The Late Helladic I Pottery of the Southwestern Peloponnesos and Its Local Characteristics.
by Yiannis G. Lólos
This thesis, in two volumes, deals with the Late Helladic I pottery from the southwestern Peloponnesos, Greece. It is a study of its origins, development and local variations. All wares (whether painted or unpainted) produced in this part of the Peloponnesos during LH I are considered; particular emphasis is put on the examination of the fine decorated ware; imports, wherever identifiable, are also dealt with. The text volume (Vol. I) consists of the Introduction and Chapters I-V accompanied by an Appendix, a number of Tables, and a List of Abbreviations, as well as a Bibliography. The ceramic material discussed in the text volume is illustrated in Volume II, in which a List of Figures is also included.
In the Introduction the reasons which have prompted the undertaking of this study are explained; the need for a close examination of the earliest Late Helladic ceramic material, both published and unpublished, that has come to light in archaeological excavations in the southwest part of the Peloponnesos is stressed; problems relating to Early Mycenaean pottery-sequence and chronology are also considered.
Chapter I is a detailed account of the Late Helladic I pottery from deposits excavated at settlement-sites in the SW part of the Peloponnesos, among them Voroulia-Tragana (where an important closed LH I group of domestic material was found) and Nichoria (where evidence for a stratigraphic distinction between LH I and LH IIA was produced). All known LH I vases as well as a number of vessels datable to late MH-LH I or LH I-IIA from various funerary contexts in Messenia and Triphylia are treated in Chapter II; their significance for the study of the history of each tomb is also assessed. Chapter III is an analysis of the local LH I shape-range. All vessel forms occurring in plain and decorated wares are classified and discussed; attention is drawn to their features, origins (Minoan, Helladic or other), general typology and development with due reference to their predecessors as well as immediate descendants. Chapter IV deals with the decoration of the local LH I pottery. The rich local repertoire of LH I motifs is fully analyzed and compared to the decoration-repertoire of the contemporary pottery from Kythera, Crete, the Cyclades, eastern Peloponnesos and eastern central Greece. Special importance is attached to the treatment of the lustrous-painted patterns which seem to be particularly characteristic of the local LH I ceramic style. The contributions made by the local potters to the LH I decoration-repertoire are singled out. Accessory features, such as the use of added white ornament. are also examined.
The conclusions drawn from the analysis of the material together with some general remarks are to be found in Chapter V. Special attention is drawn to the diffusion of Minoan ceramic influence in the southwest Peloponnesos and its bearing on the formation of the local LH I pottery style; the various points of contact between Messenian LH I and Kytherian LH IA are accordingly emphasized; the implications of the Kytherian connection are considered. The strength of the local Middle Helladic ceramic traditions which survived into the Late Helladic I period is assessed and reference is made to parallel developments in other regions of the Greek Mainland, particularly the eastern Peloponnesos. The main characteristics of the local LH I pottery are also summarized in the concluding chapter. while a section is devoted to the local pottery industry. Finally, arguments are advanced to show that the results obtained from the study of the local LH I ware lead us towards a better understanding of the Late Helladic I-II ceramic sequence and chronology and put the earliest phase of the Late Bronze Age in this part of Mainland Greece under clearer focus. The study of the available contextual evidence and of the development of the local LH I fine ware has enabled the author to identify three stages within Messenian LH I.
Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology
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