Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


6 June 2012

Pottery production and distribution in prehistoric Bronze Age Cyprus. An application of pXRF analysis

David Frankel & Jennifer M. Webb Journal of Archaeological Science 39:5 (May 2012): 1380-1387.


Portable X-ray Fluorescence (pXRF) analysis of over 400 samples of Early and Middle Bronze Age Cypriot pottery from four widely separated sites identifies both local and non-local products at each. A series of analyses of sub-sets of the data highlights differences in the clays used at each site and for some distinctive types and wares. When assessed in the context of general typological, technological and stylistic factors these variations provide the basis for considering patterns of local production and inter-regional relationships across the island. Although the great majority of pots were locally made, particular wares and shapes were brought in from elsewhere. For some sites finer, more highly decorated vessels are mostly imports, but at others both simpler and more complex vessels were made of the same local clays. While small juglets or flasks may have been containers for transporting small quantities of rare substances, larger vessels are likely to have held less precious material. Open vessels, especially small bowls -some of which are plain, utilitarian items- represent another aspect of social behaviour and inter-regional relationships.



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