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Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

DISSERTATIONS

Thursday 6 March 2014

Defining the regional characteristics of Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery in Attica

Margarita Nazou University College London (UCL) 2013

Defining the regional characteristics of Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery in Attica

Description: 1 volume, 448 pages, colour & b/w figures, drawings, maps, 29.7x21 cm

Country: United Kingdom

Supervisor: Todd Whitelaw

Other supervisors: Cyprian Broodbank, Andrew Bevan

Examiners: Bill Sillar, Yiannis Papadatos


Abstract

Situated between mainland and island-defined archaeological entities, Attica has traditionally been treated as a transitional borderland between what is perceived as ‘Helladic’ versus ‘Cycladic’ culture. Most discussions of social and cultural interactions in the southern Aegean have so far assumed a peripheral role for Attica during the Final Neolithic (4100-3100 BC) and the Early Bronze Age (3100-2000 BC). This is mainly an accident of investigation, due to the lack of systematic research focusing on the stylistic character of FN-EBA material culture excavated at sites within this region. Among the archaeological evidence from Attica, pottery is the most abundant artefact type and its presence at all the excavated sites provides considerable research potential for detailed inter-site comparisons. This thesis systematically describes, summarises and presents a large body of FN-EB II pottery from Attica. Two as yet unpublished ceramic assemblages in southeastern Attica provide the principal case studies: Kontra Gliate (also known as Kiapha Thiti) and Mine 3 at Thorikos. The stylistic characteristics and variation within and between these ceramic assemblages are defined in terms of time and space, and the relationships between fabrics, forms and surface treatments are explored. In addition, smaller assemblages of pottery from other FN-EB II sites in Attica and the surrounding islands were studied with the same methodology, for the first time allowing detailed comparisons: the Agora of Athens, the Kitsos Cave, Thorikos Velatouri, Plakari on Euboea, Kephala on Kea and Kolonna on Aegina. The analysis explores Attica’s stylistic connections with neighbouring areas, i.e. Boeotia, Euboea, the Cyclades, the Saronic Gulf and the northeastern Peloponnese, and defines site-specific and regional variants of FN-EB II pottery styles. The thesis concludes by suggesting an interpretation of the patterns of pottery production and consumption in Attica during the FN-EB II periods.

Contents

List of figures [7]

List of Tables [9]

List of abbreviations [11]

Acknowledgements [12]

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION [15]

CHAPTER 2: A CRITICAL REVIEW OF RESEARCH HISTORY AND THE POTENTIAL OF A NEW APPROACH TO THE STUDY OF POTTERY STYLE [26]

2.1. Summary of the archaeological evidence from Attica and the surrounding islands during the Final Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age [26]

The Final Neolithic or ‘Attica-Kephala’ culture (ca. 4100-3100 BC) [26]
The EB I period (ca. 3100-2650 BC) [33]
The EB II period (2650-2200/2150 BC) [36]
The end of the EB II period (2450/2350-2200/2150 BC): the ‘Lefkandi I-Kastri’ group and the transition to the EB III [39]

2.2. The problems of the current chronological and cultural schemes [43]

2.3. The potential of an alternative approach in the light of recent advances in theoretical archaeology [48]

2.4. A review of theoretical approaches to pottery styles and change and the approach pursued by the current study [51]

2.4.1. From time-space patterns to cultural processes: a review of previous approaches to pottery stylistic change in the study region [51]
2.4.2. The definition of ‘pottery style’ and current theoretical approaches to stylistic change in ceramics [55]
2.4.3. An appropriate research framework: the definition of ceramic stylistic traditions and change at the levels of the ‘community’ and the ‘region’ [63]

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY [67]

3.1. Previous methods for the study of FN-EBA pottery from Attica and the surrounding islands [67]

3.2. Selection of case studies, sampling and data collection [70]

Selecting the Case Study Pottery Assemblages [70]
Sampling of Pottery from the Case Studies [74]
Data Collection [75]

3.3. Variables for investigation and recording methodology [77]

1. Ceramic Fabrics [78]
2. Vessel Forms [82]
3. Surface Treatment and Decoration [86]

CHAPTER 4: THE FN-EBA POTTERY FROM KONTRA GLIATE [88]

4.1. Introduction [88]

4.2. Site name and location, excavation and research history [89]

4.3. Stratigraphy: a summary of excavation data and previous research [91]

Estimating the size of the settlement during the FN-EBA [91]
The Middle Terrace FN-EBA deposits: stratigraphy and architecture [93]
Discussion [103]

4.4. The FN-EBA Pottery [106]

4.4.1. Presentation of the studied pottery sample: methodology [106]
4.4.2. Macroscopic fabric groups at Kontra Gliate; definitions and quantification [108]
4.4.3. Vessel forms at Kontra Gliate [121]
4.4.4. Surface treatments and decoration [147]

4.5. Stylistic variability in the Kontra Gliate FN-EB II pottery [162]

4.5.1. Contextualising the results of the typological study of the pottery within the stratigraphy of the Middle Terrace [162]
4.5.2. The Kontra Gliate fabrics, forms and surface treatment types through the FN-EB II periods [171]
4.5.3. FN-EB II pottery stylistic variability at Kontra Gliate: a synthesis [180]

CHAPTER 5: THE NEOLITHIC AND EARLY BRONZE AGE POTTERY FROM MINE 3 (THORIKOS) [191]

5.1. Introduction [191]

5.2. Excavation information on Mine 3 and previous research [194]

5.2.1. Excavation methods and stratigraphy [194]
5.2.2. Previous pottery recording strategies [199]

5.3. The recording methodology for the pottery studied from Mine 3 [204]

5.4. Macroscopic Fabric Groups at Mine 3; definitions and quantification [206]

5.5. Pottery forms [217]

5.6. Surface treatments / Decoration [232]

5.7. Stylistic variability in the Mine 3 FN-EB II pottery [239]

5.7.1. Dating the earliest mining activities at Thorikos: the contribution of the current pottery study [240]
5.7.2. The Mine 3 fabrics, forms and surface treatments through the FN-EB II [244]
5.7.3. FN-EB II pottery stylistic variability at Mine 3: a synthesis [250]

CHAPTER 6: THE SECONDARY CASE STUDIES: DEFINING THE FABRIC, FORM AND SURFACE TREATMENT/DECORATION TYPES [261]

6.1. Athens Agora [261]

6.2. Kitsos Cave [271]

6.3. Thorikos Velatouri [276]

6.4. Plakari [279]

6.5. Kephala [282]

6.6. Kolonna [286]

CHAPTER 7: ATTIC CERAMIC STYLES DURING THE 4TH AND 3RD MILLENNIA BC: REGIONAL TRADITIONS AND CONNECTIONS WITH NEIGHBOURING AREAS [297]

7.1. Comparing the case studies [297]

7.2. Attica’s ceramic styles in the broader Southern Aegean context [310]

7.3. Interpreting stylistic change: technological changes, economic and social interaction and cultural identity [323]

7.4. Summary of conclusions and suggestions for future research [326]

References [330]

Appendix 1: FN-EBA sites in Attica, Euboea, Makronisos, the Northern Cyclades and the Saronic islands [343]

Appendix 2: Photos of the pottery from Kontra Gliate and Mine 3 [371]

Appendix 3: Weight (gr.) and percentages of FN-EB II fabrics, forms and surface treatments in the case studies [427]

Appendix 4: Lists of context numbers on sherds from Mine 3 [439]

Appendix 5: Excavation and publication information on the secondary case studies and charts illustrating the samples studied from each site by context [440]


Comments

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