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The town of Caltagirone

Local products from Caltagirone

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Photo © Municipality of Caltagirone Handicraft from Caltagirone

The potteries of Caltagirone

A tradition millenarian, tied deeply to the history of Caltagirone is the presence of generations of craftsmen and artists who interpreted in original way the capability of the ceramics to create shapes and colors, ductile instrument so to give substance to the creative fantasy.

Archaeological diggings in the neolithic villages of Scala, Pille e S.Ippolito, near Caltagirone, gave as a result some local ceramic products, dating back to VI millenium B.C..

Subsequently, the infuence determined by the commercial contacts between Sicilian, that inhabited the ancient territory of Caltagirone, and the Greek world shows its effects not just in the social organization, but also in the handicraft activity of the production of pottery.

An historical evidence of such a statement is represented by the use of the lathe, that the local people of Caltagirone, around year 1000 B.C., learned from the Cretans thus revolutioning the ancient artisan activity of the ceramics that for several thousand of years had conserved immutate its own techniques of production.

Photo © Municipality of Caltagirone Handicraft from Caltagirone

The more meaningful example of the local ceramics production that testifies the ties with the Greek culture is a crater with red figures, dating back to V century B.C., conserved in the Museum of the ceramics and in which the scene of a potter is represented who assisted from the goddess Athena, works to the turning of a phitos. Such crater is the most meaningful evidence than the ceramic handicraft played in the local economy the very important role that for thousand of years characterized the history of Caltagirone.

After a long period of decadence during the Roman and the Byzantine dominations, they were the Arabs to establish in Caltagirone. They gave new shapes and colours to the local ceramics production thus determining a great development in the handicraft of the pottery.

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