Hasaki, E. 2021. Potters at Work at Ancient Corinth. Industry, Religion, and the Penteskouphia Pinakes. Princeton, N.J.


Hasaki, E. 2016. web. WebAtlas of Ancient Greek Kilns

Hasaki, E. J. Benton, J. Kendall, and A. May 2006. ‘All Fired Up’ the AIA Tucson Kiln Project. AIA Annual Meeting (Montreal)

Abstract:  In 2004, as the first recipient of the AIA Local Society Incentive Grant, the AIA Tucson chapter set out to build a kiln in the ancient Greek form and use it for both educational purposes and community outreach.  This project shifted the traditional focus of experimental archaeology from the recreation of ancient Greek pottery shapes and surface decoration to the actual construction of a kiln and the process of firing pottery. 

This poster charts the design, execution, materials, time and manpower investment during the construction and firing of the replica kiln. The circular shape of the kiln and its small diameter replicate the most commonly excavated ancient Greek kilns. The evidence used to reconstruct the replica kiln comes from two primary sources: excavated kilns in ancient Greece and the depictions of kilns in use on the Archaic Corinthian plaques from Penteskouphia.  Although the materials, due to practical reasons and constraints of time had to be modern, the design of the kiln (two-chambered, vertical, and updraft type) and the mechanics of its airflow and pyrotechnology function in the same way as the ancient Greek kilns. 

In the spring of 2005, the kiln was completed and cured and in subsequent firings we will fire the pottery of local potters and high school students. Kiln capacity, progress of temperature and consumption of fuel will be closely monitored and recorded.  The construction of different parts of the kiln, especially the intermediate perforated floor, has elucidated a number of problems that kiln constructors must have faced.  These obstacles and the data that has been compiled will be important tools for the archaeological world when addressing issues of ceramic production and technical knowledge.


Eleni Hasaki, University of Arizona and Alan R. May AIA Tucson Society, 2007. A Replica of a Greek Kiln in Tucson, AZ: Research and Outreach. Paper in Colloquium Experimenting with Fire: Experimental Archaeology in Greek and Cypriot Ceramics, AIA Annual Meeting (San Diego).

Abstract: Over 100 volunteers, 1500 bricks, and 200 hours were necessary to plan and construct a replica of a Greek kiln in a Tucson high-school n in 2004-2005. A former study of over 400 kilns in ancient Greece from the Prehistoric to the Byzantine times suggested that the most common shape of a kiln was that of a two-chambered, updraft, circular plan with a central support for the internal perforated floor. Its internal diameter (39 inches) and its capacity (57 cubic is representative of the scale of ceramic production in family-run workshops in ancient Greece. The most challenging part was the internal perforated floor, a massive structure weighing 514 pounds. In a series of firings temperatures up to 920ºC have been achieved over a 8-hour firing consuming more than 2 to 3 cubic feet of fuel in each firing.

The construction of this kiln was an integral part of the first Local Society Incentive Grant awarded to the Tucson Society in 2004. The students attended demonstrations on the potter’s wheel given by ceramic artists and lectures on the production of Greek vases. Inspired by Greek myths and patterns they produced a variety of plaques and masks which were fired in the kiln along with works of local, national, and international artists. A videotaping of the loading and firing of a full kiln will soon be undertaken.

On-going research on ancient and traditional kilns in Greece and the enthusiastic response of the wider community both locally and abroad to the AIA’s outreach have convinced us that this experiment in ancient technology and modern interaction.


AIA Annual Meeting Colloquium (San Diego 2007): Experimenting with Fire: Experimental Archaeology in Greek and Cypriot Ceramics

Discussant: Gloria London (AIA Seattle Society)

(From Left to Right: Phil Sapirstein, Robin Rhodes, Eleni Hasaki, Gloria London, John Wissinger, Lisa Kahn)

Abstract: This colloquium brings together four scholars who have recently attempted to recreate and understand some of the basic processes of ancient ceramic technology, such as the production of Archaic Corinthian roof tiles and pottery firing in the Bronze Age through Classical periods. Experimental approaches contribute to the understanding of ancient production techniques and increase our appreciation of the processes in which ancient people were engaged rather than focusing exclusively on the final product. In the end, both the process and the final product are better understood.

This is the first time that these experimental projects are organized in one session. Replication projects, such as Roman kilns and baths enjoyed greater popularity in the 1970s-1990s, particularly projects focused on Great Britain, France, Turkey, and Egypt. In the Greek world, pioneering projects included Karen Vitelli’s study of Neolithic pottery, and work on Corinthian tiles by Gebhard and Rostoker. Albeit somewhat isolated, they have laid the foundation for the explosion of experimental projects in the last decade, some presented in this colloquium. As a forum to reflect both on the past and the future, we are creating a sound theoretical and methodological framework for such projects.

The presentations describe construction processes of three replicas of pottery kilns and one of roof tiles.  Each project elucidates aspects of the organization of production, from the procurement and manipulation of raw materials, to the manpower required. We have increased our pyrotechnical knowledge and have a far better understanding of the output potential of ancient Greek kilns.

Three of the projects took place in the U.S.A. and involved a cross-section of the interested population, reaching out beyond academia. A fourth project involved an international team on Cyprus. The projects have required and benefited tremendously from a vigorous collaboration between archaeologists and ceramic-related professionals, as evidenced in the background of the co-presenters. Through this diversity of crews, the wide-ranging effects of these projects are easily detectable both in their local AIA societies, the larger communities (USA, Cyprus), and in the academic world (from scholars of Greek pottery to ancient technology and archaeometry). Such projects can ultimately attract wider volunteer participation, both nationally and internationally, one of AIA’s main goals.


Eleni Hasaki (University of Arizona) and Alan May (AIA Tucson Society): A Replica of a Greek Kiln in Tucson, AZ: Research and Outreach  (Abstract)

Lisa Kahn (University of South Florida St. Petersburg) and John Wissinger (Taylor Art Studio): The Reconstruction and Firing of a Greek Kiln (Abstract)

Robin Rhodes (University of Notre Dame) and B. Lambert (University of Notre Dame): The Rooftiles from the Seventh Century Temple on Temple Hill at Corinth (Abstract)

Polly Tessler (Columbia University): Experimental Archaeology and Bi-Communal Outreach on Cyprus (Abstract)