Friday 22 January 2010

Fotini Nezeri
Ministry of Culture

The “Armenoi Workshop”: a LM III pottery workshop in Rethymno

The subject of this presentation is the study of a LM III pottery workshop in the province of Rethymno, its exact location and its relation to other Cretan workshops. This study adds to the picture of ceramic production in LM III Crete and clarifies the role of local workshops.
A recent study of the ceramic material from the area of Rethymno demonstrated the existence of a pottery assemblage consisting of local vessels with common and rather distinctive features, namely clay composition, shapes and decoration. This conclusion was based on the study of the unpublished material from the Armenoi cemetery, dated to the Final Palatial period, as well as of published pottery from the cemeteries of Mastambas, Apodoulou, Maroulas and Pigi. The activity of the workshop commences in LM IIIA1 with limited production and continues until LM IIIB. According to the stylistic study, production reaches its peak during the LM IIIA2 period. The workshop shows particular preference for closed shapes (three- and two-handled alabastra, three-handled alabastra-type vases, and amphoriskoi), mostly for funerary use. This local pottery assemblage is homogeneous and adopts many elements characterising the Mycenaean pottery.
To conclude, it can be suggested that, on the basis of their typology and style, and according to the analytical results, these vessels constitute a homogeneous group, deriving from the same pottery workshop. The results of the archaeological and archaeometric study of the Rethymno pottery were compared to the data available from other Final Palatial Cretan workshops and the outcome reinforces the conclusion of a common provenance. Products of this local workshop are mainly found in the cemetery of Armenoi, but are also sporadically encountered in the other cemeteries of the Rethymno area, such as Maroulas, Pigi, Mesi and Stavromenos.
The last issue to be addressed is the position of this material within the broader picture of LM III pottery production in Crete. Furthermore, the study of local and regional pottery production not only clarifies issues of ceramic technology but also contributes to a better understanding of the economic history of Minoan Crete.


Next Seminar

Friday 12 May 18.30

M. Marthari
Raos on Thera...