What Were Ancient Greece Pots Used For?

In ancient Greece, pottery played a significant role in daily life. These beautifully crafted vessels served a variety of purposes and were essential to the functioning of society. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of ancient Greek pottery and explore their diverse uses.

Storage Containers

Ancient Greek pots were primarily used as storage containers for a wide range of goods. These pots, known as amphorae, were typically tall and narrow, making them ideal for storing liquids such as wine, olive oil, and water. Their elongated shape allowed for easy handling and transportation.

Cooking and Food Preparation

Ancient Greeks used pottery for cooking and food preparation purposes. Cooking pots, also known as cooking kraters or stew pots, were used to prepare meals over an open fire. These pots had handles on either side to facilitate movement while cooking.

Another type of pottery used in food preparation was the mortar and pestle. This was a common tool used to grind spices, herbs, and grains into a fine powder or paste. The mortar was a deep bowl-shaped vessel made from clay, while the pestle was a small handheld instrument used for grinding.

Serving and Drinking

Pottery also played an important role in serving and drinking during ancient Greek times. Kylikes, which were shallow drinking cups with handles on either side, were commonly used for consuming wine during symposia (drinking parties).

Additionally, there were vessels specifically designed for mixing wine with water before consumption. These included oinochoai (wine jugs) with long spouts for easy pouring and kraters (mixing bowls) with wide mouths to allow stirring.

Funerary Practices

Ancient Greek pottery also had significance in funerary practices. Funerary urns, known as loutrophoroi, were used to store the ashes of the deceased. These urns were often decorated with intricate designs and were placed in tombs or graves as a way to honor and remember the departed.

Decorative and Artistic Purposes

Ancient Greek pottery was not only functional but also served as a canvas for artistic expression. Vases, such as amphorae and kylikes, were adorned with intricate paintings depicting scenes from mythology, daily life, and historical events. These decorative vessels were highly valued and were often used as prestigious gifts or offerings.


Ancient Greek pottery had a multifaceted role in society. From storage containers to cooking utensils, serving vessels to funerary urns, these beautifully crafted pots played an integral part in various aspects of ancient Greek life. The combination of functionality and artistic expression made them truly remarkable artifacts that continue to captivate us today.