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Title: Materials Choices in Utilitarian Pottery: kitchen wares in the Berbati Valley, Greece
Authors: Whitbread, Ian K.
First Published: 31-May-2015
Presented at: This paper was presented at the 2010 Classical Colloquium on Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: the Archaeology and Science of Kitchen Pottery in the Ancient Mediterranean World, held at the British Museum in London 16-17th December 2010.
Citation: Whitbread, Ian K., Materials Choices in Utilitarian Pottery: kitchen wares in the Berbati Valley, Greece, ed. Villing, Alexandra; Spataro, Michela, 'Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: the archaeology and science of kitchen pottery in the ancient Mediterranean World. Oxbow Books 2015
Abstract: The most important properties of utilitarian pottery reside in the functional roles of form and material. Functions vary considerably in terms of intended and actual use (Skibo 1992, 35ff.) but mainly focus on food preparation, storage and transportation (Rice 1987, 208ff.). Within these roles cooking places some of the greatest demands on a ceramic body, which has to withstand repeated cycles of heating and cooling during use. In the archaeological and ethnographic records there are several examples of pottery production centres that acquired a reputation for producing good quality cooking ware, for example the central Mediterranean island of Pantelleria (Peacock 1982, 79-80, Montana et al. 2007) during the Late Roman period and Pabillonis in Sardinia (Annis and Jacobs 1989/90) in more recent times. Such centres often exported their products into surrounding regions, suggesting that cooking pot production either occupied a social niche, that technical capabilities were restricted, or that geologically specific raw materials were preferred, leading to resource specialisation (Rice 1987, 191). This paper considers some of the key issues concerning materials choices for cooking pots. It then discusses cooking pot production from two major centres in the Aegean, the island of Aegina where volcanic materials were exploited during the prehistoric to Classical periods and the potters of Siphnos who used metamorphic resources in the modern period. These materials are compared with the quartz-rich cooking ware found in regional survey and excavations in the Berbati Valley, Greece.
ISBN: 9781782979470
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Chapter
Rights: Copyright © 2013 British Museum / Oxbow Books. Deposited with the permission of the publisher.
Description: Embargo length currently unknown. The article is still in press and will have a 36 month embargo on availability of the full text, once it has been published.
Appears in Collections:Books & Book Chapters, School of Archaeology and Ancient History

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