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Social Function, Semiotic Meaning & Community Identity or Sometimes a Pot is not just a Pot

Author(s): Alice Hunt

Year: 2017

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The spread of ‘Palace Ware’, an 8th–7th century BCE drabware, across the Neo-Assyrian imperial landscape coincides with the annexation of territory and establishment of vassal states and buffer zones throughout the ancient Near East. Consequently, Palace Ware has been considered ‘imperial’ material culture and equated with imperial identity. This unilateral, top-down interpretation reduces material expression of complex interregional, intercultural interaction into either imposition or emulation. In this paper, we take a more nuanced approach to the transmission of Palace Ware. Imperial interactions are context specific, recursive relationships negotiated through material culture and symbols of identity and power. If Palace Ware served as a medium through which Neo-Assyrian imperial relationships were established, justified and maintained, it is important to understand (a) how it was transported across the empire; and (b) who consumed Palace Ware both inside and outside the Neo-Assyrian heartland. In the process of answering these questions, using morphometric, petrographic and geochemical data, we are able to evaluate subtle changes in the social function and semiotic meaning of Palace Ware across the Neo-Assyrian imperial landscape and better understand the nature of these relationships.

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Social Function, Semiotic Meaning & Community Identity or Sometimes a Pot is not just a Pot. Alice Hunt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431107)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14866

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America