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Title: Pottery Typology and Craft Learning in the Near Eastern Highlands
Journal: Iranica Antiqua
Volume: 53    Date: 2018   
Pages: 179-265
DOI: 10.2143/IA.53.0.3285483

Abstract :
This paper advances an interpretive pottery typology for the northern Near Eastern highlands during early historical periods, or the mid-7th to late 4th centuries B.C. The study represents an effort to integrate intuitive approaches to pottery classification that use vessel form and surface appearance as discriminant criteria with a consideration of craft technology as meaningful social practice. The central Armenian settlement of Tsaghkahovit provides the vantage for these investigations. Nine seasons of excavations at the site yielded a ceramic assemblage that bears upon three phases in the archaeology of the Iron Age: the enigmatic mid-7th to mid-6th century, the early Achaemenid period (ca. 550-430 B.C.) and the last Achaemenid century (ca. 430-330 B.C.). The paper offers an appraisal of pottery typology in each of these phases and examines stylistic shifts through the lens of craft learning. The primary concern is to discern those forces residing within the domain of pottery production that drove perceived typological changes in the mountainous region encompassing what is today northern Iran, eastern Turkey, and the South Caucasus. A catalogue of the Tsaghkahovit pottery corpus is included.

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