Bucchero in context

Perkins, Philip (2016). Bucchero in context. In: Bell, Sinclair and Carpino, Alexandra A. eds. A Companion to the Etruscans. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 224–236.

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Bucchero is the modern name that archaeologists give to a class of ceramics that was produced in central Italy between the seventh and the fourth centuries bce. Bucchero vessels take a wide variety of forms and have a black or dark gray color and a smooth reflective surface (Martelli 1994; Camporeale 2000; Naso 2004; Perkins 2007; De Puma 2013). Bucchero represents a distinctive part of Etruscan material culture and the story of this type of ceramic reflects the cultural and historical development of the Etruscan people in many ways. This chapter will use the concept of the “life cycle” to construct a form of biography for bucchero as a class of ceramic in order to place it in its wider cultural and historical context (Kopytoff 1986: 66–67; Hoskins 1998). My study starts with its production, moves on to its use and
considers how it became a part of the archaeological record, and concludes by discussing how bucchero fits into the contemporary world.

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