Terracotta Pottery Urns: A reminder of the ancient Greeks

Ancient ruins, medieval fortresses, and age-old churches are prominent reminders of Greece’s rich history. But there are also subtle reminders of past civilizations in ordinary household items. Once such item is the terracotta pottery urn used by ancient Greeks for centuries to store and transport food, olives, olive oil, wine, and tools. In modern times these urns are used mainly as outdoor ornaments in gardens, on patios, and at entrances to churches, businesses, and homes.

Over the years traveling to Greece, I was unwittingly drawn to photographing these earthenware vessels. The shapes, textures, colors, and artistic placement of the urns caught my attention. I noticed them on doorsteps in the fortress of Monemvasia, at entrances to tavernas in Old Town Athens, on patios of seaside tavernas in Neapolis, and at many other places in Greece.

Please enjoy a few photos of these beautiful reminders of how ancient Greeks once stored their precious olives, olive oil, and wine. When traveling in Greece take notice of these interesting pottery urns when they appear along your path. It’s fun to discover a glimpse of Greek history hidden in plain sight.

Greek Pottery Collage 2

2 thoughts on “Terracotta Pottery Urns: A reminder of the ancient Greeks

    1. Thank you, Debi.
      I’m just learning the names of the pots, so thank you sharing them. I appreciated the beauty of the pots and was compelled to take photos. Now, it’s been interesting to learn how they were used in the past. I can’t imagine how much these pots weighed when filled with oil, olives, or wine. Life wasn’t easy back then, but they had the good things in life – the sun, the sea, and plenty of good food and wine.

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