Production and circulation of the late Neolithic pottery from Makrygialos (phase II), Macedonia, Northern Greece
This thesis investigates the production technology and inter-site circulation of a large and diverse Late Neolithic ceramic assemblage from the newly excavated, flatextended settlement of Makrygialos, in Pieria, northern Greece. It argues for the use of macroscopic and petrographic analysis of a large number of samples from Makrygialos (Phase II) in a fully integrated project. Also incorporated are comparative samples from the contemporary settlements of Dimini, in Thessaly, and Agrosykia A and Giannitsa B, in western Macedonia. A large body of new evidence is presented, which sheds light on the manipulation of raw materials by ancient potters through detailed study of the production technology of distinct categories of pottery, for a better understanding of the role of technological choice in production. Locally produced and imported ceramic categories are found to co-exist. These may signify manufacture by different groups or individuals with varying degrees of technological knowledge and skill, possibly produced in different places, or distinct ceramic traditions. More importantly, petrographic analysis provides positive evidence of the long-distance movement of pots, contradicting previously established ideas on the circulation of pottery for this period. Such evidence illustrates a high level of complexity in the societal organisation of the studied communities that has until recently been largely underestimated. The emerging picture strongly supports the idea of a dynamic Neolithic society characterised by mobility and interaction between people, as revealed through their material culture.