Archaeometric Analyses of the Pre-Classical Pottery from Lousoi

The geometric and archaic vessels from the sanctuary of Artemis Hemera in Lousoi (Peloponnese) are being studied by petrographic and geochemical methods in order to identify the production sites and the production techniques so that different workshops can be distinguished. Through the determination of the origin of the vessels it is possible to reconstruct the regional and supra-regional appeal of the sanctuary.

Aims and research methods

In this project mainly petrographic and wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence analyses will be conducted. The collaboration and scientific exchange with other archaeometric projects in the northern Peloponnese and on the Gulf of Corinth should aid in the establishment of an extensive petrographic and geochemical comparative database that will make it possible to reconstruct regional exchange networks. Representative ceramic samples are selected based on general macroscopically visible traits of the clay matrix and the inclusions that can be identified with non-destructive test methods (pXRF and optical microscope). Geological samples and hellenistic building materials (e.g. roof tiles) as well as wasters are also utilized for the definition of a local reference group.

In addition to issues of origin, archaeometric studies can clarify technological aspects, such as clay preparation, shaping processes, surface treatment, and firing atmosphere. Furthermore, we will continue to pursue the question of to what extent vessels found in ritual contexts differ technologically from the other ceramic inventory.