An integrated typological, technological and provenance investigation of Late Hellenistic colour-coated pottery from Nea Paphos, Cyprus

Abstract

The current paper contributes new evidence to the ongoing discussion of the location and organisation of production of Hellenistic colour-coated ware (CCW), through interdisciplinary investigation of morphological style, technology and provenance of relevant pottery from a Late Hellenistic deposit found in a well in the Agora of Nea Paphos on Cyprus. Through naked eye examination, four major macroscopic groups were identified based on vessel typology and fabrics. Subsequently, 53 representative samples were selected and analysed through a combination of refiring tests, chemical analysis, thin section petrography and scanning electron microscopy. The results indicated that the sheer majority of this pottery, despite some compositional and technological variability, reflects the use of similar raw materials compatible with the geology of Paphos. Therefore, during the Late Hellenistic period, most of the CCW consumed in Paphos were locally produced. The observed variation in the assemblage can be associated with several factors, such as natural diversity of raw materials, a number of co-existing pottery workshops, technological choices made by the potters and to a lesser extent post-depositional processes. This integrated research has a profound impact on studies of production and consumption of the Late Hellenistic pottery on Cyprus.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    This study is part of a PhD research project focused on the characterisation and contextualisation of CCW in Paphos. In the framework of this project, a few thousands of CCW potsherds and whole vessels from two excavations in Paphos, the Agora and the Maloutena residential area, were studied macroscopically. As a result, 16 macroscopic groups (MG 1–MG 16) were defined, and 164 samples were selected for further chemical and petrographic analysis, see: Marzec 2017. In a previous paper (Marzec et al. 2018), MG 1 and MG 2 have been discussed. They date to the Early Hellenistic period (late fourth–ca. mid-second century BCE) and are represented by 35 samples, the majority of which was unearthed in the Maloutena residential area (33 out of 35 samples). The current paper presents the macroscopic groups: MG 9, MG 10, MG 11 and MG 12, dated to the Late Hellenistic period (late second–late first c. BCE) and represented by 53 samples (see Table 2) from one closed deposit in the Agora, which did not include any examples representing MG 1 and MG 2. Moreover, MGs discussed in the current paper are neither chemically nor petrographically related to MG 1 and MG 2.

  2. 2.

    Marzec E, Kajzer M (forthcoming) Hellenistic Table Ware Pottery (from the late 4th to the 1st century BC). In: Papuci-Władyka E (ed.) PAPHOS AGORA 1. The results of the Jagiellonian University Interdisciplinary Research in Nea Paphos (2011–2015). Kraków

  3. 3.

    Miszk Ł (forthcoming) Stratigraphy of the Agora. In: Papuci-Władyka E (ed.) PAPHOS AGORA 1. The results of the Jagiellonian University Interdisciplinary Research in Nea Paphos (2011–2015). Kraków

  4. 4.

    Papuci-Władyka E (ed.) (forthcoming) PAPHOS AGORA 1. The results of the Jagiellonian University Interdisciplinary Research in Nea Paphos (2011–2015). Kraków

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Acknowledgments

The research would not be possible without the support of the director of the Paphos Agora Project Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka and the Department of Antiquities on Cyprus that issued the sampling permit. We would also like to thank the members of the Paphos Agora Project.

Funding

The project was carried out in the framework of programme Mobility plus (1065/MOB/2013/0) funded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland.

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Correspondence to Edyta Marzec.

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Marzec, E., Kiriatzi, E., Müller, N.S. et al. An integrated typological, technological and provenance investigation of Late Hellenistic colour-coated pottery from Nea Paphos, Cyprus. Archaeol Anthropol Sci 11, 4103–4122 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12520-019-00786-8

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Keywords

  • Cyprus
  • Nea Paphos
  • Colour-coated ware
  • Late Hellenistic period
  • Chemical analysis
  • Petrographic analysis