The ceramic element of this project investigates the typology, raw materials and technology used to make Early-Middle Neolithic Starčevo pottery from the site of Svinjarička Čuka in Serbia.
Svinjarička Čuka in Serbia is located on a small, elevated terrace near the Svinjarička River in Lebane, close to the famous Byzantine city of Justiniana Prima (Caričin Grad). The site was first identified during a survey in 2017 where core drillings showed the potential for Neolithic archaeology and the first excavations were held in 2019 led by Barbara Horejs (OREA) and Aleksandar Bulatović (Archaeological Institute Belgrade).
Radiocarbon dating has shown that current Neolithic levels date to 5600calBC which is consistent with the presence of Barbotine jars, red slipped pedestalled deep bowls/jars, biconical bowls, shallow conical bowls, and both dark linear and spiraloid decorative motifs correlating to Starčevo II–III.
As well as recording the typological and macroscopic details of all the Neolithic pottery, C. Burke will choose diagnostic sherds for sampling that include the range of shapes, wares and macroscopic fabric/technological details evident. These samples will then be subject to analysis by thin section petrography in order to characterise their raw materials, elements of potting technology such as the used of temper or clay mixing, and to examine the repertoire of shapes made within different paste recipes identified. Additionally, a sub selection of decorated sherds will be examined using scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy in order to characterise vitrification structures related to firing conditions and for investigation of the raw materials used for painting and slipping. The data generated from this analysis will be compared to published results from other studies and to comparative material from other sites.