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IV. Ceramic

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Chapter Summary

The ubiquitous Villanovan biconical impasto cinerary urn is a good indicator of outside influences. The urn shape itself is derived from the Early Iron Age Urnfield cineraria which are found throughout much of Europe. Many of the Villanovan urns are decorated with incised geometric motifs as in Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) urn 75.121. Greek influence on Villanovan ceramics grew during the later 8th century BCE as a result of an increase in Greek immigration to Italy. Greek potters introduced techniques for improving the quality of ceramic vessels such as the use of purified clay, the fast potter's wheel, and painted decoration. Greek culture also served as an intermediary for the introduction of Near Eastern banqueting and wine drinking ceremonies which required the use of new vessel shapes. Late Villanovan pottery was modified in accordance with these innovations although many traditional vessel forms and decorative motifs still remained popular.

Keywords: cinerary urn; Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) urn; Early Iron Age; Europe; Greek potters; Villanovan ceramics



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