Raw materials exploitation in Prehistory:

Sourcing, processing and distribution

10-12 March 2016, Faro - Portugal


Miriam CUBAS - BioArch. University of York, UK (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Technology and provenance studies of pottery allow researchers to better understand aspects such as the production organisation, distribution and use patterns of these products. How ceramics were produced, exchanged and used are key elements to elaborate interpretations about important archaeological topics, related to strategies of environmental exploitation, mechanisms of knowledge transfer, technological innovation, labour distribution and exchange networks, all of them basic for our understanding of the development of social processes, like craft specialization and the arisen of hierarchical and complex social systems.

The application of methodologies related to the analysis of raw materials procurement and clay composition offers great opportunities in the development of those technology and provenance studies. A great variety of techniques can be applied in these analyses, focused on the compositional, mineralogical and textural characteristics of these products to explain the different socioeconomic conditions of the pottery production and its role in the prehistoric societies.

The session welcomes papers focusing on raw materials for making pots in relation to work with analysis and contextualization of prehistoric pottery ensembles in different chronologies and geographical areas of the world. The session hope to assemble archaeologists, anthropologists, archaeometrists and ethnographers who are working on raw material procurement and provenance studies of prehistoric pottery.


Keywords: Pottery, provenance, technology, archaeological science, analytical techniques.