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The provenance of Bronze Age pottery from Central and Eastern Greece

By Selina White


Samples from nearly 800 Bronze Age pottery sherds from Euboea,\ud Eastern Boeotia and Eastern Thessaly were analysed together with 9 raw\ud clays from the same areas. The-analysis was carried out in an attempt\ud to identify areas of pottery manufacture, to discover the origin of specific\ud groups of pottery, to relate pottery to, raw clays and to see how\ud far pottery compositions can be associated with, and predicted by, geology.\ud The work was done on the same lines as earlier studies at the\ud Oxford Laboratory and at the British School at Athens. The main analytical\ud technique used was therefore optical emission spectroscopy. Some\ud 25% of the total number of sherds were also analysed by atomic absorption\ud spectrophotometry so that the results obtained by the two techniques\ud could be compared. The interpretation of the results was facilitated\ud by the use of, computer program packages for cluster and discriminant\ud analysis.\ud Both optical emission and atomic absorption analysis resulted in\ud broadly similar groupings although the absolute concentrations were not\ud directly comparable. The groupings obtained after atomic absorption\ud analysis had the narrower concentration ranges. Nine elements were\ud measured by both techniques but in atomic absorption potassium was added\ud and proved; useful as an additional discriminant.\ud Six composition groups were distinguished from the data. One of\ud them was identified as Euboean, 2 as Boeotian and 3 as coming from different\ud regions of Thessaly. The greatest movement of pottery within\ud these areas was from Euboea to Thessaly. No composition group which\ud originated from outside these regions was identified. Six of the 9\ud raw clays were associated with the prevailing composition group in the\ud area from which they came. It was not possible to predict trends in\ud pottery composition by examination of the local geology

Topics: Bronze Age pottery, Euboea, Eastern Boetia, Eastern Thessaly, Analysis, Raw clay analysis
Publisher: Postgraduate School of Studies in Physics
Year: 1981
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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