Recreating a Greek Kiln
Sponsored by AIA Central and Western Michigan
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 7:00pm

178 Lake Ontario Hall, Grand Valley State University, Allendale Campus
Allendale, MI 49401
United States


Experimental archaeologist Lisa Kahn (the AIA's 2017/2018 Joseph Veach Noble Lecturer) worked with a professional potter to recreate ancient Greek wood-firing kilns. Professor Kahn notes:

"The reconstruction was based on the archaeological record, images painted on ceramics by ancient potters depicting their work, and a solid understanding of kiln design.  This kiln, unfortunately, did not come with instructions, so the details of its working had to be discovered through trial and error.  The three-stage firing process (oxidation, reduction, and oxidation) was clarified and turned out to be a process quite different from that suggested by earlier researchers. Firing in this authentic atmosphere had a few other surprises and it was necessary to make some changes to what was originally thought to be a working kiln design. Experiments with applied color and gold decoration fired in these authentic conditions revealed further information about the techniques of the ancient Greek potters. This lecture describes the kiln design and construction, the firing process, and several other contextual findings from this experimental archaeological project."

Join us for this exciting discussion!

Lisa Kahn (Associate Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts, George Mason University) has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Europe and the Middle East, presently involved in studies at Caesarea Maritima, Israel and Pompeii, Italy.  She holds her degrees from Boston University (Ph.D.), and the State Universities of New York at Albany and New Paltz. She specializes in the material culture of the Classical world, including ancient beer and brewing, ancient glass, Greek kiln technology, Roman architecture, and cultural heritage protection. 

Contact Information
Melissa Morison
616 3313231


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