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The Dipylon Mistress: Social and Economic Complexity, the Gendering of Craft Production, and Early Greek Ceramic Material Culture

The Dipylon Mistress: Social and Economic Complexity, the Gendering of Craft Production, and Early Greek Ceramic Material Culture

This article considers the role of changing contexts of production in the evolution of ceramic material culture in early Greece. Rather than focusing on the aesthetics of ceramics or reading political and social change from patterns in ceramic style and consumption, we consider Early Iron Age (EIA) ceramic style in its context of production. Isolating the idiosyncratic aspects of EIA material culture and evaluating them in dialogue with the ethnographic record, we argue that dynamics of change in EIA ceramic repertoires may be best explained as the result of evolving contexts of production after the Bronze Age collapse that resulted in women having an increased and prominent role in potting and painting vessels. Likewise, stylistic changes occurring in the late eighth and seventh centuries BCE may be related to a transition back to a more complex economic structure in which ceramic style was driven by profit-seeking male potters.

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The Dipylon Mistress: Social and Economic Complexity, the Gendering of Craft Production, and Early Greek Ceramic Material Culture

By Sarah C. Murray, Irum Chorghay, and Jennifer MacPherson

American Journal of Archaeology Vol. 124, No. 2 (April 2020), p. 215–244

DOI: 10.3764/aja.124.2.0215

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