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Colloquium: Athenian Vase Painting revisited: Black and Red Figure Techniques Through Analysis and Full-Scale Reproduction

Event Details:

  • Date:       Thursday 28 February 2019
  • Time:      Starts: 16:00
  • Venue:    The Cyprus Institute – Guy Ourisson Building, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus
  • Speaker: Dr. Eleni Aloupi, Thetis Authentics LTD
The colloquium will be in English and the event is open to the public.


The lecture will focus on the development of the vase painting craft during the archaic and classical periods in ancient Athens and the technological parameters that affected the quality of the end products. These include details of firing techniques, sourcing and processing of raw materials as well as the tools, equipment and specialized skill sets used. The data to be presented are based on a comparison of the technological features of selected ancient artifacts (i.e. black and red figure sherds and vases from important Museum Collections) and the physicochemical analysis of their black glaze surface decoration with the practices developed at the THETIS pottery production workshop in Athens over the last two decades.

Our experience in coping with everyday failures of production gave us an insight on tricks of the trade of the Athenian artisans (i.e. coral red, the relief line, restoration through refirings, overpainting etc). The contribution of contemporary production of museum quality and technologically authentic vases as a countermeasure to mitigate illegal practices will also be discussed.

About the Speaker

Eleni Aloupi-Siotis, holds a PhD in Analytical Chemistry based on research on archaeological ceramics at the Inst. of Materials Science (NCSR Demokritos, Athens/ Univ. of Ioannina, 1993). Since then she has worked as Research Associate at the Laboratory of Archaeometry (NCSR Demokritos, 1992-93) and the CRIAA (Univ. Bordeaux, 1994);  she has collaborated with research laboratories in Greece and abroad (AGLAE at the Louvre Museum 1994, Inst. οf Theoretical and Physical Chemistry NHRF Athens 2003-2006, BLIX_ Berlin Laboratory for Innovative X-ray applications 2009-2015). She participated, as elected member, in the Board of the Hellenic Society for Archeometry (1993- 2006 and 2009) and for the period 2001-2005 she was Adjunct Professor at the Archaeology Department (Univ. of Thessaly) teaching Archaeometry and Materials Characterisation.

For the period 1997-2013 she worked as Forensic Expert appointed to the Court of Appeals (Ministry of Justice). She has initiated, co-ordinates and participates in research programmes on ancient ceramic technology, including scientific analysis of ancient techniques and artefacts in conjunction with laboratory reproduction which are funded by non-profit organisations, the Greek Ministry of Development and the EU. In 1999 she created Thetis Authentics Ltd (Athens, Greece), offering consulting in matters of authenticity and provenance of archaeological artefacts and works of art. Thetis is also specialising in technologically authentic reproduction of ceramics based on ancient manufacturing techniques and materials. In 2012 she created the new brand ATTIC BLACK and THE ATTIC BLACK SHOP, the retail outlet for the ceramic products of THETIS Workshop. It is named after the black glaze of classical Attic pottery (6th-5th century BC) that forms the basis of the expertise of the Workshop.

Over the years and through her involvement in archaeological issues she has developed an interest in matters of illicit trade of antiquities and the way scientific community can react to such criminal activities by adopting modern educational tools addressed to different age and social groups.


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Additional Info

  • Date: Thursday 28 February 2019
  • Time: Starts: 16:00
  • Speaker: Dr. Eleni Aloupi
  • Speaker Position: Thetis Authentics LTD

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