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Ialissos, Overall a good family destination

Written by Bryan
We stayed in Ialissos. If I were on my honeymoon or single, I would choose another island (or perhaps I would choose another part of Rhodes), but for a family with small children, or a wind/kite surfer, or people who don't want to be in a total party spot, Ialissos works just fine.
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9. The History of Greek Pottery

THE STONE AGE
The Ancient Art of Greek Pottery is a creation that took place since the Stone Age (c.7,000-3,000 BCE). Ancient Greeks made pottery for everyday use, not for display purposes although some trophies were an exception. These early forms were all handmade and undecorated, which in time they gradually introduced various decorative effects using black and red pigments to create what is now called Rainbow ware.


EARLY BRONZE AGE
Around 2100 BC the Indo-European Greeks arrived and they brought with them a new kind of pottery known as Minyan Ware. It is quite boring to look at because it is just plain gray all over (though it is a rather attractive gray, and well-made in nice shapes). But the big difference from the Stone Age pottery is that this Minyan Ware is made on a potter's wheel. Which allowed the pots to be made faster, easier and cheaper.


LATE BRONZE AGE
In the Late Bronze Age, or the Mycenean period around 1500 BC the Greeks began to make pottery with designs on it. Again (as in the Dimini period) the background is usually cream-colored and the design is painted on in black and red. Sometimes the designs are just geometric patterns. Other times they show a painting of a man fighting, or people driving a chariot, or imaginary wild animals borrowed from the art of Western Asia. At the end of the Mycenean period, after the Greeks had conquered Crete, Mycenean potters began to imitate Minoan (Cretan) pottery styles. But where the Minoans liked to paint wildly flowing sea creatures, fish, seaweed, and octopuses, the Mycenean imitations of these are much stiffer and more symmetrical (and don't look so much like octopuses or seaweed!).


DARK AGE
With the collapse of Mycenaean civilization around 1200 BC Mycenean pottery manufacturing also went downhill. People had other things to worry about than making fancy dishes. But the Dark Age didn't last forever. Later on, about 1000 or 900 BC, people began to make better pots again.


GEOMETRIC AGE
Gradually the Sub-Mycenean pottery of the Greek Dark Ages developed into a new style called the Geometric. As times improved in Greece in the Archaic Period, around 900 BC people began to want better dishes again too, and potters began to pay more attention to what they made. Instead of just the one wavy line of the Sub-Mycenean style, now lots and lots of lines and patterns began to crowd over every inch of the pots. Two cities in particular developed special ways of decorating pots. These were Corinth and Athens.


BLACK FIGURE AGE
In Athens, in the Archaic period, potters continued to make the clay pots with mythological scenes on them. Gradually the scenes grew and took over more of the pot, and the geometric decoration took up less and less. At the same time, a new painting technique developed. Instead of painting figures of people in outline, the Athenian potters began to paint people in silhouette: this is called black-figure, because the people are all black.


RED FIGURE AGE
Around 530 BC, Athenian potters were more and more frustrated by the black-figure way of vase-painting. They wanted to paint figures that overlapped, for instance, which was very difficult to do in black figure without the whole thing looking like just a big black blob. And they wanted to be able to show the muscles better too.
So somebody had an idea: instead of painting the people black, why not paint the background black and leave the people red? This is harder because you have to carefully paint all around the people in the picture, but it makes the people look much more real. The slip and the firing are exactly the same as in black figure. Some of the greatest vases are in red figure.
But by around 450 BC, just eighty years after the invention of red-figure painting, hardly any vases were being produced. We don't really know why this happened. Maybe it just went out of style or the Athenians became so rich that they all used metal (bronze or silver) dishes instead of pottery.


On the island of Rhodes there are several ceramic pottery factories selling a large range of products. Click here.



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