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By Hal Marcovitz

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Craftsmen in Corinth are believed to have been the first to fashion so-called black-figure pottery. The urns were fashioned from red clay. Using black paint, the potters applied the artistic scenes. Soon, Athenian artisans adopted these methods and produced Grecian urns valued for their beauty. In about 530 BC the Athenian potters developed the “red-figure” method. This method required the artisan to paint the background black, leaving the figures and scenes depicted on the surface in the natural red color.

Craftsmen in Corinth are believed to have been the first to fashion so-called black-figure pottery. The urns were fashioned from red clay. Using black paint, the potters applied the artistic scenes. Soon, Athenian artisans adopted these methods and produced Grecian urns valued for their beauty. In about 530 BC the Athenian potters developed the “red-figure” method. This method required the artisan to paint the background black, leaving the figures and scenes depicted on the surface in the natural red color.

However the games started, they were extremely popular because not only would athletes head for the Olympics but thousands of spectators looked forward to the events as well. Many people traveled for weeks to attend the games; as many as 50,000 camped outside the city for the five days of the competitions. During the Olympics, the citystates of Greece—often at war and almost always suspicious of one another—put aside their differences so that their athletes could compete against one another in a spirit of unity.

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