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DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2014/B31/S9.049

MINERALOGICAL AND CHEMICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE CUCUTENI POTTERY

F. Matau, V. Nica, M. Pintilei
Saturday 1 November 2014 by Libadmin2014

References: International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM2014, www.sgemsocial.org , SGEM2014 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7105-29-2/ ISSN 2367-5659, September 1-9, 2014, Book 3, Vol. 1, 381-390 pp

ABSTRACT
Archaeological research based on traditional archaeological methods (typology, style and context analysis) provides a wealth of information concerning ware shape, color, decoration and overall fabric. In order to differentiate between such classificatory schemes, archaeologists often resort to an interdisciplinary approach involving the analysis of the mineralogical composition and geochemical fingerprints of the raw materials use in the pottery manufacture.
The Cucuteni–Trypillia civilization developed during the V–IVth millennia BC andreached a very vast geographical area, with a total of more than 350,000 km2 inRomania, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. It is perhaps one of the most intriguing subjects when analyzing South-Eastern European prehistory. Its importance is not derived only from spectacular constructions and artifacts which include remains of multi-stage wattle-and-daub constructions, a wide variety of tools, diverse anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, and sophisticated polychrome pottery that have significantly enriched our knowledge of daily life and artistic handicraft of Old European civilizations. On the contrary, the Cucuteni–Trypillia civilization offer a diversified picture of the transformation in human social evolution and the role technological development assumes in bringing forth an early form of ranked social organization.
This paper’s aim is to investigate different pottery types selected from the Cucuteni culture eponymous site. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and environmental scanning electron microscope combined with energy diffraction analysis of X-rays (ESEM-EDX) analysis are the main techniques used in this paper to determine the technology and raw materials used in the pottery. Results show that the studied pottery samples can be divided into two main groups based on the nature and size of grains: shell-tempered pottery and pottery containing predominant fine quartz grains. This mineralogical distinction also reflects differences in production technology.

Keywords: Cucuteni culture, Cucuteni A period, pottery technology, XRD, ESEM-EDX.