Protocorinthian and Corinthian pottery

Large quantities of Protocorinthian pottery have not been found in the settlements at the mouth and the east coast of the Thermaic Gulf. In general, its appearance during the 7th c. BC in the northern Aegean is limited, in contrast to its strong presence in the areas of western Greece, southern Italy and Sicily, where the interest of Corinth for the establishment of colonies and the distribution of its products was expressed from an early age.

Despite their small number in Karabournaki, of importance are the fragments of Protocorinthian vases, most of them belonging to kotylai and aryballoi, dating from the beginning of the 7th century, which attest the early presence of ​​Corinth in this area in combination with the earlier Corinthian transport amphorai of Type A. More numerous, however, are some fragments (aryballoi, oinochoai) of the Transitional phase with the typical feather and tongue motives and especially the vase-fragments representing the three phases of the main Corinthian production during the 6th c. BC (Early, Middle and Late). Among the most common shapes of the Corinthian repertoire are globular aryballoi, kotylai and kotyliskai, oinochoai, exaleiptra, pyxides, and phialai. Τhe column kraters found in Karabournaki and dating to the Μiddle Corinthian phase should be mentioned separately, because of their very good quality. Despite their fragmentary preservation we can recognize some figured scenes, such as a wedding procession with chariots and figures on foot, a banquet scene, combat scenes, comasts etc. Similar Corinthian column kraters have also been found in the Eretrian colony of Methone, in the opposite coast of the Thermaic Gulf, and some in the settlement of Ano Toumba in Thessaloniki.

Of particular interest are certain vases of “corinthian type”, which must also be present in other nearby settlements. These vessels (mainly oinochoai and kotylai, seldom amphorae) are very similar with respect to their shape, decoration and iconography to Corinthian prototypes, only that their orange or brownish-beige clay does not appear to be Corinthian. Maybe they were produced by itinerant potters from Corinth with local clay in the area around the Thermaic Gulf (and one might think of Potidaea, the Corinthian colony situated on the peninsula of Cassandra at Chalcidice).