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Title: Technology of Bronze Age cooking ware from Akrotiri, Thera
Author: Müller, Noémi Suzanne
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2009
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Cooking wares have been pivotal to the study of technological variation and function in archaeological ceramics. The present study investigated the rich cooking ware assemblage from Neolithic and Bronze Age levels at Akrotiri, Thera in Greece. Using a range of techniques, archaeological materials were analysed to retrieve information on provenance, technological choices and performance characteristics. Thin section petrography was employed in combination with X-ray diffraction methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy to identify variability in the archaeological material. Changes in local manufacturing procedures were observed, in addition to the presence of imported vessels from other Cycladic islands. Based on the archaeological material, experimental briquettes were manufactured varying the shape, type and proportion of temper, the base clay and firing conditions. The influence of these manufacturing parameters on selected performance properties was assessed through material testing. Strength, toughness, thermal shock resistance and thermal conductivity were all investigated on the briquettes and evaluated for their applicability to archaeological ceramics. Computer modelling by finite element analysis provided further information, relating vessel shape to material properties. Data generated by the experimental work have implications beyond the specific case study, to the performance of other clay vessels In the case of cooking ware from Akrotiri, a varied picture emerges. Variability observed within certain chronological phases may be connected with different cooking methods employed, and perhaps with specific consumption preferences based on performance criteria. On the other hand, two major shifts in local manufacturing technology are detailed that are unrelated to the performance of the cooking vessels. While the results of this study illuminate the development of a specific technology over much of the Bronze Age, the methodology developed is suggested to have broad applicability in the study of cooking pot technology which has been so central to concepts of ceramic performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available