Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Changing Times and Domestic Goods: An Investigation into the Organization of Pottery Production in Lerna III and IV
by Roberson, D. Buck, M.A., The University of Arizona, 2018, 214; 13424120
Abstract (Summary)

The Early Helladic II–III (EH II–III) transition was a period of dramatic cultural change in the Argolid, and one of the most prominent shifts which occurred at this time was in the pottery, which changed from forms with few handles, simple decoration, and homogeneous appearances to ones with an abundance of handles, prominent decoration, and wide variation in appearances. While this shift has been explained to some extent by writers such as Rutter (1993) and Spencer (2007), the nature of this change has not yet been fully explored. This thesis explores this problem by examining the organization of pottery production in Early Helladic Lerna, a type site for the region. This is done by examining indirect evidence from Lerna in EH II and EH III, largely through the use of standardization analysis, which is then used to evaluate the organization of pottery production in each phase by using Costin’s parameters of craft production, namely intensity, concentration, scale, and context (1991). These are then compared, ultimately concluding that production was at the level of very low-intensity household production for domestic use and limited non-economic trade in both periods. The single change observed is in the context of production, which is found to move from a midpoint between independent and attached production in EH II to embedded production in EH III, a form of attached production. This occurred as the result of a change from a seemingly uncontested political sphere in EH II to one characterized by competition between individuals or groups in EH III, which caused the political powers to draw nearer to their otherwise unchanged pottery production groups in order to compete for power.

This thesis contributes to current scholarship in several ways. It first of all provides new evidence for the organization of pottery production in the Argolid during EH II and III, which has received little scholarly attention. It also contributes to research into the nature of the political changes which occurred across the EH II–III transition, such as Weiberg and Lindblom’s suggestion of differential adoption of foreign elements in the Argolid in EH III (2014), which I propose is due to varied approaches to competition for political authority. Finally, it provides a useful instance of shifting political power and an associated change in production context that problematizes typical narratives regarding the development of attached craft production (Costin 1991: 12).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Schon, Robert
Commitee: Mills, Barbara J., Voyatzis, Mary E.
School: The University of Arizona
Department: Classics
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 58/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Cultural anthropology, Classical Studies
Keywords: Bronze Age, Ceramics, Greece, Lerna, Pottery, Standardization
Publication Number: 13424120
ISBN: 978-0-438-76412-5
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