Romanos, Chloe Lea (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
This study focuses on the idiosyncratic type of pottery called Handmade Burnished Ware (HBW) which appears in the Eastern Mediterranean and more particularly in the
Mycenaean area during the 13th-12th centuries BC. It includes my own in corpore study of published and unpublished material from various sites in the Aegean region, as well as previously unstudied material from Mycenae itself.
A major part of the study is devoted to a detailed definition of the chronological, geographical and depositional contexts of HBW, of its shapes and its varieties, in terms both of fabric and manufacture. This analysis was a necessary prerequisite to my goals of
understanding the origin(s) and distribution of this pottery, of determining whether it is one ware or several similar ones and of understanding its role and significance in the social, economic and historical contexts in which it appeared.
I conclude that this group of pottery is a cultural marker for the presence of a small foreign population who produced these vessels and were living amongst the local population
already during the Mycenaean Palatial (LH IIIB) period but also in the following phase (LH IIIC), after the major destructions.
The close relationship of this cultural marker, whether contextual, technological or in terms of origin, with several different types of artefacts linked to craft activities such as textile production or bronze-smithing, seems to point toward the interpretation of the occupation of the HBW makers as possible travelling artisans.
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