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New Perspectives on

Ancient Pottery

Archaeological fieldwork, especially when carried out on the long term, yields hundreds of thousands of pots and sherds, of which usually only a very small proportion is published in excavation reports or in typological studies. Very often, the (large) majority of material is even directly laid aside after a first look. We believe that this is a waste of time, effort and material, which leads to the loss of much useful information. On the other hand, however, it is clear that current ways of processing simply cannot cope with the mass of finds we generate. Besides squeezing out more information, we have to speed up the processing of finds.

In 2007 a new and innovative research project has started at the Amsterdam Archaeological Centre (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands). The research concerns the ancient pottery of a Dutch excavation in Italy (Satricum) and Dutch excavations and surveys in Greece (Halos, Zakynthos and Methone). Pottery from fieldwork in other regions will be included as well. The main aim of the project is to develop new methodologies in archaeological pottery studies that will increase the quality and quantity of the information that can be derived from this basic dataset. Perspectives from a range of traditions in pottery studies will be combined and integrated, such as technological, stylistic and geological approaches. Data from several regions in Greece and Italy will be used and compared. Thus, we expect to increase the proportion of diagnostic material. We plan to apply the results of our material studies to specific research questions regarding the cross-regional production, distribution and use (consumption) of pottery.

sherds apothiki