Differentiation within the repertoire of mycenaean pottery

The matt-painted pottery dating to the earliest phases of Aegean contacts with Italy has at Lipari been found together with 'lustrous' Mycenaean decorated pottery. On Filicudi (site no. 321), matt-painted and coarse ware pottery has similarly been found in several structures in association with 'true' Mycenaean vessels.86 On Vivara (site no. 342), one matt-painted fragment has been found in Punta Mezzogiorno, while all other fragments came from Punta d'Alaca, where such pottery was found together with other Aegean imports.87 At Punta Le Terrare (site no. 306), an Aegean fragment of probable red-burnished ware was found in proto-Appennine B levels, together with a fragment of Mycenaean decorated ware.88 In strata 1a and 2a at Monte Grande in Sicily (site no. 334), Aegean matt-painted sherds have also been found together with fragments with more lustrous decoration.89 It appears that in the first phase of Mycenaean contacts with Italy, the appreciation for Mycenaean decorated vessels was not substantially different from that for imported vessels in Middle Helladic tradition.

At Broglio di Trebisacce in the latest phase of Aegean connections with Italy, we have not been able to recognise any differences between the appreciation for genuine Mycenaean imports and for Aegean-type pottery that was locally produced. The locally produced grey ware at Broglio di Trebisacce, likewise, has been found in direct association with true Mycenaean pottery, as have large wheel-refined dolia.90 A stemmed bowl of grey ware was found together with a LH IIIB cup or bowl at the San Domenico site at Taranto (site no. 314).91 At Porto Perone-Saturo (site no. 313) these different classes of wheel-made pottery have also been discovered together.92 It appears that the appreciation for wheel-made pottery of Aegean and non-Aegean type in the Late Bronze Age was similar.

84 Cipolloni Sampo 1991-1992, 284-285; Peroni 1994a, 249-254, 260-282, 306-314 (with bibliography).

85 Bergonzi 1985, 359-365.

86 Vagnetti 1991, 286.

87 Re 1994

88 Franco 1996, 1564-1565.

89 Castellana 1993-1994a, 51; 1999.

90 Bergonzi & Cardarelli 1982c; Buffa 1984a; Vagnetti 1999.

91 Gorgoglione 1996, 1574-1575.

92 Lo Porto 1963, 332.

The imported nature of ceramic vessels does not seem to have been of any consequence for the way these vessels were used during this period.

At Lipari, in both Capo Graziano and in Milazzese levels, Mycenaean dinner and storage vessels were not appreciated differently. However, at Thapsos and Broglio, Mycenaean drinking vessels had a special significance. On the island of Filicudi (site no. 321) the majority of Mycenaean pottery finds was very fragmentary and could not be assigned to specific vessel types. Only nine Aegean fragments have been assigned to open vessels, of which six were distributed among three different buildings.93 It may be of significance that three of these Mycenaean open shapes derive from building XXV. However, a number of fragments of closed shapes were also found in this structure. On Vivara, likewise, only a small minority of the Aegean finds could be assigned to an open pot shape.94 The silos a and b, which have been discovered at Punta d'Alaca, have produced varying quantities of Mycenaean open and closed vessels.95 According to Tusa, this indicates a functional differentiation between these two storage pits. A difference in the social significance between Aegean storage and dinner vessels is, however, not attested.

At Capo Milazzese (site no. 324) on the island of Panarea, Mycenaean open vessels have been found in three different structures - always directly associated with imported closed vessels.96 Mycenaean dinner and storage vessels alike are concentrated in buildings X and XI, but both types also occur in other structures. Such a distribution pattern argues against a special significance for Mycenaean dinner vessels. Likewise, the LH IIIA2 and LH IIIB finds at Cannatello (site no. 333) in Sicily have all been found together within one of the large buildings at this site and a differentiation in appreciation between storage and drinking vessels cannot be determined. At Porto-Perone Saturo (site no. 313), however, seven LH IIIB cup fragments were found together on the floor of building A, in direct association with a variety of local cups and globular vases.97 This concentration of cups may indicate a special significance of such vessels at this site. Possibly, a special significance of Mycenaean drinking vessels during this period, as attested at Thapsos, was a local phenomenon, which required specific circumstances - such as funerary ceremonies.

Termitito (site no. 316) has produced a large quantity of Mycenaean pottery, which is roughly contemporary to the finds at Broglio di Trebisacce.98 Much of this material came from a large silo, which yielded more Mycenaean dinner vessels than storage pottery. A large number of open vessels of local manufacture has also been found and the pit contained seeds and other evidence for food storage or consumption. Elsewhere on the site, a smaller silo yielded Mycenaean pottery of similar type. The fact that a relatively large proportion of Mycenaean dinner vessels was found in these structures indicates that such vessels had a special significance, as they did at Broglio. At Luni sul Mignone (site no. 346) or at Nuraghe Antigori (site no. 348), however, both types of imported Mycenaean pottery have been found together and a difference in appreciation cannot be established. It appears that in southern Italy Mycenaean dinner vessels served a special role in the beginning of the third period of Aegean contacts with Italy. A similar role cannot be seen in central Italy and in Sardinia.

In the earliest phase of Mycenaean connections with Italy the use of Mycenaean pottery was widespread, but at some places specific groups were able to acquire large quantities of this pottery. The

93 Vagnetti 1991, 263-277.

94 Panichelli & Re 1994, 211-214; Re 1994.

96 Taylour 1958, 44-47.

97 Lo Porto 1963, 298-299.

98 De Siena 1982; 1986. The LH IIIA phase appears to be absent at Termitito.

equal appreciation for Mycenaean dinner and storage vessels during this phase indicate that such concentrations were not related to the functions of the Aegean vessels. Rather, the very fact that these pots were imported was of significance. In a later phase, LH IIIA2-LH IIIB pottery was used at all sites in Italy by many different population groups and it was an integral part of the material culture. In the third phase of Mycenaean pottery in Italy specific groups appear to have monopolised Aegean-type pottery. For southern Italy, there is evidence that such monopolisation was related to a high appreciation for Mycenaean drinking vessels. Instead of the Mycenaean origin, it appears that in this period the function of the Mycenaean vessels was of crucial importance for their cultural significance.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment