Ware/Ware Family

Provincial Anatolian Marbled Wares

Turkey/Aegean, Turkey/Central, Turkey/Marmara, Turkey/Southwest

Archaic, Achaemenid Persian

6th-5th c. BCE

Ware/Ware Family: Provincial Anatolian Marbled Wares

Ware/Ware Family Name, Origin, and Date

Provincial Anatolian Marbled Wares

Turkey/Aegean, Turkey/Central, Turkey/Marmara, Turkey/Southwest

6th-5th c. BCE

Archaic, Achaemenid Persian

This name designates a ware family that includes many different producers of local versions of the famous Lydian Marbled Ware. Original Lydian Marbled Ware vessels are known throughout Asia Minor, Caria, Pisidia, Phrygia, and even as far east as Alişar and Kültepe, to the east and south of the Halys River respectively (Gürtekin 1998: 211-12, n. 555 for the distribution). Different technical and stylistic aspects of fabric, glaze and concepts of paintings on vessels found in this same broad region suggest that regional production centers also produced marbled pottery, and this observation has been affirmed by NAA analysis (Gürtekin-Demir 2007; Kerschner 2005:137).

The marbled technique was achieved by applying diluted paint with a multi-brushed tool  in an array of closely spaced vertical, horizontal, or diagonal wavy lines. The paint could be applied on a white slip or on a burnished clay surface (Greenewalt 1978a:13, note 7). This distinctive decorative idea was named “marbling” initially by the Körte brothers in their publication of their excavations of Gordion (1903:188-89; see Greenewalt 1966:126-27 for further bibliography and also for the various other names preferred for this design). The marbling may be the sole decorative motif on the vessel or may appear concurrently with other designs, such as linear and geometric motifs (e.g. chevrons, lozenges, broken meanders, double-axes, nets, square bars, concentric circles, dotted pendant triangle, rays and simple bands), floral decorations (e.g. stemmed buds and myrtle leaves) and animal figures (e.g. silhouette painted birds, deer, goats and also animal friezes in the so-called "early fikellura” style.

Marbling is applied to a wide range of shapes, and each site has its particular range of favorites. Lekythoi and skyphoi are very popular; other shapes that receive this technique are dishes, bowls, lydions, and phiales. Somewhat less common shapes decorated with this technique are dinoi, oinochoai, kraters, lids, and strainer-spouted jugs. Some shapes are known only from provincial centers, but are not attested at Sardis, such as Myrina-type amphoras, pyxides, and kantharoi.

Site Distribution

Alaşehir (Turkey/Aegean)

Daskyleion (Turkey/Marmara)

Gordion (Turkey/Central)

Vessels
Break Photos
Petrographic Samples
Bibliography
Discussion/Questions/Acknowledgements