The Greeks made functional and practical urns for everyday use – storing food, drink, and other commodities, and more elaborately decorated urns – such as gifts for their gods or for funeral use such as holding crematorium ashes.
The Greeks used an iron rich red clay, Attic and a pale buff clay, Corinth. They painted designs on the urns with a black ceramic glaze paint made from black iron oxide, potash and soda – scenes inspired by stories, myths, legends and everyday life; African motifs such as plants and flowers; and geometric designs from Asia Minor and Egyptian cultures. They used a black ceramic glaze paint made from black iron oxide, potash and soda to paint their designs. Ancient Greek Urns some 3,000 years old, help us understand the past – they provide evidence of cultural beliefs, values and how the Greeks.