Vicky Vlachou (École française d’Athènes), "Textiles and Cooking Pots: Exploring small-scale Craft Productions within the Archaic and Classical Polis of Xobourgo on Tenos (Cyclades)"
A significant part of the ancient economy and the sustainability of the archaic and classical oikos encompasses the preparation and use of clothes and textiles, as well as the use of cooking pots in the every-day preparation and consumption of food and drink. Spindle whorls and loom-weights, cooking pots and coarse ware represent vast categories of craft production, largely discussed and associated with household activities, thus intertwined with the life and every day activity of women. On the other hand, the finding of the same categories of material culture in non-domestic contexts has been only marginally treated, falling behind other classes of offerings and dedications of higher art and artistic value.
Our study puts forward a slightly different approach; instead of treating each one of these categories of material evidence sequentially, we treat the material together in relation to the private and public spaces of a single polis that of Xobourgo on Tenos. Two areas of the late archaic and classical city shall be considered: the sanctuary of Demeter (Thesmophorion), located outside the city’s wall and the necropolis of the same period. How did cooking pots serve the funerary rituals and what was the function and use of loom-weights and spindle whorls in the sanctuary and cemetery contexts? An issue to be considered is the local production of most terracotta weights, whorls and kitchen pots of the classical period, as part of the much longer potting tradition of the island.