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chemical analysis

This paper reports how chemical analysis shows that the Kavalliani shipwreck carried a cargo of MBP from Chalcis.
These results propose Chalcis as a main medieval maritime hub, as most of the cargoes of tablewares in shipwrecks of the Middle Byzantine period are of the same types, and most probably have the same origin.

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S.Y. Waksman, G. Koutsouflakis, J. Burlot, L. Courbe, Archaeometric investigations of the tableware cargo of the Kavalliani shipwreck (Greece) and into the role of the harbour of Chalcis in...

A.M.W. Hunt (ed.)
The Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Ceramic Analysis
Oxford University Press, 2017

presents methodologies used in the POMEDOR project, such as organic residues analysis, petrographic and chemical analysis. The latter is presented by S.Y. Waksman in a contribution including medieval Beirut as a case study, entitled "Provenance" Studies: Productions and Compositional Groups ". Beirut was one of the sites investigated within the framework of the POMEDOR project, building on previous research.


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Chalcis was identifed as a production center of amphorae types Günsenin 2 and 3 - a prominent one for the latter type. This new result further highlights the role of Chalcis in maritime trade involving both food containers and tablewares, already pointed out by our study of the "MBP" tablewares.

The paper is available in open access and contains a downloadable 3D model of a typical example of Günsenin 3 amphora (link to the free 3D viewer MeshLab; open the .obj file through File/Import mesh), which may be seen and manipulated online on Elsevier's website:


A new POMEDOR intern, Lucie Courbe, is currently working in the framework of her MA Thesis with S.Y. Waksman in Lyon's laboratory, on the Byzantine and Ottoman Pottery Production of Athens.
The material under study comes from the American Excavations in the Athenian Agora and will be published by J.A.C. Vroom (Leiden University) and her team. It gave evidence for pottery manufacture in Athens Agora at the Ottoman period. Lucie will characterize this production by chemical analysis and investigate the hypothesis of an earlier one, typologically related to the MBP (Main Middle Byzantine Pottery, see ...

The introduction of new wares in Western Turkey in the early Turkish period has been one of the subjects investigated in the framework of the POMEDOR project. A paper focusing on moulded wares is now available in preview, which will come out in the special volume of JASReports "Contextualising science: advances in ceramic production, use and function" edited by Roberta Tomber and Michela Spataro:

S.Y. Waksman, J. Burlot, B. Böhlendorf-Arslan, J. Vroom, Moulded wares production in the Early Turkish/Beylik period in Western Anatolia: A case study from Ephesus and Miletus, forthcoming in R. Tomber and M....

The importance of the main "Middle Byzantine Production" (MBP), which includes several 12-13th c. pottery types known as "Fine sgraffito ware", Aegean Ware" etc., is seen both through its large distribution and by its predominance in 12th-13th c. AD shipwrecks. With the help of chemical analysis, we show in this paper that it was manufactured in Chalcis (Greece), the harbour of wealthy Byzantine Thebes, and later on a Venetian hub under the name of Negroponte. These results question the impact of the Frankish conquest on production and diffusion of goods, and raise issues for future research on consumption and food...

This paper is a synthesis of investigations, based on chemical analysis, of various categories of pottery, dated back from the late Roman to the Venetian period. It includes evidences of circulation of cooking wares, which call for a better understanding of the possible influence of these imports on cooking practices.

S.Y. Waksman, Archaeometric approaches to ceramics production and imports in Medieval Cyprus, in D. Papanikola-Bakirtzi, N. Coureas (eds.), Cypriot Medieval Ceramics: Reconsiderations and New Perspectives, Nicosie, 257-277 (2014).

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A paper entitled "Long-term pottery production and chemical reference groups: examples from Medieval Western Turkey", mentioning the introduction in the local repertoire of new types, ceramics techniques and fashions with the arrival of the Turkish populations - a question directly related to POMEDOR themes.

S.Y. Waksman, Long-term pottery production and chemical reference groups: examples from Medieval Western Turkey, in H. Meyza (ed.), Late Hellenistic to Mediaeval Fine wares of the Aegean Coast of Anatolia. Their production, imitation and use, Varsaw, 107-125 (2014).

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