Cyprian Broodbank (UCL)
Evangelia Kiriatzi (Fitch Laboratory, BSA)
Alan Johnston (UCL)
Clare Pickersgill (BSA)
Joanita Vroom (East Anglia)
KIP's programme of ceramic analysis has sought to integrate macroscopic
study, petrography, experimental archaeology and geoarchaeological
prospection (for potting resources) to provide a broad but detailed
perspective on ceramic production and use on the island. It acts both
as the backbone for our reconstruction of the island's long-term history
and is also explored as an important component of the island's material
culture in its own right. The menu above right offers additional information
on different aspects of KIP ceramic research.
|The rough and the smooth of KIP surface pottery. Photography by C. Broodbank 1998
As in most Aegean surveys, pottery constitutes the vast majority
of the material encountered on the surface. KIP pottery study considers
two quite different types of survey assemblage: i) morphologically
diagnostic sherds collected from all over the landscape during the
tractwalking and ii) 'on-site' samples collected in most cases through
gridding. These different collection parameters each offer their own
peculiar problems and potentials for analysis.
In the case of the tract material, initial examination during or immediately
after fieldwalking contributed to the process by which KIP's sites
and second-stage site collection strategies were defined, as well
as to preliminary site dating. Further systematic study of this pottery
proceeds in the same way (with the same recording procedures: tract
diagnostic sherd recording form) as diagnostic sherds from sites
(see below). Such an approach pulls apart the overall impression of
surface ceramic density suggested by tractwalking counts into more
chronological specific patterns and is particularly useful for exploring
the spatial distribution and varying character (e.g. with regard to
shape, abrasion) of on-site, near-site and off-site distributions.
By the end of the 2003 study season, ca.7500 individual diagnostic
sherds have been recorded which represents perhaps three quarters
of the apparent total (to be completed in 2004).
A two-stage system of processing has been adopted for the study of
the site material. First, a bulk record of all the ceramic sherds
collected from each grid square's vacuum circle is created quantifying
information related to sherd size and abrasion, wall thickness and
fabric (site bulk processing form).
Second, individual sherds from the same unit (both the vacuum circle
and the remainder of the square) that are diagnostic are recorded
in much greater detail (site diagnostic
sherd recording form). In combination, these two approaches aim
to both express an accurate overall impression of the variation present
within site collection units and to explore certain artefacts more
comprehensively where they offer greater insight.