In the eighth century B.C., Greek settlers left
their homeland behind and established a string
of colonies along the Adriatic coast of Southern
Italy. After the rise of Rome centuries later, this
region would become known by the Latin term
Magna Graecia, literally “Greater Greece,” due to
the dense concentration of Greek settlements.
The Greeks flourished here alongside the native
populations, amassing great wealth through
trade and importing their Hellenic culture
throughout the area. They in turn were
influenced by their neighbors, so that Magna
Graecian pottery developed into a unique style
that reflected both Greek and native Italian
traditions. The Daunians were one such native
culture that lived alongside the Greek colonies.
Daunian pottery can be characterized by its
rounded forms, geometric, linear designs, and
eathern tones. The Greeks adopted some of the
Daunian forms for themselves, revealing the
cultural interplay that so distinguishes the art of
Magna Graecia, both in respects to the Greeks as
well as the native peoples such as the Daunians.
Of a spherical body with flaring mouth and two
handles that emerge from the rim and connect to
the middle of the body, this vessel is decorated
in painted lines characteristic of the Daunian
style. The sides of the handles are enhanced by
two thick black lines, while a series of horizontal
lines of varying thickness adorn the body.
Similar in form to an amphora or pelike, we can
extrapolate that this vessel would have served a
similar function as storage for grain, wine, or
other perishable comestibles.