CAMOTECCER: Beyond the shard. Modeling and simulating variability in Central Asian pottery technology


Pottery technology is a well-studied field of archaeological research. However, particular contributions are often limited to a partial characterization, due to the technical and theoretical backgrounds of the researchers involved. Pottery samples are interrogated separately through chemical analyses, petrographic characterization and the assignation to both decorative and functional classes. In most cases, the results of such myriad of studies remain relatively unconnected up to a general archaeological discussion. Despite the radical methodological differences, all aspects of pottery studied by archaeologists were defined by a single system of decisions and constraints of potters, which is partially universal and partially contextual.

We propose modeling methodology to integrate and explore data on pre-industrial pottery, which we applied on a pottery data set from the Surkhan Darya region, Uzbekistan. We designed a synthetic pottery ontology to enclose different aspects related to a single pottery data set. Next, we create a measure of difference between pottery samples and relatively characterize the context of pottery-making in different places and periods. Furthermore, in order to explore the logical relationships between the variables measured, we build a Bayesian model that can generate virtual samples given certain constraints during pottery production.

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Cite this Record

CAMOTECCER: Beyond the shard. Modeling and simulating variability in Central Asian pottery technology. Alexis Torrano, Andreas Angourakis, Veronica Martinez, Josep Maria Gurt. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397614)

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Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;