10 - Results of the Western Argolid Petrography Project


Sarah A. James, University of Colorado Boulder; and Edyta Marzec, Fitch Laboratory, British School at Athens


This poster presents the results of petrographic analysis conducted on 106 samples collected by the Western Argolid Regional Project (WARP) from 2014–2016. This study was sponsored, in part, by a generous grant from the AIA-NEH Award for Archaeological Research. Despite difficulties and limitations related to the small sample size and the relatively homogenous geology of the northeastern Peloponnese, this research sheds new light on the economy of the communities living in this part of southern Greece in diachronic perspective. By defining and characterizing a variety of fabrics as “local,” “regional,” and “intraregional,” we can better understand how people in the western Argolid responded to pottery from other sites, as well as the extent to which they were subject to larger trends in material culture in southern Greece and beyond. While identifying probable local fabrics enables us to demonstrate which shapes were manufactured in the survey and how this production transformed from the Early Bronze Age to the Medieval period.

Additionally, most petrographic work in the Argolid has been done on prehistoric pottery, and laboratory analyses of historic ceramic materials from this region are relatively rare. A significant contribution of this research is therefore the examination of pottery from historical periods, which has allowed temporal patterning in raw material usage to be determined. For instance, the increased occurrence of sandstone fabrics found in the survey area during the Archaic and Classical periods, the appearance of felsic Corinthian fabrics in the Classical period, and their increasing use into Roman times, indicate that changes in clay preferences were related to wider cultural transformations.