Arpi, on the Tavoliere delle Puglie, is one of the largest indigenous Daunian settlements and dates back to the early Iron Age, that is to the 8th century BC. The structure would have been that typical of Daunian settlements with groups of huts, tombs close by and open areas in which agricultural and husbandry activities took place. The settlement was delimited by an agger of about 13 km in length, composed of earth piled up from a ditch dug in front of it. The agger probably dates to the 6th century BC and encloses and area of over 1000 ha. From the 4th century on – during the Hellenistic era – the settlement underwent profound changes as the culture opened up to the Greek and, in particular, Macedonian worlds. This process was further stimulated by the arrival of King Alexander I of Epirus in 333 BCE. Archaeological research has involved the excavation of several houses and many tombs and has revealed the existence of a wealthy Hellenised local aristocracy, which supported the development of local craft activities. In particular, the production of various forms of ceramic vessel was important. These include Apulian painted vases, red figure ware, wares with banded decoration, black-glazed ware that was often painted in the Gnathia style and tempera-decorated wares (Mazzei, 2010, 2015 with previous bibliographic reference). While the collection of ceramics from Arpi is extremely rich and varied, the archaeometric data on these wares is extremely sparse. Such data could help provide analytic support for ideas about the operation of specialised artisanal workshops working at a high level of both technical and artistic refinement. The analyzed finds come from a rich “grotticella” tomb located along the Celone river dating back to the second half of the 4th century BC and excavated in 2005, during a joint mission by the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Puglia and the University of Salento, Dipartimento di Beni Culturali - Laboratorio di Topografia antica e Fotogrammetria (LabTAF), in Arpi (Foggia, Italy). The undisturbed tomb contains the remains of two men and a woman and also 91 objects. These grave goods are mainly ceramic, but there are also metallic armaments, including two bronze belts, a spear and an iron javelin. The ceramics are of different classes - unpainted, band decorated, red figure, Gnathia, black gloss and unfired pottery (painted in black with overpainting in red, white and yellow). The tomb vault collapsed in ancient times causing the fragmentation of many of the vases, but at the same time preserving them. A passageway (dromos), with six steps at its end (length about 3 m, width 1.20 m), leads into the entrance of the tomb, closed by a limestone slab. Beyond the entrance there is another step. On the right and on the left of this, two symmetrical polychrome “spool” supports were placed. On these, two painted unfired vases, with appliques with a female figure, were located. The objective of this paper is to study ceramic grave goods, aiming to highlight differences in raw materials and production technology used in the making of objects of different classes, but which are coeval and come from the same context. This work is part of a comprehensive project exploring the technical and manufacturing features of Apulian Hellenistic pottery, with particular attention being given to the interconnection between various ceramic classes from a technological-productive point of view. From an archaeometric perspective, although Apulian Hellenistic pottery has been widely studied from a stylistic-typological viewpoint, it has largely not been subject to archaeometric investigation. Studies which have been carried out up to now have focused principally on red figure pottery, mainly coming from private and museum collections, and as such we have little or no information about the provenance of the pottery which has often been subject to restoration of an “antiquarian nature”, with reconstruction and repainting. Only few finds coming from archaeological sites have been analyzed, so that the available archaeometric data is in no way sufficient to provide a thorough idea of the technology employed. It is our belief that considering the large number of Apulian Hellenistic vases housed in some of the world's most important museums, a deep knowledge of the technological aspects involved in the production of this pottery will be of great interest to many.
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|Titolo:||Contribution of mineralogical and analytical techniques to investigate provenance and technologies of Hellenistic pottery from Arpi (Southern Italy)|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|