Wednesday, 27. May 2020, 17:30

Postponed! – Ceramic Technology

A Marker of Tradition, Change and Innovation in Neolithic Societies in Southern Europe (6th and 5th Millennia BC)

Michela Spataro (Department of Scientific Research, The British Museum)

The ceramic chaîne opératoire in the earliest agricultural societies in southern Europe shows clear and persistent patterns.  The same steps in the chaîne opératoire were followed continuously throughout each of the main archaeologically defined cultural groups (Impressed Ware, Starčevo-Criş-Körös, Karanovo), which do not appear to have assimilated influences from adjacent societies. For example, ceramic recipes and surface treatments used at Donja Branjevina (Serbia) are indistinguishable from those used at Gura Baciului (Transylvania) 500 years later. The typical Starčevo black-painted vessels, were decorated using the same paint recipe from Slavonia (northern Croatia) to the Iron Gates.

These patterns may be interpreted as technological traditions reflecting innately conservative societies, as we know from elsewhere (e.g. the earliest pottery in Neolithic Russia) that the spread of pottery can be accompanied by more diverse technological choices.

These traditions only changed in the second half of the 6th millennium BC, when the Vinča culture brought more innovative and creative approaches to ceramic production. New clay and temper types (e.g. recycled ceramics, i.e. grog), higher firing temperatures and reducing firing conditions were introduced through a wide territory, suggesting specialised pottery production. In this talk, it is suggested that Vinča groups influenced contemporaneous and neighbouring Danilo and Korenovo groups in Croatia.