Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2011

28 September 2011

Pottery Production, Distribution and Consumption in Early Minoan West Crete. An analytical perspective

Eleni Nodarou

Pottery Production, Distribution and Consumption in Early Minoan West Crete. An analytical perspective

City: Oxford

Year: 2011

Publisher: Archaeopress

Series: BAR S2210

Description: Paperback, xvi+137 p., 26 figures, 15 tables, 47 b/w & colour plates, 29,7x21 cm


This book investigates the provenance and technology of pottery during the earlier Prepalatial period (EM I-EM IIB) in west Crete, using an integrated approach involving stylistic examination and archaeometric analysis. Although the stylistic particularities of the west Cretan Early Minoan assemblages have been acknowledged since the 1960s, there has been no attempt to assess and interpret the differences, and integrate this part of Crete into the broader picture of the Prepalatial period. Due to the lack of publications and analyses, west Crete remained estranged from the new developments that have changed the way the Prepalatial period is considered.

As part of the GEOPRO TMR Network, this project applies an integrated methodology to the ceramic material from selected sites and investigates issues of pottery provenance and technology. The analytical techniques used comprise thin section petrography, neutron activation analysis and scanning electron microscopy. Possible locations of production for the various fabrics are suggested and technological issues, such as clay recipes, firing practices and pottery manufacturing traditions, are discussed. All pottery examined appears to have been manufactured within west Crete and the majority of the fabrics are likely to have been manufactured close to their findspots. There are, however, markedly contrasting traditions of pottery manufacture, one producing relatively high-fired calcareous vessels with off-island stylistic affinities and another with non-calcareous, low-fired vessels, stylistically compatible with the Minoan repertoire. The stylistic correlates of these two very different forms of pottery technology are compared.

Issues concerning technological traditions, the identity and ethnicity of the producers and consumers of this pottery, and the organization of production are discussed. As the research revealed no imports from outside Crete, and this contrasts with central and eastern Crete, the position and role of west Crete in the southern Aegean during the Early Bronze Age is re-assessed.


List of Figures [v]
List of Tables [vi]
List of Plates [vii-xii]
Abbreviations [xiii-xiv]
Abstract [xv]
Acknowledgements [xvi]

Chapter 1

  1. Aims of the study [1]
  2. Chronological and geographical limits of the study [1]
  3. Book outline [2]

Chapter 2: The Prepalatial Period in west Crete and the sites included in the study

  1. The Prepalatial period in central and east Crete [4]
  2. West Crete [5]
  3. Brief presentation of the sites included in the study [8]

Chapter 3: Methodology

  1. Methods and scale of analysis in ceramic studies [13]
  2. The analytical background [13]
  3. The analysis of EM pottery from west Crete [14]
  4. The geological sampling [15]
  5. Neutron Activation Analysis [16]
  6. Scanning Electron Microscopy [17]

Chapter 4: The geology of west Crete

  1. Introduction [18]
  2. The geological evolution of Crete [18]
  3. Pre-Neogene units [18]
  4. Sedimentation [19]
  5. Geology of the study area [20]
  6. The sites [21]
  7. Geological variation and ancient ceramics [22]
  8. Clay sampling and experimental briquettes [22]
  9. The petrology of the clay samples [24]
  10. Discussion [25]

Chapter 5: Early Bronze Age pottery from west Crete

  1. Fine- Semi-fine wares [27]
  2. Semi-coarse – Coarse wares [29]
  3. The pottery from the sites [30]
  4. Comment [37]

Chapter 6: Petrographic Analysis

  1. Introduction [38]
  2. Fabric groups [38]
  3. Discussion [47]
  4. Discussion [51]

Chapter 7: Neutron Activation Analysis

  1. Introduction [53]
  2. Statistical procedures [53]
  3. The results for the entire data set [54]
  4. The chemical groups [58]
  5. Comparative discussion of petrographic and chemical groups [65]
  6. Discriminant analysis [67]
  7. Discussion [68]

Chapter 8: Scanning Electron Microscopy

  1. Introduction [71]
  2. The wares [71]
  3. Discussion [79]

Chapter 9: Pottery production, distribution and consumption in Early Minoan west Crete

  1. Specialisation of pottery production [81]
  2. On- and off-island pottery exchange [82]
  3. Technology, style and identity in EBA west Crete [83]
  4. West Crete and long-range maritime interaction in the EBA southern Aegean [87]
  5. The social dimensions of Helladic-/Cycladic-style pottery in west Crete [89]
  6. Summary of the main points in this research [90]

Appendix I: Catalogue of samples [92]
Appendix II: Petrographic descriptions [99]
Appendix III: NAA data [120]
References cited


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