download article as .pdf: The Pigment Production Site of the Ancient Agora of Kos (Greece): Revisiting the material evidence
A late-Hellenistic production site was found at the eastern stoa of the agora of Kos. The presence of destroyed fire-structures indicates pyrotechnological processes, related to pigment manufacture and metallurgy. Pigment production included the treatment of natural earths and the manufacture of the artificial material Egyptian blue. Among the excavation’s finds were hollow tubular litharge rods, amorphous lead lumps and drops, and a small quantity of silver, which point to lead production and silver separation through cupellation. The co-existence of the two separate manufacturing activities at the same site may have been beneficial in supplying the workshop with raw materials and fuel. The strategic location of the production site in the commercial centre of the ancient town, with its connection to the port, would have facilitated trade. The production debris from the Koan site underlines the relationship between pigment manufacture and metallurgy.