Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Technological and stylistic evaluation of the Early Bronze Age pottery at Tarsus-Gözlükule, Turkey: Pottery production and its interaction with economic, social, and cultural spheres
by Unlu, Elif, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2009, 366; 3381877
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents a technological and stylistic assessment of Early Bronze Age pottery production at Tarsus-Gözlükule, a multi-period mound settlement located in the Cilician Plain in southern Turkey.

Pottery production, like all other man-made objects, is firstly a technological act. This dissertation maintains that material style (involving formal, technical, and decorative choices expressed by the artisan) of an artifact should be investigated as a whole as such an integrative study would be the most adequate way of understanding economic circumstances, social representation, and cultural boundaries.

To facilitate this integrative investigation, seventy-two samples of Early Bronze Age pottery excavated from Tarsus-Gözlükule in the 1930s and 1940s.were selected for mineralogical, morphological, and chemical analyses. Petrographic and powder X-Ray Diffraction analyses were performed to determine the mineralogical makeup, Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope imagery was used to determine the morphology of these samples, and semi-quantitave Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy analysis was performed on some samples to determine chemical properties of the clays. As a result of these scientific analyses various fabric groups were established. Afterwards formal shape and stylistic analysis was performed where shapes and surface treatments of the samples were analyzed and compared to the known local and non-local examples.

Such an integrative approach to pottery production facilitates a better definition of the local pottery production process and enables an assessment of the technological know-how of the local pottery producers, their labor organization and its role within the operating markets, their function within the sociopolitical structure, and how such issues relate to the cultural boundaries within the community. Defining the paradigm of the local pottery production process leads to a broader investigation of issues related to the technological transfer of know-how and its social impact upon the pottery producers, the functional and symbolic role of the imported pottery and its local imitations within the community, and the significance of commodity exchange for the identity of individuals, networks of producers, and the community as a whole.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Tartaron, Thomas F.
School: University of Pennsylvania
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Ancient history, Materials science
Keywords: Bronze Age, Cilicia, Turkey, Early Bronze Age, Material style, Pottery, Pottery analysis, Pottery technology, Stylistic, Tarsus, Tarsus-Gozlukule, Turkey
Publication Number: 3381877
ISBN: 978-1-109-43199-5
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