Using lead isotopes to determine Cypriote pottery provenance - Signature of Cypriote clay sources and comparison with Late Bronze Age Cypriote pottery

Virginie Renson, Ariane Jacobs, Jan Coenaerts, Nadine Mattielli, Karin Nys, Philippe Claeys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents the lead isotopic composition of potential clay sources for pottery production, collected in the four major geological zones of Cyprus (Troodos Ophiolite, Circum Troodos Sedimentary Succession, Mamonia Terrane, Kyrenia Terrane) and evaluates its usefulness in Cypriote pottery provenance studies. The clay isotopic signatures from the four zones are compared to each other and to the isotopic composition of various utilitarian pottery wares from three Late Bronze Age sites, respectively located in southern Cyprus (Alassa-Pano Mandilaris), east Cyprus (Enkomi), and southeast Cyprus (Hala Sultan Tekke). It also explores the potential of this method to better discriminate between potential raw materials used for the production of Base-ring ware, one of the most characteristic fine pottery of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, which was widely spread in the Eastern Mediterranean (Courtois, 1981; Vaughan, 1991, 1994). Results show that three main lead isotopic fields can be distinguished among the Cypriote clay sources and the comparison of Plain sherds with the clay sources allows discrimination between local products and imports. They also clearly indicate that all the Base-ring sherds analyzed in this study were made of the clays from the Kathikas Formation that crops out in only limited parts of southwest Cyprus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-530
Number of pages14
JournalGeoarchaeology
Volume28
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sep 2013

Keywords

  • Cyprus
  • Ceramic
  • Pb isotopes
  • Late Bronze Age

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