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Title: Ceramic production and exchange in the Late Mycenaean Saronic Gulf
Author: Gilstrap, William
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 6471
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the production, exchange and consumption of pottery around the Saronic Gulf, Greece, during Late Mycenaean period, specifically Late Helladic IIIB1 to Late Helladic IIIC Phase 1, roughly 1300-1130 BC. While the focus of many studies of Mycenaean political economy has fallen on Messinia and the Argolid, the choice of the Saronic Gulf offers the chance to examine ceramic crafting, movement and use in an area which hosts no accepted ‘palatial’ centres. It aims to examine the role of pottery in everyday social and economic transaction, taking a ‘bottom-up’ approach to shedding light on Mycenaean society and economy. Pottery from a wide range of sites has been studied: urban centres such as Athens; harbours at Kanakia on Salamis and Kalamianos in coastal Corinthia; small settlements of Stiri in Corinthia, Myti Kommeni on Dokos and Lazarides on Aegina; sanctuary sites of Eleusis and Ayios Konstantinos, Methana; and finally the settlement and pottery production site of Kontopigado, Alimos near the Attic coast. Based on typological and macroscopic fabric studies, a large number of samples have been chosen for examination by an integrated programme of petrographic, chemical (by neutron activation analysis) and microstructural analysis (by scanning electron microscopy), in order to group and characterise to pottery according to composition, to reconstruct key aspects of ceramic manufacture and, where possible, to suggest the area or location of their production. Major production centres are identified, including Aegina, which is well-known from previous work, and those from the Corinthia and Kontopigado, Alimos. The reconstruction of the production technology of wide range of ceramic products at the latter centre provides a basis to examine contrasts in the history and organization of pottery production in closely neighbouring centres and to trace the overlapping distributions of their products. Patterns of choice in the use of pottery in different locations enable the exploration of consumption choices made on an everyday basis. It is suggested that the complex and widespread exchange of pottery and the choices made by communities carrying out differing activities make the correlation of pottery distribution and political boundaries problematic. Instead the wealth of information revealed by this approach for the first time offers basic information on the widespread movement of goods across clear geographical and, most likely, political boundaries.
Supervisor: Day, Peter M. ; Doonan, Roger C. P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available