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Document Details :
Title: Greek-Levantine Cultural Exchange in Orientalising and Archaic Pottery Shapes
Author(s): FLETCHER, Richard N.
Journal: Ancient West & East
Volume: 10 Date: 2011
This paper offers several observations on the phenomenon of Levantine influence on Greek pottery shapes of the Orientalising and Archaic periods. The evidence suggests that Levantine influence upon Greek pottery is of greater importance than is currently thought. The article focuses upon pottery shape as an indicator of foreign influence, but also demonstrates that the cultural exchange seen in the Mediterranean before the Classical period was a complex phenomenon in which there was a flow of ideas, practices and influences involving the Aegean, the various cultures of the Levant, Anatolia and Egypt. The blending of Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures that we call Hellenism after Alexander had, in fact, been going on in a limited manner for centuries. This can be demonstrated in terms of pottery shapes: the so-called eclectic nature of Phoenician material culture can be seen all over the eastern Mediterranean from Syria to Egypt and to some extent in Greek pottery as well. In the Aegean, Eastern sources are clear for the discoid lip of Corinthian perfume vessels, the sack-shaped olpe and alabastron, and for the various types of Archaic lekythoi and East Greek vessels.