Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


1 January 2020

Between East and West: Amorgian pottery in Early Bronze Age Heraion (Samos)

Sergios Menelaou & Peter M. Day Oxford Journal of Archaeology 39.1 (2020): 41-66

The island of Samos occupies a key position between the central Aegean and western Anatolia during the third millennium BC. A recent study of the substantial pottery assemblages from the pivotal site of Heraion has defined a rich stratigraphy covering the entire Early Bronze Age (EBA). Currently the only known EBA site on Samos, Heraion has provided the opportunity to undertake a holistic ceramic study with the aim of defining and characterizing local pottery production and, by extension, determining for the first time a secure provenance of suspected imported vessels, through the application of an integrated typological/morphological, macroscopic and microscopic (ceramic petrography) analytical methodology.

This diachronic ceramic study, alongside a comparative fabric study of pottery of known origin from a number of contemporary sites, shows clear evidence for the exchange/importation of specific vessel shapes and, in the case of the collared jars, presumably their contents. This enables the reconstruction of patterns of interaction during the later phases of EB II, when there was a particular acceleration in the movement of goods. The present paper draws on a distinctive ceramic class (blue and red schist/phyllite fabrics/wares) and vessel types (transport jars with incised/slashed handles and beaked jugs with a two‐stage neck profile) particular to the EB II late period and discusses them in relation to already published or analysed data from selected Cycladic and Anatolian sites.


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