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Lecture

Pottery


Department
Archaeology
Course Code
ARH312Y1
Professor
E.Banning

Page:
of 3
Tuesday, October 25/11
Archaeological Laboratories
T. Banning
Pottery
Segmentation rules
Traces of Primary Forming
Pinched
Can be hidden by secondary forming
Indented, uneven walls
Inclusions are parallel to side of vessel
Inclusions in thin section are random
Bowls - small vessels
Drawing
Tends to draw particles upward
Indentations are vertical
Could have dig marks with indentations
Coiling
Inclusions align along axis of coil in a horizontal manner (thin section)
End on appears random
Breaks in step-like fashion occasionally
Can be hidden by secondary forming
Slab-building
Inclusions parallel to wall of vessel (end on) - radial section
Random in thin section (called ‘transverse view’)
Tend to be thicker around seam
Moulding
Some are fairly primitive (push clay into a hole or an existing bowl)
Pinch marks on inside
Must be able to get clay out of mold
Designed to separate from mould
Can use parting agent to assist release from mould
Inclusions are more aligned toward surface, random otherwise (but this is not universal)
Tends to be used for complicated shapes, mass production and relief
Throwing
Relies on centrifugal force
Tracks where fingers guided
Bases in cross section tend to have a ‘snail like’ look
Decoration (e.g. Combing) usually done on wheel
Inclusions are parallel to side of vessel
In transverse view, the appear diagonal due to centrifugal
Base:
String-cut, leaves tracks when not spinning, inclusions are ‘dragged’, slowly turning
they are curved, fast = spiral
Turn it over, cut hole in base and recreate it. Creates a nipple on the pot
Secondary Forming
Tuesday, October 25/11
Archaeological Laboratories
T. Banning
Pottery
Beating
Creates thinner walls
Wooden spoon for example
Leaves marks can create pattern if you wrap tool in string
Puts strain on walls, cracks it
Inclusions lined up in radial along wall (parallel)
Random
Scraping
Removes imperfections such as seams
Drags inclusions
Trimming
Whittling, carving
More acute than scraping
Turning
Done on a wheel
Removes material
Finishing Techniques
Smoothing
Combing
Modeling
Rouletting
Pattern burnish - smooth and shiny by rubbing with smooth object
Gives metallic look, distinct by facetted nature
Can make patterns
Drying Cracks
Cracks that are defects by the potter
Cracked pottery usually not fired
Cross-Section: Cores
Can tell the firing technique
Temp
Oxidizing
Multi-stage
Other Examination Techniques
NAA - elemental analysis (sourcing, standardization)
Petrography - identification of minerals n thin sections with polarizing microscope
Re-firing - to estimate original firing temperature
Extinction Angle
Tuesday, October 25/11
Archaeological Laboratories
T. Banning
Pottery
Some crystals are aligned in a certain way that when light os specific angle shines they appear
black
Counting Grains in Thin Section
Legend of shapes
Count how many of each exist
Sackett on Style
Isochrestic Style - selection among functionally equivalent ways to make something
Alternatives depend on particular context, including traditions, knowledge, values
Iconic Style - more deliberate use of style to signal group membership
Wiessner on Style
Premeditated behavior meant to communicate social messages
Emblematic Style - withe distinct symbolic referents (like logos)
Assertive Style - more subtle associations with social identity, based on comparing styles and
social identities of others
Style as Individual Idiosyncrasy
Motor habits of different individuals lead them to execute decorative elements, slightly
differently
Similar to handwriting analysis or detection of art forgeries
Style tends to be rooted in social communities
Stylistic signaling was more intense where there was inter-ethnic interaction