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Serving the Living and the Dead:
Ceramic Production in Copper Age Campania, Southern Italy

de Falco, Maria (2023) Serving the Living and the Dead:
Ceramic Production in Copper Age Campania, Southern Italy.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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The purpose of this study is to analyse the relationship between ceramic production and wider cultural processes taking place in Campania, and more widely in the Italian Peninsula, during the Copper Age (roughly 3900-2200 BC). The study aims to draw new inferences from the evidence of ceramic production by using a holistic approach. This integrates typological analysis typical of the Italian tradition with a broader, theoretically informed, technological approach involving macroscopic observations and archaeometric analyses, and applyies both to ceramic assemblages from four key multi-phase sites not previously investigated in this way.
These integrated typological and technological analyses of different ceramic assemblages make it possible to highlight and relatively date technological innovations as well as strong manufacturing traditions never previously fully characterised for Copper Age Southern Italy. Changes in production processes, vessel types as well as in aesthetics in Neolithic to Copper Age ceramics are defined, and possible functional and social explanations proposed.
It is argued that the important socio-economic changes occurring in Southern Italy, especially during the 3rd millennium BC, resulted in radical changes in the production and purpose, and symbolic and material value, of ceramic objects. Embedded in the cultural processes ongoing in this period, a shift from a ‘ritual’ to a ‘functional’ demand for ceramic production is theorised for the first time for these contexts. This integration of multiple lines of evidence (context, typology and technology) also highlights how research on ceramics can contribute to the definition and understanding of broader cultural processes at a regional and wider scale such as demands on production as well as symbolic, and economic drivers of change.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Copper Age, pottery, Italian Peninsula, Campania, technological change, ceramic technology, ceramic chaîne opératoire, archaeometry, petrography, typology, geochemistry, technological variability
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Archaeology, Department of
Thesis Date:2023
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:05 Jun 2024 11:42

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