§ 5.—Painted ivare of the Geometrie period: Introductory Matter.
Düring tlie geometric or pre-Mycenaean period tlic painted designs were
applied in three different methods. These are as follows :—
1. The design is painted in lustrous black upon a white slip suri'ace. The
black changes to red with over-firing, and a uniform colour, whether black
or red, is seidorn attained. As a rule the lustre is very fault. The slip
is fairly firm aud frequently takes on a yellowish tinge.
2. The design is painted in powdery matt black, of a uniform dead
blackncss, upon a white slip, colder and more chalky than that of 1.
3. The surface is covered with a lustrous coat of black or red (sometimes
too it shows signs of having been burnished) and the design is painted in
These three methods were coutemporary. The third is iargely a develop-
ment of the technique with which we have been dealing in section 3; in
place of first incising the pattern and then filling in the incised lines with
white matter, the potter takes Iiis brush and applies the white lines straight
away. As regards the other two techniques there is some reason for think-
ing that in the Cyclades the first is of earlier origin than the second. In
section 2 I mentioned some very early pottery of which some pieces were
glazed all over while others had patterns on them in glaze-paint. The
pottery from Chalandriane is also of this character. Further, it is a striking
fact that no pre-Mycenaean vases with matt black designs have yet been found
in Grete. On the other band the designs on the earliest painted pottery
from the mainland and Aegina are in matt black. It is a reasonable conjec-
ture therefore that this technique came to Melos from the mainland while
the glaze technique was indigenous in this region.2 According to Furt-
wiingler and Löschcke the vases with matt designs are earlier than those with
lustrous designs, and this division, with some allowances, holds good for the
later period. But, as we see, it is no criterion for the earlier period, and, as
regards the Melian pottery at any rate, the reverse of the above rule would
be nearer the truth.
The two methods were in use at the same time but they were not
used indiscriminately. Certain types affect the one, other types the other
technique. Further, if we contrast the group of matt patterns with the
group of lustrous ones, we find very distinet differeuces, as will appear
more clearly when we come to details.
Before proeeeding to describe the various types I must mention certair.
general characteristics which are common to the following vases. As an
1 It is noticeable that some of the earliest very prominent in Egypt about the be-
vases found in Egypt arc ornamented in this ginning of the New Empire. Hut though
inethod, with white designs on a lustrous red these vases have some poiuts of conneetion
ground : the two classes indeed are very with early Aegean pottery (see p. 100) it is
Bimilar in appearance. unnecessary to suppose that the technique in
- It is a eoinoidenoe worth noting that the two cases was derived from oue common
vases with lustrelcss black patterns become source.