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Pottery Production at the Phoenician Colony of El Castillo De Doña Blanca (El Puerto De Santa María, Spain) C. 750-550 BCE

By Philip Andrew Johnston


This dissertation uses scientific analysis of pottery to examine social and economic process at a Phoenician colony in the Bay of Cádiz, Spain. Previous research on the Phoenician colonial economies has neglected social and diachronic dynamics, due to a lack of adequate data and proper theoretical frameworks. I address these shortcomings by examining the relative effect of the colonial encounter on Phoenician and indigenous potters, and studying changes in the organization of production over the duration of the Phoenician colonization. I accomplish this using a ‘colonial economic history,’ which combines a critical postcolonial perspective, anthropological methods for the study of production and knowledge transmission, and scientific (chemical, microscopic) data. I apply this approach to 169 pottery fragments from the site of El Castillo de Doña Blanca (CDB). The sample is structured to allow a comparison of Phoenician and indigenous practices, and of four chronological phases spanning the 8th to 6th centuries BCE. Visual examination of the samples combined with Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA), portable X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometry (pXRF), and petrographic microscopy provides a basis for identifying technological practices and trends related to raw material use, vessel formation, and surface treatment. These in turn are used to infer the organization of production, and continuity in knowledge transmission among potters. The results shed light on the effect that the colonial environment had on the activities of both indigenous and Phoenician producers, as well as on CDB’s economic development, between c. 750 and 550 BCE.Near Eastern Languages and Civilization

Topics: Anthropology, Archaeology, History, European, Engineering, Materials Science
Publisher: 'Harvard University Botany Libraries'
Year: 2015
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