Birmingham Museums for Kids

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Ancient Greece - Investigate real Greek artefacts

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Let's find out about some real Greek artefacts. You can see lots more objects on display at Birmigham Museum and Art Gallery.

Red Figure Pottery Red Figure Pottery
The Greeks made lots of beautiful vases and pots to store things like olive oil, wine and water. These were painted with a mixture of water and clay called ‘slip’. The pots were then fired in a ‘kiln’ to make the slip change colour. The pictures on the vases and pots give us a clue to what life might have been like 2000 years ago in Ancient Greece.
A Pottery Head A Pottery Head
Heads like this have been found at ancient temple sites, suggesting that they were left as gifts for the gods. They have also been found in tombs, sat on top of jars containing cremated human bones.
The backs of the heads were left plain, but the faces were made in moulds. The faces may have been intended as portraits of real people.

An Oil Lamp

An Oil Lamp
The Ancient Greeks did not have electricity, so they burned olive oil in pottery lamps to light their houses, workshops and temples.
This lamp would have been made on a potter's wheel, with a hole cut through the side and a nozzle stuck on. You can see that the clay has gone black where the wick burned.

A Siver Coin A Siver Coin
This coin had the value of around 10 drachmai and was made between 405 - 380BC. On the front is probably the head of the nymph Artemis-Arethusa. There are dolphins around the edge.
On the rear is a four-horse chariot. The chorit driver is crowned with a wreath by NIKE, which means 'victory.' Below, armour and weapons can be seen.


Printable Greek activities | The Greek timeline


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