In order to ensure absolutely faithful reproductions, we follow the method set out below:

1. Data Sources

a. Dr Kylikoglou provides all the data from the microscopic, petrographic and chemical analyses carried out in collaboration with Dr Day. b. V. Politakis examines the archaeological finds: – At the BSA (British School at Athens) facilities at Knossos – In Heraklion Archaeological Museum – At the INSTAP (Institute for Aegean Prehistory) Study Center for East Crete

 

2. Materials Used

Dr Kylikoglou indicates the composition of the raw materials found in ancient pottery, together with possible quarrying sites. V. Politakis locates natural materials with the characteristics determined by the analyses, searching for natural sources in Crete and the Cyclades. Dr Fassoulas indicates sites in Crete where the required rocks and minerals have been found and carries out a visual identification of the materials collected.

Modern chemicals are not used in any case

3. Experimental Process

V. Politakis collects and selects natural clays and other raw materials, further refining them. Tests are carried out to ensure the correct combination of the materials and their appropriate behaviour at every stage of reproduction. The Vasilike ware reproductions are made without a wheel, while the Kamares-style pottery is thrown on the model of Minoan potter’s wheel made by V. Politakis, based on archaeological data provided by Dr Doniert Evely. The tools used are made of materials appropriate to the respective periods.

For those periods where no kilns are yet known, reproductions of pottery are fired in a pit. This mostly concerns earlier periods.

On 13/3/2010, in an experimental firing in a pit, it was noted that all the necessary firing atmospheres can be reproduced and all the colour hues observed on the corresponding ancient pottery rendered, while the temperature can easily be raised to 1000oC

For later periods, the Minoan-type kiln made by V. Politakis in the village of Kyparissi is used. It is based on a drawing by Prof Philip Betancourt.

4. Final control of results

The final form of the pottery produced is checked by the archaeologist responsible. Dr Kylikoglou certifies the authenticity of the result following microscopic and chemical analysis at Demokritos.

 

Primary results

The project is currently at the stage of investigating the natural raw materials and their behaviour under different firing conditions.

The first results bear out V. Politakis’ theory on the production method used to make Vasilike ware. The experimental samples subjected to microscopic analysis by Dr Kylikoglou were absolutely compatible with the ancient artefacts. 

A. Vasilike Ware

Vassilis Politakis, potter specialising in ancient techniques Dr Vassilis Kylikoglou, chemist, Materials Institute, NCSR Demokritos Dr Peter Day, archaeologist, University of Sheffield Dr Charalambos Fassoulas, Head of Mineralogy-Geology Department, Natural History Museum, University of Crete

B. Polychrome Kamares Ware

Dr Peter Day, archaeologist, University of Sheffield
Dr Vassilis Kylikoglou, Vassilis Politakis, Dr Charalambos Fassoulas