This research is examining the forming, firing and surface finishes of Early and Late Neolithic ceramics from the site of Çukuriçi Höyük, Western Turkey to diachronically and spatially characterise the technological choices and behaviours of this early community.
Çukuriçi Höyük is located approximately 1km south-east of the ancient city of Ephesos, near modern day Selçuk but in prehistoric times it was a lot closer to the coast. Excavations led by Barbara Horejs uncovered archaeological settlement from the Early to Late Neolithic around (6680–6000 calBC), and later Chalcolithic and Bronze Age occupation, with the Neolithic layers characterised by the continuous accumulation of archaeological deposits and architecture relating to from the construction and inhabitation of small structures, built one on top of the other.
Detailed typological work has been undertaken by Barbara Horejs, alongside analysis of ceramic raw materials by Lisa Bettina (Peloschek 2017) as part of the ›Prehistoric Anatolia‹ project. This work is now being further developed by Clare Burke who is examining the Neolithic pottery from a technological perspective for both the Early and Late Neolithic phases, with an emphasis on characterising the practices and choices that potters undertook.
The work involves macroscopic, petrographic and scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy to characterise forming techniques, the method and chemical character of surface finishes and relative firing conditions. So far it has been possible to identify distinct potting traditions related to raw material use and paste recipe preparation methods, that lasted from the Early through to the Late Neolithic, possibly passed on through the generations of occupants at the site. These potters used a mix of coil, slab and pinching forming techniques, and later made specific adaptations to their practices in relation to the introduction of slipped and painted pottery.