Bronze Age White Painted I Ware in Cyprus. A Reinvestigation.
by Anna-Greta Samuelson
This thesis consists of a detailed study of Cypriote vessels from Early Bronze Age III to Middle Bronze Age I, previously denoted either White Painted I ware or Early White Painted ware. A corpus has been compiled of these vessels. Only a few vessels have not been examined by the author. For these objects information has been received from the museums to which they belong.
A visual inspection of the clay, slip and paint has been made. The colours of slip and paint have been evaluated by using Munsell's Color Chart. The dimensions of the vessels were determined. For bowls and dishes the ratio of height to diameter (H/D) has been reported, and is applied in the classification. The decoration is described in detail. Drawings of vessels and motifs are presented. Photographs of the vessels are reproduced.
A thorough examination of the find contexts has resulted in a revised relative chronology. The investigation clearly shows that the earlier attribution of the studied White Painted I vessels to a uniform ware is misleading.
It is noteworthy that a major proportion of the vessels has been excavated at Vounous. Of the Vounous vessels one group, here termed White Painted IA (Vounous) ware, has a hard, mostly yellow pinkish clay, a buff to yellow pinkish slip and a matt, dark red paint. The decoration is geometric, and on some vessels, stylized naturalistic. The second group, White Painted IB (Vounous) ware, has a medium-hard, homogenous cream-coloured clay, a cream-coloured, mostly smooth slip and a matt, dark red paint. Its decoration is geometric and, on a few vessels, stylized naturalistic. Only one vessel of known provenience with the characteristics of the Vounous vessels has been excavated outside Vounous (at Dhikomo nearby).
The third group, here termed Related White Painted wares, consists of wares excavated in tombs in an area from Lapithos to Larnaca. These vessels are produced from different types of clay. a hard, orange, a medium-hard, cream-coloured or a soft, chalky white clay. The slips are red buff, pinkish yellow or dark red. In contrast to the matt paint of the vessels belonging to the other groups, those of the third group have a lustrous red paint. The decoration is predominantly geometric and differs strikingly from that of the Vounous vessels. Subgroups are distinguishable according to the decoration.
From the similarities of the White Painted IA and IB (Vounous) wares it can be concluded that connections existed between the two groups of artisans at Vounous. Within the Related White Painted wares, the vessels exhibit individual differences which can be ascribed to both regional and chronological variations.
Key words: Archaeology, Cyprus, Vounous, Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age, tomb finds, White Painted I pottery, handmade.
Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology
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