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Research Groningen Institute of Archaeology Research Research groups GIA

The production of Oinotrian geometric pottery in southern Italy (Calabria, Basilicata and Campania) during the Iron Age: a comparative study on technological aspects

Marianna Fasanella Masci


Period of Employment:

Promotors: Prof. P.A.J Attema & Dr. A.J. Nijboer

Financed by:

Project Description

The project aims to study the manufacture of Oinotrian geometric pottery of southern Italy during the Iron Age with the help of macroscopic, microscopic and radiographic analysis in order to establish a classification of production techniques as a means for understanding the organization of the pottery production in Oinotrian communities. The main question will be: what was the impact of the introduction of the pottery wheel on local production?

Oinotrian geometric pottery represents the most widespread class of vessels in southern Italy from the 9th till the midst of the 7th century B.C. It is found in the Sibaritide, in Basilicata, in southern and central Campania and partially also in Puglia. It occurs in well-documented contexts in necropoleis, settlements and sanctuaries, and as such constitutes an ideal category of artefacts to carry out the above mentioned analysis.

In the past, studies of Oinotrian geometric pottery have mainly been conducted from a stylistic point of view. This thesis, however, offers a different approach as it is based on the identification of the techniques applied. Oinotrian geometric pottery is traditionally considered to be a hand made product, but this is often only based on the results of the visual inspection of the fragments: in fact many fragments show traces of wheel-turning.

In the thesis special attention will be dedicated to materials from the archaeological site of Francavilla Maritima with many findings of Oinotrian geometric pottery from the 9th to 7th century B.C. The outcome of the technological study from materials from this site will be confronted with other sites in the Sibaritide (Torre Mordillo, Broglio di Trebisacce, Amendolara and Castrovillari) as well as with sites outside the Sibaritide, in Basilicata (Incoronata di Metaponto e Santa Maria d’Anglona) and Campania (Sala Consilina).

Quantitative and qualitative analysis of materials from these sites will lead to a spatial analysis of the diffusion of production techniques and, by adopting a chronological perspective, it will become possible to monitor the introduction of innovative methods in time and space and to assess the impact of technological change on local pottery production at specific sites such as Francavilla Marittima.

Last modified:23 July 2018 1.29 p.m.