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Title: Human agency and the formation of tableware distribution patterns in Hellenistic Greece and Asia Minor
Authors: van der Enden, Mark
Supervisors: Stewart, Daniel
Shipley, Donald
Award date: 1-Jun-2014
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: This thesis utilizes ceramic legacy data to examine the influence of human agency upon the formation of tableware distribution patterns in Hellenistic Greece and Asia Minor. The formation of distribution patterns is a neglected area in Hellenistic pottery studies; differences between sites are usually taken at face value, paying scant attention to the human choices and behaviours responsible for observed variations. Tableware from Athens and New Halos in Greece and Ilion, Ephesus, Sardis, Gordion and Sagalassos in Asia Minor is employed for comparative analysis. Agency and network theory is utilized, along with a close reading of the wider contextual background of the case-studies, to explore local consumer choices and address distributional differences. This approach is enabled by the systematic collection of tableware data in the ICRATES database. This research shows that differences between sites, in terms of tableware consumption, can only be understood as reflecting human behaviour and choice. It is demonstrated that New Halos focused on Hellenistic shapes of more ‘Classical’ appearance and relied primarily for its tableware supply upon the wider region. Athens principally used local tableware focusing on a more properly Hellenistic repertoire, but an antiquated shape like the bolsal was produced specifically for the foreign market. Ilion, Ephesus, Sardis and Sagalassos similarly made different choices in tableware production and consumption. Observed differences relate to preferences, practices, and opportunities. Consumption at Ilion is influenced by Pergamum, whereas Ephesus develops a repertoire partly specific to itself. At Sagalassos producers and consumers used a repertoire which, while distinct and building upon local traditions, forms part of more widely shared tableware preferences. This study shows that within a general pottery koine various sub-koinai existed and interacted, reflecting varying contextualized choices. The results have important and wide-ranging implications for current approaches to cultural interaction, material culture and society.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, School of Archaeology and Ancient History
Leicester Theses

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