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Title: The Hellenistic terracottas from Demetrias
Author: Ieremias, Stylianos
ISNI:       0000 0004 9347 9099
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis provides a first contextual study of the terracottas from Hellenistic Demetrias. Focusing on the finds from the sanctuaries of the city (the Sanctuary of Pasikrata, of the Mother-of-the-Gods, the “Thesmophorion” and the Favissa on Hill 35), from the Anaktoron, from a Hellenistic house, and from the cemeteries, it covers the whole spectrum of life in the city, public and private, cultic and funerary. The material is presented by context, as it informs our understanding of the terracottas’ use and meaning. The main questions that this thesis addresses are the following: a) how typical was Demetrias as a Hellenistic city, through its terracottas? b) what can we learn about their use in the city? c) were specific types used in specific contexts? d) what can we learn about the cults and rituals in the city through the terracottas? e) what can we discern about workshops in the city? f) what can we learn about trade through the terracottas? g) did the coroplastic repertoire follow the general trends of the Hellenistic period? In order to address these questions, the thesis also focuses on re-contextualising the coroplastic material from the city that was considered lost (Sanctuary of Pasikrata, Sanctuary of the Mother-of-the-Gods, South Cemetery). A case-study chapter focuses on the kausia-boy figurines from the city, which is a very important corpus of material, showing how the contextual approach informs us about the terracottas’ meaning. Special focus is given to the city’s cults and rituals viewed through the terracottas. It is evident that at least two kourotrophic cults existed in the city, as well as possibly three cult spaces connected to the cult of the Mother-of-the-Gods. The terracottas used in the cemeteries are generally of higher quality than those in sanctuaries, indicating a conscious choice for more expensive specimens placed in graves. Through the study of the diffusion of terracottas and the local production, it is clear that Demetrias, in terms of coroplastic production, was a cosmopolitan Hellenistic harbour with connections with much of the large coroplastic workshops of the Mediterranean, not just mainland Greece.
Supervisor: Stamatopoulou, Maria Sponsor: Lincoln College ; University of Oxford ; A.G. Leventis Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Greek Archaeology ; Classical Archaeology