From Material Properties to Manufacture and Consumption
This project aims at identifying the choices involved in the manufacture of ceramics and examining how these affect the physical properties of archaeological and traditional ceramic products and their affordances.
Considering that material composition and vessel morphology are constrained by their intended contexts and conditions of use, both archaeological and historical/ethnographical ceramics will be studied. A variety of ceramic objects, from pottery cooking vessels to ceramic building materials, will be examined with a suite of physicochemical methods to examine pottery technology and material affordance for these specialized products. Acknowledging the multitude of factors affecting potters’ choices, an integrated approach will be pursued, taking into account contextual information, from archaeological data e.g. on the organization of production, over complementary analytical evidence (such as organic content), to written sources and archive material or oral information where available. Placed in the wider context of production and consumption of ceramic goods, this study is anticipated to aid appreciation of the complex dynamics behind the potters’ technological choices, and ultimately elucidate cultural, political and socioeconomic factors which favour perpetuation and transmission of traditions, or facilitate innovation, for a material which held an integral role in many parts of every-day life until the very recent past. In collaboration with NCSR Demokritos and the Harokopio University, Athens.