Ceramic styles in Iron age Crete : production, dissemination and consumption ; a study of pottery from the Iron age necropolis of Orthi Petra in Eleutherna
The present thesis describes and interprets a large corpus of ceramic material from the ongoing excavations of the University of Crete in the Iron Age necropolis of Orthi Petra, at Eleuthema, Crete. Given that the site is mostly known from preliminary reports, I offer an account of the geology and topography of Eleuthema and the surrounding region, as well as a detailed review of the archaeological remains, with particular emphasis to the Iron Age and the necropolis of Orthi Petra. The core of the study is, however, a formal analysis of ceramics from the latter site. Despite my sustained preoccupation with the chronology and typology of the Eleuthemian pottery, evidence from the whole of Crete is systematically integrated in the discussion. Hence, the analysis of the local ceramics is largely converted into a study of the Iron Age pottery of Crete. To meet the emerging challenges, I embark on building a format of ceramic analysis that facilitates and enhances the reader's understanding of my interpretation of stylistic development. I further pursue a synthetic picture for the chaíne opératoire of the local pottery by laying emphasis on its technology, as well as on the modes of and the interplay between ceramic production, dissemination and consumption. The concept of consumption is also applied to imported pottery and other classes of artefacts from the necropolis to engender a holistic and diachronic assessment of social interaction manifested in the funerary ritual held at Orthi Petra. Imported pottery is further appraised against a Cretan-wide background with regards to its origins, type, distribution and impact on local wares. Issues pertinent to the dissemination of stylistic change, the Orientalizing phenomenon and the interactions between Eleuthema and sites in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean are explored. Lastly, the history of the necropolis is outlined and the issue of the date and cause of its abandonment is reviewed.