement evidence. 

Table of Contents

Part I 

Traditional Village Potters 

Chapter 1 Village Red Wares 

Chapter 2 Pottery Handmade in Cyprus 

Chapter 3 Agios Demetrios: A Century of Female Potters 

Chapter 4 Ceramic Repertoire 

Chapter 5 Red and White Clays 

Chapter 6 Manufacture 

Chapter 7 Workspaces and Tools 

Chapter 8 Kiln Firings 

Chapter 9 Surface Treatments on Household Pottery 

Chapter 10 Sacred Rituals and Funerary Uses of Pottery 

Part II 

Implications for Ancient Pottery Industries 

Chapter 11 Craft Specialists as a Template for Ancient Counterparts 

Chapter 12 Differences in Two Communities of Practice 

Chapter 13 Change versus Continuity over One Hundred Years 

Chapter 14 The Learning Framework and Intergenerational and Interfamilial Variations 

Chapter 15 Where to Find Reused Pots and Sherds 

Chapter 16 Trade and the Silent Language of Incised Marks 

Chapter 17 How and Where to Find Production Locations 

Chapter 18 Conclusions 

Appendix A: Genealogies of Forty-Six Potters in Agios Demetrios 

Appendix B: Manufacture Times for Ovens, Jars, Jugs, Incense Burners, and Cookware 

Appendix C: Pottery in Kitchens and Courtyards at Agios Demetrios 

Appendix D: Wheel-thrown Pottery from Kofinou Village 

Appendix E: Wine Fermentation Jars at Agios Demetrios 

Appendix F: Donations to the Cyprus Museum in 1986 

Appendix G: Agios Demetrios Heritage Collection Inventory 

Glossary of Pottery Terms