Pottery was an integral part of ancient Greek society, and it was used for a variety of purposes. From storing food to drinking wine, pottery served many functions in daily life. But have you ever wondered how much pottery cost in ancient Greece?
Well, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. Pottery prices varied depending on several factors, including the time period, the region of production, and the type of vessel.
During the 8th century BCE, when pottery production was first established in Greece, prices were relatively low. Most pottery was handmade and created for local use only. As production increased and trade networks expanded, prices began to rise.
By the 5th century BCE, Athens had become a major center for pottery production and exported its wares throughout the Mediterranean world. At this time, a typical Athenian red-figure vase could cost anywhere from one to two drachmas (the currency of ancient Greece). This may not sound like much but keep in mind that one drachma was roughly equivalent to a day’s wages for a skilled worker.
However, not all pottery was created equal. The most expensive vessels were those decorated by famous artists or with intricate designs. These pieces could fetch up to 10 or even 100 times more than a standard vessel.
In addition to artistic value, another factor that influenced pottery prices was its function. For example, large storage jars called pithoi were among the most expensive vessels due to their size and durability. On the other hand, small cups and bowls were relatively cheap.
Pottery prices also varied by region. Pottery from Corinth tended to be more expensive than Athenian pottery due to its high quality and unique designs.
Overall though, pottery remained an affordable commodity for most Greeks throughout history. It allowed them to store food and drink while also providing a canvas for artistic expression.
In conclusion, while there is no definitive answer to how much pottery cost in ancient Greece, we can conclude that prices varied depending on several factors. From the time period to the region of production and the type of vessel, all played a role in determining the final price. Regardless of these variables, however, pottery remained an important and accessible part of daily life for ancient Greeks.