Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters


11.11.2020 - Ada Dinckal

Take it with a grain of salt; Micromorphology and Diagenesis at the site of Diepkloof Rock Shelter, South Africa

Abstract: Two conflicting Luminesce chronologies have been developed for the Howieson’s Poort bearing Middle Stone Age sequence at Diepkloof. This has led to considerable controversy within the understanding of the HPs place within the MSA chronological. One hypothesis for this difference argues that estimates of Potassium at DRS are resulting in the conflicting dates. This thesis provides the first extensive look at the diagenetic and micromorphology variations occurring across large lateral extents of the DRS archaeological sequence. A primary aim of this thesis is to develop an understanding as to what is happening with Potassium bearing minerals at DRS and how this may change over large lateral sequences. A secondary aim of this thesis is to provide a contextual framework for the diagenetic and micromorphological analysis occurring at the site by using Photogrammetric models. Along with the first detailed photogrammetric sequence of the DRS Long Trench profile, this study also provides the first known use of photogrammetry to georectify large scale loose sample collection used in this analysis. 

25.11.2020 - Eirini Koutouvaki

Title: Clayey sediments and pottery fabrics in the wider Ierapetra area (Crete)


Ierapetra and its wider region has caught the attention of Minoan archaeology much less than other areas on Crete, due to the sparsity of finds and the lack of impressive Minoan. It was only in the last decade that a series of new excavation projects started to shed light on the Bronze Age history of the area. There are, however, many gaps in our knowledge, particularly concerning the raw materials and the production of the pottery found in the new sites excavated so far in the area. 

This project contributes to this problem by exploring the two most frequently attested Minoan pottery fabrics in the southern part of the isthmus of Ierapetra, namely the granodiorite and the ophiolitic. The provenance of these fabrics had been taken for granted in Minoan literature: the Mirabello fabric is connected to the granodioritic outcrops at Gournia-Kalo Chorio area and the South Coast fabric is connected mostly to the ophiolitic series/flysch mélange between Myrtos and the Asterousia-Messara area. However, most recent studies1 have cast doubts to these ideas and show that, taking into account the repetitive geological structure of the island, this provenance is not a solid fact, particularly because ophiolitic lithologies and granodiorite outcrops have been attested in the southern part of Ierapetra isthmus as well, on the plain and the surrounding hills of the Ierapetra plain. 

In order to clarify this issue, clay prospection was carried out in the wider Ierapetra area. The samples were studied through petrographic analysis, and the purpose was to define a) the mineralogical composition of the clayey sediments and the role of the rock suite for their formation and composition, and b) the tempering material available in the plain. Furthermore, the results of this study are compared to Minoan pottery from sites in the area, as well as to modern pottery, locally manufactured by the traditional potters of Kentri, which was one of the most important pottery centers in the 20th century on the island. 

Despite the fact that archaeological work in the area is in a preliminary stage, the results of this study provide new evidence and allow us to reconsider well established and widely accepted ideas concerning the production and distribution of Minoan pottery is this area, and consequently to infer on exchange networks and the socio-cultural relationships.

1: Liard, F., 2018a. Production and trade of pottery in the so-called “South Coast” fabric in Bronze Age Crete. Current interpretations and recent findings at Malia, northern Lassithi, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 21, 973–982; Liard, F., Pomonis, P., Koutsovitis, P., Gait, J., Stamatakis, M., 2018. Ophiolites associated with pottery production in Bronze Age Crete, Archaeometry, 60(4), 731-749.

09.12.2020 - Enrique Fernández-Palacios

16.12.2020 - Sinem Hacıosmanoglu

13.01.2021 - Beatrice Boese

27.01.2021 - Dobereiner Chala-Aldana

10.02.2021 - Baptiste Solard

24.02.2021 - Maxime Rageot / Stephen Buckley