Curves in all the Right Places: An Analysis of Shape and Decoration in Mycenaean Pottery from Late Bronze Age Cyprus
Mycenaean ceramics have been found in sites across the Eastern Mediterranean, however an impressive amount of this pottery has been found on the island of Cyprus, which once lay in the midst of important Mycenaean trading routes. Due to the large number of Cypriot excavations by different international and local schools, Mycenaean pottery from Cyprus can now be found in numerous locations around the world. It is therefore a struggle to perform any kind of systematic analysis or sourcing study, although many pots have been recorded and analysed by museums and are available to view photographically. This thesis uses an approach that draws on that photographic record. It uses both shape and decoration to expand the pool of resources that can be used to further divide and analyse groups of pottery. Sixty-seven pots were divided into groups of the same motif choice, which were then further subdivided by running each group’s shape data through a hierarchical clustering analysis. The analysis showed that pots in each motif group clustered into distinct shapes. Further analysis revealed that some shape groups shared a close relationship with pots from other motif groups. Two distinct group combinations were identified from the dataset, and these were interpreted as representing the output of at least two individuals or workshops.
Advisor: Walter, Richard; Anson, Dimitri
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Anthropology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: archaeology; LBA; Late Bronze Age; Cyprus; Mycenaean Pottery; Form; Hierarchical clustering analysis; pot-o-meter; decoration; motif
Research Type: Thesis