Technological features and cultural practices in prehistoric pottery traditions in Croatia

(UIP-2020-02-3637)

 The project includes an extensive and systematic study of the Bronze Age pottery traditions on the territory of Croatia. The research subject are the ceramic vessels dated to the period between the mid-3rd and early 1st millennium BC, discovered in the remains of prehistoric settlements, graves or cave structures. The research process consists of applying macroscopic, mineralogical and petrographic, and other analytical methods with the purpose of reconstructing the operational sequence of the pottery production process during the Bronze Age. Therefore, the methodology is based on two scientific fields, archaeology and geology. The main role of the natural sciences in this project is the analysis of pottery raw materials with an emphasis on physical and chemical properties as well as their origin. A large sample will be used to analyse the pottery manufacturing sequence and pottery use alterations. The use of analytical methods as well as the results of the analysis of production, distribution and use of ceramic vessels in the past will be the starting point for the consideration of archaeologically invisible phenomena such as cultural factors influencing technological choices, the identity creation, and the maintaining of pottery traditions. The study will try to answer a number of important research questions focused on topics such as technological choices and ways of using resources and ways of transferring knowledge and skills, as well as topics related to the mechanisms of adaptation and adoption of innovations in establishing pottery tradition within different Bronze Age cultural groups in Croatia. The study will, therefore, establish a completely new knowledge and re-examine the existing ones, while the research results will be interpreted within the wider cultural context. The systematic collection of data on the characteristics of the production process and use of the Bronze Age pottery will enable the establishment of a specialized database as well as a corpus of geological and archaeological samples at the Institute of Archaeology. The establishment of a work unit for the analysis and interpretation of ceramic petrography at the Institute of Archaeology will allow the systematic exploration and upgrading of a samples collection, which will form the basis for future research and the creation of a unique, internationally relevant open-source archaeo-geological database for the study of pottery in these areas.

 Web page: prePOT.iarh.hr

Project duration: February 1st 2021 – January 31st 2026

Members of the research group: Dr. Andreja Kudelić (Institute of Archaeology), Ass. Prof. Ana Maričić (Faculty of Mining, Geology and Petroleum Engineering, University of Zagreb), Dinko Tresić Pavičić (Kaducej LTD), Mia Marijan (external associate) and PhD student.

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