Ornaments: decorative patterns and floral designs added to the foot, rim, handles and borders of vessels. Lotus, palmettes, ivy, meander, rays, tongues and rosettes were the most popular to the ancient Hellenes.  Why should you care? Well, you don't have to, but a lot of you enjoy making some form of art or decorations for shrines and as little gifts to the Gods, so I figured you might be interested. The most important ones are listed below:

I think most of those are rather self-explanatory, but let me note a bit about the two most important subgroups, the palmettes and the meander.

It is thought that the palmette originated in ancient Egypt 2,500 years BC and has influenced Hellenic art. Egyptian palmettes (or 'anthemion', in Greek, from 'ανθέμιον', a flower were originally based on features of various flowers, including the papyrus and the lotus or lily representing lower and upper Egypt and their fertile union, before it became associated with the palm tree. From earliest times there was a strong association with the sun and it is probably an early form of the halo.

The essence of the palmette is a symmetrical group of spreading 'fronds' that spread out from a single base, normally widening as they go out, before ending at a rounded or fairly blunt pointed tip. There may be a central frond that is larger than the rest. The number of fronds is variable, but typically between five and about fifteen. In the repeated border design commonly referred to as anthemion the palm fronds more closely resemble petals of the honeysuckle flower, as if designed to attract fertilizing insects.

A meander or meandros (Μαίανδρος) is a decorative border constructed from a continuous line, shaped into a repeated motif. Such a design is also called the Greek fret or Greek key design, although these are modern designations. The meander often represents a labyrinth in linear form and may have symbolized infinity and unity. The many versions with rounded shapes are called running scrolls.

Meanders are common decorative elements in Hellenic and Roman art. In ancient Hellas they appeared in many architectural friezes, and in bands on the pottery from the Geometric Period onwards. They were among the most important symbols in ancient Hellas and many ancient temples incorporated the sign of the meander. Hellenic vases, especially during their Geometric Period, were probably the main reason for the widespread use of meanders.

Image copyright Ori Keren, uploaded by Mark Cartwright.