Wednesday, 27. November 2019, 17:30

Pottery Making Recipes at the Dawn of the Metal Age

Continuity and Change in Pottery Traditions in the ‘Vinča Culture’

Silvia Amicone (Competence Center Archaeometry Baden-Württemberg, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen and Institute of Archaeology, University College London)

The presentation focuses on the reconstruction of pottery recipes and their transmission in the Neolithic/Chalcolithic sites of Belovode and Pločnik (c. 5350–4650 BC; c. 5200–4650 BC). These two Vinča culture sites, located respectively in North-East and South Serbia, have recently yielded some of the earliest known copper artefacts in Eurasia. The rich material culture of these two sites, therefore, offers a unique opportunity for the study of the evolution of pottery craft technology during the transition into the Metal Age. An interdisciplinary approach employing macro observation and analytical methods including thin section petrography XRF, XRPD and SEM was applied to a wide selection of ceramic samples representing the full spectrum of pottery at Pločnik and Belovode. The application of material science methods in particular has allowed us to reconstruct different technological choices and shed new light on traditional arguments about the relation between pottery and metal pyrotechnologies. A diachronic analysis of the data allowed us to trace and compare the evolution of pottery recipes in the two sites, as well as elucidate different mechanisms of cultural transmission in these two important late Neolithic and early Chalcolithic communities in the Balkans at a time of major technological change.