Cretan Pithoi

Cretan Pithoi

Antique Pithoi

Antique Pithoi

Pithos, plural pithoi, is the Greek name for a large storage container. The term in English is applied to those containers used among the civilizations that bordered the Mediterranean Sea in the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the succeeding Iron Age. Pithoi had been used for bulk storage, primarily for fluids and grains; they were the equivalent of the drums, barrels and casks of recent times.
There are many Pithoi found on archaeological sites in Crete. These huge pots are sometimes as tall as six foot and used to store, as well as export such commodities as olive oil, wine and other such items. Sometimes they have been found complete like those discovered at the Palace of Knossos and Malia Palace. 
On a recent family holiday in Crete, we were privileged to see several wonderful collections of antique pithoi. There are a few potteries still making these impressive pots.

Impressive too are the artisan jugs and vessels. These were in a gem of a local village museum showing workaday objects in their original context