Wining, Dining, and Dying in Ancient Greece

The collection of ancient Greek vases and figurines at the University of Colorado include objects associated with various aspects of ancient Greek life from the Bronze Age through the Hellenistic period. A series of student-created essays accompany the exhibit and provide information on various aspects of ancient Greek life.

Why Study Greek Vases?

Studying vases and other material culture is wonderful way to learn about ancient cultures and societies. Potsherds survive by the thousands and afford archaeologists, art historians, and social historians unparalleled insights into the lives of the people who made, used, and broke them. The shape of a vase can suggest its use; its decoration can tell us about the tastes and lives of the people who used it. The relative quantities of sherds or the findspots of vases can let us think about the ways their users lived, the kinds of food the people ate and liquids they drank, how they stored things (and what they stored), or even the kinds of things they considered important. Some vessels are spectacularly beautiful but even the most utilitarian of pots was a thing touched and used by people in their day-to-day existence.

Online Greek Vase Exhibit