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Pottery technology and socio-economic diversity on the Early Helladic III to Middle Helladic II Greek mainland

Spencer, LC; (2007) Pottery technology and socio-economic diversity on the Early Helladic III to Middle Helladic II Greek mainland. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis examines the various forms of ceramic technology being practised on the Greek mainland during the Early III to Middle Helladic 11 periods(henceforth the LEMH, or Late Early to Middle Helladic period, from 2200-1700 B. C. ). Cross-cutting conventional chronological units, the remit of this thesis encompasses a coherent phenomenon of material culture and settlement patterning that has often been stereotyped as simple,unsophisticated and even stagnant.In order to challenge this, and to understand the range of production behaviors being practiced within these LEMH communities, I examine the ceramic assemblage from two significant LEMH settlements: Lefkandia and Asine. I utilise a methodology that allows me to isolate specific technological attributes of the ceramics(namely fabric, forming, firing, surface treatment and decoration),in addition to petrographic and chemical analyses that ensure that the ceramics I discuss are locally produced.I then undertake a detailed analysis of the diachronic changes in manufacturing technology employed at these sites over the duration of the LEMH period. Extensive comparative assemblages from published material are then examined, allowing a wide corpus of local LEMH ceramic technologies to be identified. The results of these analyses are interpreted using a theoretical model widely informed by recent ethnoarchaeological work about(i) the 'fixedness' of certain manufacturing traits and the nature of human interaction that allow for their transmission across time and space and (ii) the socio-economic structures needed to support certain forms of ceramic production. The interpretation of my results shows a technological divergence between communities of the central Greek and those of the the southern mainland, with the former region displaying traits suggestive of specialised ceramic production,while the latter region appeared to maintain a strong tradition of household based production.This unexpected emergence of a strongly coherent regional production tradition in central Greece not only belies many suppositions about the complexity of systems of craft production during the LEMH, but may contribute to explaining the consumption of a much more homogeneous body of material culture in the central Greek region during the LEMH.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Pottery technology and socio-economic diversity on the Early Helladic III to Middle Helladic II Greek mainland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1349177
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