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Identification recovery and improvement of ancient Mediterranean ceramic manufacturing technologies for the reproduction of ceramic artefacts of archaeological value

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Ceramic art - not just for tourists

The CERAMED project focused on archaeology, art and conservation. It took a group of traditional potters, who were used to producing art for the tourist market, and trained them so that they could produce high quality, technologically authentic reproductions of ceramic art.

Industrial Technologies

A walk down any of the main tourist streets in Athens involves browsing at the little shops and stalls adorned with ceramic sculptures, lamps and bowls, recreated for tourists in the style of those artefacts from everyday life of classical Athens. The CERAMED project, an EU led initiative, gave support to the improvement of ancient Mediterranean ceramic artefacts. Consortium partners collaborated with traditional potters, vase painters and other artists to establish a pool of skilled people who reproduced various types of unglazed ceramic ware. The aim was to lead their skills away from the tourist scene and appropriate them to the demands of reproducing a high quality object for the museum market. This involved the artists taking part in various seminars which were tailored to the examination and analysis of archaeological artefacts. The Greek Ministry of Culture, the Benaki Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art and the Getty Museum all played their part in this collaborative effort. The result included the creation of new objects inspired by ancient Athenians' daily life. All ceramic products are hand made and decorated with clay slips. These acquired their colour during the firing process in contrast to the usual tourist market products decorated after firing with 'cold' acrylic paints. The artefacts were destined for museum shops, special exhibitions, private collections and educational projects.

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