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The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Part 8

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Part 8

SOME POPULAR POTTERS AND THEIR POTTERY DECORATIONS

KAMARES WARE

Kamares ware are a distinctive type of Minoan pottery produced in Crete during the Minoan period, dating to Middle Minoan 1A  (ca,2100 BCE) By the Late Minoan 1A period (ca. 1450 or the end of the First Palace Period). The designs are typically executed in white, red and blue on a black field Typical designs include abstract floral motifs. Surviving examples include ridged cups, small round spouted jars and large storage jars, on which combinations of abstract curvilinear  designs and stylized plant and marine motifs are painted in white and tones of red, orange, and yellow on a black background. The Kamares style was often elaborate, with complex patterns on pottery of eggshell thinness. Sets of jugs and cups have been found and it has been suggested that these may have been used in ritual. However, it is also thought that the exquisite Kamares wares would have been used in the Palaces.

Kamares Ware Jar c1800 – 1700 BC

Kamares Ware Stirrup Jar  Middle Minoan  (Marine Style )

AGIOS ONOUPHRIOS WARE

The painted parallel – line decoration of the Agios Onouphrios Ware, was drawn with an iron-red clay slip that would fire red under oxidizing conditions in a clean kiln, but under the reducing  conditions of a smoky fire turn darker without much control over colour which would range from red to brown.. A dark on – light painted pattern was then applied.

Early Minoan Round Bottom Jug Agios Onouphrios Ware

VASILIKI WARE

Vasiliki pottery includes a reddish – brown wash applied early to mimic stone vases. The mottling was produced by even firing on the slip- covered pot, with the hottest areas turning dark. There is also a style painted in a creamy white over the reddish – brown wash applied all over the body. The first example of Vasiliki Ware are to be found in Crete during during the Early Minoan 11A period, but it is in the next perio, Early Minoan 11B that it becomes the dominant form among the fine wares throughout Eastern Crete and Southern Crete

Vasiliki White Style Teapot c 2300 – 2000BC

PYRGOS WARE

The major form of this ware was the chalice, in which a cup combined with a funnel – shaped stand, could be set on a hard surface without spilling.As the Pyrgos site was a rock shelter used as an ossuary, some think it may have been for ceremonial use. This type of pottery was black, grey and brown, burnished and decorated with incised linear designs, possibly in the attempt to imitate wood.

Pyrgos Ware Chalice Early Minoan

It seems that these were the most exquisite popular pottery shapes and decorations and were made at the Palace workshops, whereas the more mundane pottery was most likely locally made.

In the Late Helladic 1-11A pottery is distinguished by the use of more lustrous paint than their predecessors, whereas in the Middle Helladic period matt paints were used on Middle Helladic shapes.

Late Helladic 111A2 Krater Lustrous painted

Late Helladic Palace style Amphora

Late Helladic Kylix Cup

There is some question with regard to how much of the pottery of Early Mycenaean age, relies on Minoan pottery for both their shapes and patterns. For at least the first half of the seventeenth century BC there is only a small amount of all pottery produced that is in the Minoan style.

Pottery in the Late Helladic 1 (c1675 – 1650 – 1600 -1550 ) varies  somewhat in style from one area to another. Due to the influence of Minoan Crete, the further south the site, the more the pottery is of Minoan style. Some of the matt painted wares from the Middle Helladic period carry on into the Late Helladic period

Middle Helladic Matt Painted Vase.

In the Late Helladic 11A (c1600-1550  –  1490 – 1470 BC) there seems to be an increase in uniformity in the Peloponnese in both painting and shape. However,  Central Greece is still recognized as Helladic pottery, showing little Minoan influence. By this time the matt painted pottery is less common.

During Late Helladic 111A1 ( 1435 – 1405  –  1390 – 1370BC) many changes occur.  The transformation from Goblet to Kylix whereby the goblet lengthens its stem and in this period, the stirrup jar becomes a popular style.

In Late Helladic 111A2 (c 1390 – 1370   1320 – 1300BC), The stirrup jar, piriform jar and alabastron are mostly found in tombs. The kylix becomes the dominant shape of pottery found in settlements during this period, while the deep bowl becomes the most popular decorated shape during the Late Helladic c 111B (c 1320 – 1300 – 1190 BC)  although, for unpainted wares the Kylix is still the most produced

Late Helladic Piriform Jar

During the Late Helladic 111B1 there were two sub – phases, characterized by the presence of both painted deep bowls and Kilikes and in the Late Helladic 111B2 there is an absence of decorated Kylix and deep bowl styles develop in rosette forms.

Late Helladic 111B Deep Bowl

It is unknown how long each sub-phase lasted, however, by the end of the Late Helladic 111B2 the palaces of Mycenae and Tyrins and the citadel at Midea had all been destroyed. The palace of Pylos was also destroyed at some point during this time, but it is impossible to tell when in relation to the others the destruction took place.

It seems that the ceramic shapes and decorations discovered during this final period, show that the production of pottery was reduced to little more than a household industry, suggesting that this must have been a time of decline in Greece. Today, however, the reproductions of these exquisite forms and decorations  of the Minoan and Mycenaean pottery, still holds its popularity throughout the world as it did in ancient times.

This is my final post for the Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery  shapes and decorations

For those of you who were interested in this fascinating subject from ancient times, I hope you enjoyed.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 31, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels Part 7

 

 

POTS AND THEIR CONTENTS AS OFFERINGS TO THE GODS

 

The above Linear B tablet tells us of an offering of olive oil to all the gods.

pa – si -te – o =  to all gods    one    a  pu  do  si  =  offering  of    e ra wo  = “olive oil”

RHYTON – was the Greek name for a vessel perforated at the bottom for the pouring of libations. The aperture was small for the gradual trickling of the liquid. Minoan rhyta have various shapes, such as the Middle Minoan “peg top” form, also an ovoid variety, or typical conical form of rather large dimensions, which first appeared at the beginning of the Late Minoan period in stone and was later copied in clay, sometimes decorated in the Marine Style.

Some clay rhyton recovered from peak sanctuaries are in the form of a bull. Another fine example is the Harvester Vase of the Neopalatial period. It is a rhyton of oblong shape, resembling an ostrich egg with a unique scene depicting a procession of men walking in groups and carrying harvesting tools on their shoulders.

The Harvester Rhyton

Minoan Rhyton in the shape of a bulls head c 1450 – 1400 BC

INCENSE BURNERS

A specialized shape, the incense burner is first known from Late Minoan111A; it’s origins are unknown. The shape consists of two separate pieces, a cup and cover. The cup normally has a flat base and vertical sides, with a single handle for lifting. It’s matching cover with a cut out portion to accommodate the cup’s handle is made with a cylindrical lower part and a higher pierced top. The normal context is tombs and shrines. The specialized cult vessel long a part of Minoan ceramic tradition, developed new ideas and several types exist: such as effigy figurines; vessels for incense or aromatics; elaborate stands; and other special shapes.

Late Minoan Incense Burner found in Ierapetra  East Crete

At the end of Late Minoan 1B Crete becomes more dependent on the Mycenaean ideas, whereby we see that the Mycenaean potters adapted styles from the well established Minoan pottery tradition, especially in areas close to Crete. An abundance of Mycenaean  pottery has been found in Italy and Sicily, suggesting that they were in contact and trading with the Mycenaeans.

TO BE CONTINUED

MY FINAL POST WILL BE ABOUT THE MOST POPULAR ANCIENT MINOAN POTTERS AND THEIR DECORATIONS.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels Part 6

THE MINOAN AND MYCENAEAN POTTERY VESSESL Part 6

COOKING POTS and COOKING UTENSILS

Tripod cooking vessels were clearly associated with cooking activities, especially boiling and stewing. However, it is possible they could also have been used for other purposes, such as the washing of textile fibres in hot water, making die – baths also for storage. It is also possible that cook pots were re-used as portable braziers once they were no longer suitable for cooking food. The shapes of cooking pots found on archaeological sites such as Petras,  vary considerably. The body can be either, globular or conical profile, a flat base and everted rim, or plain rim and an open mouth with a spout. The shoulder has two horizontal, or sometimes vertical handles that are round to slightly ovoid in section and less often a third vertical handle is placed opposite the spout.

Usually the tripod cooking pots have feet which are rounded in section and set high on the vessel; the bases are flat, the mouth generally flared for a collar and there is great variation in sizes; for instance, the largest tripod cooking pot found at Vronda has a height 0.29m and a rim diameter of 0.27m while the smallest  example is approx. 0.12 in height (without legs) with a diameter of 0.12m.

Cooking pots from Mitrou Central Greece

Cooking Pots from Pylos

Tripod cooking Pot from Palaikastro East Crete

Cooking trays are also among the vessels used in Minoan cooking. These trays were used for slow cooking at a low temperature rather than for frying.

These baking trays in the second millennium BCE from the Levant are handmade vessels with short rims and slightly convex or more commonly flat  bottomed.

Cooking utensils from Pylos.

The ladle Item 2 has a shallow bowl which is either rounded or slightly angular. It has a flat bottom and the rim seems to be shaped for pouring. The handle is long and thick. The average capacity of the bowl of the ladle was 0.27 litres. It is thought that the ladle was used for stirring – ladling out.

Archaeologists excavating at Papadiokambos East Crete in 2009, revealed nine rooms on the ground level where a large quantity and vast size range of limpets, top shells and crabs, suggesting that the Minoan people preparing food in House A1 seems to have collected a large part of their sustenance from the shallow coastal waters nearby. Also the remains of olives, grapes, figs and almonds, besides legumes also identified. All would have been available for cooking and eating.

Three cooking areas were found, each equipped with one hearth and at least one large vessel with the capacity to hold a substantial meal for multiple individuals. The cooking assemblage from the south porch includes a cooking dish full of  limpet shells, a tripod cooking pot, a medium sized jar, a strainer, scoop and several cups. There was also a series of small stone mortars, minimal amounts of goat, pork and beef remains, as well as a substantial heap of discarded burned limpets, partially crushed top shells and crabs were found.

Experimental Archaeology.

As a professional trained chef, Jad Alyounis was able to create and prepare a range of foods that might mimic Late Minoan flavours, by using foodstuff which would have been available during this period Late Minoan l B.

In order to test how the occupants  of house A1 would have used the tripod cooking pot, cooking dish and jar to prepare seafood, similar species of shell fish were collected, such as limpets, top shells, monodonta and turbinata., additional food stuffs, used either to season the food as complimentary food dishes, were collected from organic stores and butchers.  Using replica cooking dishes, three separate food dishes were prepared.  Flat-bread with saffron and coriander seeds, were baked in one vessel, a seafood full of top shells, a few limpets and crab was simmered and flavoured with olive oil, leek, garlic, honey, grape syrup and red wine vinegar.

In the second pot, lamb was sautéed with mustard and coriander seeds, garlic and leek, and finished off in a Cretan wine reduction. In the third pot, various cuts of pork, mainly bacon and pancetta, were sautéed and seasoned with leek, garlic, mustard seed and grape syrup. The fourth, a cooking dish was turned upside down on supports( to raise it off the coals) and used to bake flat bread on it’s exterior domed surface. Previously prepared dishes were re-heated in the tripod cooking pots. The radiated heat created by the small mounds of coals placed between the legs allowed the bodies of the pots to slowly warm.

In one tripod cooking pot cuttlefish cooked with ink was warmed and in the other, octopus simmered in beer with leek and garlic. For the jars. Alyounis alternated between cooking directly on the coals and elevating the vessel above the coals on supports. In one jar liver, onions and garlic in water and sweetened with honey and pureed chestnuts was simmered. In the other jar, lentils with onions, garlic and coriander was prepared and topped with fresh olive oil.   I can say from experience that the flavours were wonderful.

TO BE CONTINUED

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels Part 5

The Kylix,  is the most common type of wine drinking cup used during these times. It has a broad shallow body raised on a stem from the foot and usually two horizontal handles. The almost flat interior circle of the base of the cup was usually the primary surface for painting the decoration in the black figure and the red – figure pottery styles of the 6th and 5th century BC. The outside was also often painted because the pictorial scenes  on the inside would have been covered with wine, the scenes would only be revealed in stages as the wine was drained from the cup.

Once the Kylix was formed an artisan would draw a scene from Greek mythology or everyday life with a diluted glaze on the outer surface of the formation. Inside the drinking cup it-self was often a portrait of dancing or festive drinking or even warriors. Cooking, serving and drinking vessels such as the Kylix are documented on Linear B tablets, seals and vase paintings in the palaces of Pyos, Mycenae, Thebes and Knossos.

Middle Minoan Stem Kylix with Ibex decoration c 1415 – 1340

Minoan Kylix painted with running warriors.

Cooking serving, and drinking vessels such as the Kylix are documented on Linear B tablets, seals and vase paintings in the palaces of Pylos, Mycenaea, Thebes and Knossos.The study of feastings during the Middle and Late Bronze Age where the Kylix cup would have been used, provides insights into the nature of the Mycenaean society. It would seem that Mycenaean feasting was an expression of the hierarchical, social and political structure of the palaces. Also grave goods discovered demonstrate drinking practices and their importance to the formation of an elite identity.

CUPS IN GENERAL

The conical cupe shape is the most common type and hundreds even thousands have been found, some in houses, indicating a consumable use, such as toasting followed by the smashing of the containers. The rounded conical cups appear in large numbers during the Early Minoan – Middle Minoan period. sometimes not painted but decorated with just a single horizontal band of white paint. Many cups are plain.

Middle Minoan Carinated cups A and B                                       Semi – globular cups C

 

Selection of Minoan decorated cups known as Kamares Ware.

Minoan Cups have been found on numerous archaeological sites all over Crete, not only settlements, but also burials, peak sanctuaries and caves.  While observing the many shapes of cups I can’t help wondering, is it possible the Minoans set the style of the cups of today.

Of special interest are two decorated cups of the Late Minoan 111A1 were found on excavations at Tel-Beth Shemesh Israel in 2001. They were part of a large assemblage. A scarab bearing the name Amenhotep111 was also found along with the cups, providing further chronological evidence. While it is possible that the Late Minoan111A1 cups came to Tel Beth Shemesh directly from Knossos, another option may have been that they arrived as a gift from the Egyptian court. The special relations between Amenhotep111 and the Aegean, in the Late Minoan/Late Helladic period have drawn much attention from other scholars, who visualize an official Egyptian embassy visiting important sites in the region, including Knossos.

Two decorated cups found at Tel – Beth Shemesh Israel

TO BE CONTINUED

My next post will be about Cooking vessels.

 

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels Part 4

Those of you who were  interested in the previous three posts about the Pottery vessels of the Bronze Age, Minoan and Mycenaean period I hope you enjoyed reading.

Please note that  these posts are short excerpts from my final thesis  which can be seen on my Academia account in more detail. Just go to Rita Roberts on Academia and it should take you to my page.

PART 4

The discovery of Linear A and Linear B tablets, listing commodities in the archive areas at the Palace of  Ko no so – Knossos, suggests a highly organized bureaucracy as well as a system of record keeping that controlled incoming and outgoing products, such as on the Linear B tablet you see below which tells us that  Te jo has 542  a- pi – po – re – we = amphorae containing  e –  ra –  wo = olive oil    We know that the vessel is an amphorae by the particular ideogram = picture of the pot. The rings represent 100 per ring and the dashes represent ten each dash , the vertical lines represent one each and the illustration far right is the ideogram representing olive oil

STIRRUP JARS   INSCRIBED AND FOR TRANSDPORT

The stirrup jar has one of the unusual shapes in the Aegean archives and is characterized by two necks – one a central false neck which is non functional, surmounted by a disc from which two handles join the shoulder, the other a spout on the shoulder between the handles, the spout being used for pouring. These stirrup jars could  easily be carried around the palace and were used for pouring liquids, such as spiced wine, olive oil, aromatic oils and other such liquids Scented oil containers were imported from Aegean for medicinal and cosmetic purposes

Minoan Stirrup Jar

Some inscribed ka – ra – re – we = ” stirrup jars” are thought to be guest – gifts which served to openly advertise the person who gave the gift and it’s content , suggesting that inscribed vases are personal reminders of actual guest friends and travels undertaken.The majority of Minoan exports were their pottery, found across the Aegean, Levant and the Nile Delta, including as far as the Lupani islands between Italy and Sicily. Minoan pottery was also popular in Egypt after the reign of Tuthmosis11 (1492 )  after which most Aegean pottery and it’s contents exported to Egypt was Mycenaean

Inscribed Stirrup Jar probably someone’s name.

Mycenaean Stirrup Jar with Octopus decoration

The shape of the above stirrup jar with it’s octopus motif, testifies to the importance of the sea as an avenue of communication and source of food and wealth. It is also possible that this jar was designed for the exportation of the oil from the region, to surrounding cultures. It is a celebration of Mycenae and their maritime prowess of enjoyment of the sea and the life it gives.

POTS FOR PERFUMES

It seems that the ancients paid particular attention to cleanliness. We know they used aromatic oils and ointments when bathing, like the Egyptians and later the Greeks. It is possible that bitter almond as well as cedar and various native herbs, were most likely among the materials employed for the manufacture of perfumes, ointments and aromatic oils, which were stored and exported overseas in the characteristic stirrup jars Other more exotic ingredients, such as frankincense and myrrh would be delivered into the palaces from overseas and dispensed to workmen in small amounts.

Alabastron used for perfume.

Squat Alabastron – Jar

The squat alabastron = jar, was used for storing creams and unguents, first appeared in Minoan Crete, and was popular in the Mycenaean period. Early examples were made from alabaster, hence the name.

TO BE CONTINUED.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels Part 3

In 1990, while excavating Knossos palace in Crete, archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans discovered many of the Linear B clay tablets which reveal inventories of many important items. For instance, a variety of pottery vessels are recorded, such as jars, vases, cups, bowls  cooking pots, cooking trays, amphorae and pithoi   are among other vessels produced, even a special pot for libation. Of special importance were the huge pithoi used to store oil and oil based products such as perfumes, grain wine and other commodities.

The Linear B tablets tell us that produce from surrounding farmland was collected, recorded and stored in the palaces, as seen from the large storage – rooms  at Knossos where huge pithoi, amphorae and other such storage vessels were kept and where the palaces appear to have exorcized and extent of control of the trade. Some of the storage pots were used at the palace and others for transport not only within the local areas but also overseas contact.

Giant size Pithoi from Knossos Palace

The Storage rooms at Knossos Palace

 

These gigantic pithoi (storage jars) have been manufactured in Crete since Minoan times and are still made in some villages today. They often stand well over the height of a man. In the palace at Knossos there was room for some 400 of these vessels, placed in a row inside the magazines. If the large pithoi were sunk into the floor in storage rooms, as the archaeological evidence indicates they were, their weight and bulk raises a question of how they were brought there. Handling a full pithos except by extensive apparatus of tracks and cranes, of which there is no evidence, is unlikely. It is thought that maybe they were brought in empty, set in place and then filled from some other small vessel.

The pithoi the Uluburun Ship was carrying, if full of liquid would have been too heavy for manual handling, including the considerable weights of the containers, the total weights can be estimated around 150 to 420kg. Equipment for hauling to the ship and lowering into the hold must have been used.

The Uluburun Ship

The early pithoi were usually decorated with the simple trickle pattern whereby the decoration was applied at the top of the pot and continued down the buff coloured clay. Many handles were applied in sets of two around the shoulders and one above the base. The lids were either flat clay or stone or with some sort of fabric tied around the neck of the vessel.  Minoan pithoi were usually decorated with patterns by adding round clay “medallions, an early pattern, knobs and bands of applied thumb-impressed decoration, broad flat wavy bands and the “rope pattern”, a moulded imitation of the actual ropes with which they were bound for purposes of transport and reinforcement.

Pithos wavy band pattern

These huge Pithoi were used for burial

The above form of burial appears at the very end of the Early Minoan period, at the same sites where Larnax burial is more or less contemporarily introduced and becomes more popular in the Middle Minoan period.

While there were different burial practices found across Crete, the most common seems to have been the Larnax. The Minoan Larnax were made of terracotta (baked clay), but their structure resembles a wooden chest. The use of the larnax appears in the Early Minoan 111 period in East Crete at the archaeological sites of Pachia Ammos and Gournia and continues occasionally throughout Minoan times, disappearing after the customs of cremation became prevalent. The early Larnax are either plain or with a simple linear decoration but in the Late Minoan 111 period we see the Larnax painted in the style  of the time, decorated with abstract patterns, birds, flowers fish and octopuses besides other motifs, such as the double axe and other sacred objects, like bulls and other animals, human figures and sometimes ships.

Early Minoan Larnax (Coffin)

To be continued.  My next post will be about another storage vessel “The Amphorae”

 

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels Part 2

EARLY MINOAN PERIOD ( Part 2 )

At first the early Minoan vases were hand-made like the Neolithic vases but better fired. During Minoan 11 period settlements were expanding, new sites founded and trade flourished. Technology improved in a whole new range of products and Cretan pottery extends in progress. The Early Minoan wares are , well made and exceptionally durable, with excellent potting and surface decoration outstanding. The Early Minoan styles have many common features, which became popular during the Bronze Age and were exported to different parts of Crete as well as other countries

During the Early Minoan 1 phase, round bottomed jugs with beaked spouts appear as well as, bowls on high pedestals and decorated with simple linear patterns in a red and brown semi-lustrous paint on a yellowish background   The best achievement of the pottery from the Early Minoan 11 phase is the popular  Vasiliki ware The jugs of this period are flat bottomed and decoration is dark or dull red or brown on a light background. Among the patterns are triangles, semi circles and latticework.

Early Minoan11 Jug Dark on Light decoration

The next phase we see the reverse system of decoration, light on dark and patterns mostly curvilinear and include running spirals and interlocking curves. Other patterns include crosshatched circles lozenges and zigzags often linked together. Animal figures are evident at this time and there is a great variety of shapes. The most common shape at this time is a rounded teacup often without a handle.

Middle Minoan Kamares ware rounded cup

During the Middle Minoan period both dark – on – light and light – on dark decoration is evident and a typical vessel of this period is a small jug with short cut – away – neck, also a handle less cup, often with a pedestal which later shows a ribbon handle and slightly out – curving sides

Middle Minoan 1-11 Dark on light jugs.

The introduction of the potters wheel which succeeded the earlier turn-table led to much better and faster way for pottery production. The earliest clay vases made with the wheel are from the Minoan 1B phase. During the Early Palace period which began a little earlier than the end of the Middle Minoan 1A, the most stunning Cretan pottery appears, the well known Kamares Ware.

Early Minoan Kamares Ware cups

The pottery of the early stages of the Middle Minoan period uses much the same forms of decoration as the previous period. Flowers, leaves and often spirals as well as rosettes are painted in white on a black background.  The Late Minoan11 period ( 1550 – 1400 BC ) the so called ” Palace Style” at Knossos, the style of decoration was originally confined to the Knossos area, but during the earliest phase of the next period it spread throughout the island. The pottery is fired at a higher temperature and the designs are made using a lustrous paint, ranging from black to brown and red with a white colour for other details on zones or panels. Decoration consists of arcs, dots and horizontal stripes.

Palace Style Amphora

To be Continued.

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Vessels

                                                                            THIS POST IS  PART OF MY FINAL THESIS

           It covers the pottery vessels and their uses from the Neolithic period  and continues with the Minoan and Mycenaean periods in further posts.

 

In ancient times, as today ceramic pots are both utilitarian and works of art. They also offer a key to knowledge of many types, from chronology to the very history of culture to the development of technology. This post is about the history of ceramic vessels during  the ancient Minoan and Mycenaean times . Pottery is undoubtedly the most common archaeological material surviving and this is because it does not disintegrate when buried for many years, therefore is important to archaeologists for two main reasons.

 Firstly as a chronological indicator when other dateable objects such as, coins are lacking and secondly for the information it can provide, like trade and communications. It is the durability of pottery which makes it so important on archaeological excavations. Once finds from excavations have been washed and marked with identifying codes i.e. as to where and what layers the object was found, it is then sorted into groups of various items such as,  pottery, pieces of worked stone, coins, jewelry and so on. At this stage these may be sent to various specialist to study.   In the case of pottery vessels if broken, are sub-divided by sorting each group into base shards, body and rim shards and then handles and feet (if any).

For some types of finds, scientific methods are used in the process of analysis which would involve sorting by colour of the pottery and any other indications, like how the surface of the pot is finished such as burnishing and decoration, also inclusions in the clay like phyllite, calcite, limestone and any other rock fragments,  which would be studied under a Petrographic microscope where a thin slice (section) of the pot in question is mounted on a microscope slide and the inclusions can be identified and the original source of the material confirmed. 

Above is  an example showing inclusions in pottery under a Petrographic microscope.  In this case the pottery was from Mochlos East Crete, revealing that the local pottery inclusions consisted of fine phyllite, calcite and limestone rock fragments, whereas pottery imported from the Cyclades revealed inclusions of quartz, feldspar ,sandstone and metamorphic rock fragments within a jug/jar fragment

 

 

 

The Beginning of Pottery Production.

The first known pottery makers began in the Neolithic period at Knossos Crete, where a date of 6000 plus or minus 180 B.C. (J.D. Evans 1964 was confirmed) Most Neolithic Cretan houses were made of mud brick or more perishable materials, set on stone foundations so as to raise the walls above the dampness of the ground. Families lived in villages close together. Caves were sometimes used as homes and were symbolic to the religion. These people would make offerings of pottery which contained other goods placed within them.

Most Cretan houses were made of mud brick or more perishable materials and set on stone foundations so as to raise the walls above the dampness of the ground. Families lived in villages close together. Caves were sometimes used as homes and were symbolic to the religion. These people would make offerings of pottery which contained other goods within them. Most Neolithic Cretan vessels were utilitarian and serviceable, the best pieces being carefully decorated. All Neolithic pottery is made by hand and fired to a low temperature.  The texture is normally course and often additional gritty fragments are mixed with the raw clays to make them even courser – gritty clay shrinks less when drying and will not crack so easily.

Neolithic Pottery Shapes

The most common Neolithic pottery shapes are, open mouth bowls, some smaller than others but large enough for storage. Others include narrow mouthed jars, small mouthed bowls and pedestal bowls. Patterns consist of short horizontal lines, stripes and triangles, as well as horizontal bands. Cups and jars of several types were also made. Most Neolithic Cretan vessels are black in colour.

                                   

 

                                                                                                    Early Neolithic Pottery Shapes

 

                                                                          

                                                                           Neolithic pot c 4500 – 3000 BC with incised decoration

 

        THE NEXT POST WILL BE POTTERY FROM THE EARLY MINOAN PERIOD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
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via Researchers in Israel Find World’s First Steak Knives

Researchers in Israel Find World’s First Steak Knives

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

Low-Carb Diet May Reverse Age-Related Brain Deterioration

low carb for life

Researchers say brain pathways begin to erode in our late 40’s, but this can be repaired through dietary changes?

A low carbohydrate diet may prevent and even reverse age-related damage to the brain, research has found. By examining brain scans, researchers found that brain pathways begin to deteriorate earlier than previously believed.

Changes associated with ageing are being seen at a much younger ages than would be expected. A study suggests that this process may be prevented or reversed based on dietary changes that involve minimising the consumption of simple carbohydrates. Researchers concentrated there research on young people whose brains showed no signs of ageing, a period during which prevention may be most effective.

Using brain scans of nearly 1,000 subjects between the ages of 18 to 88, researchers found that the damage to neural pathways accelerated depending on where the brain was getting its energy from. They found that…

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Posted by on August 11, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
 
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