Scientific conference of the Department of Archaeology
Friday, 2nd December
10:00 – 10:20
1 3 4 5 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, 2 Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, 6 Croatian Geological Survey, Zagreb, Croatia
Exploring Sources of Knappable Materials as a Starting Point for Locating Pre-Neolithic Open-Air Sites in Dalmatia
Even though Neolithic sites around Šibenik have been relatively well studied, reports about sources of rocks suitable for making stone tools in that area were practically nonexistent. Several of such sources were discovered during the summer of 2016, all of them different in terms of quality and geological age. The finds include chert nodules embedded in Eocene foraminifera limestone on slopes around the Danilo field, bedded Jurassic cherts in the village of Baljci near the spring of the river Čikola, lenses of chert and silicified tuff at Zelovske staje on the eastern slopes of Mt. Svilaja, and also chert fragments in the Krka riverbed as an indicator of a primary rock source further upstream. Besides the possibility of comparing the raw material with known lithic assemblages, these finds also provide an opportunity for locating pre-Neolithic open-air sites, often situated very close to sources of knappable stone. Such sources, along with other natural factors on which people depended in this period (bodies of fresh water, terrain, geological and pedological substrate, karst landforms, e.g. caves, rock-shelters, sinkholes etc.) can be spatially analyzed to highlight areas favourable for concentration of human activity over time.
Known open-air sites can also be spatially analyzed by the same principle to ascertain which factors determined the position of these areas the most. Since known sites are most obviously linked to sources of raw materials, the existence of surface finds is also expected in the surroundings of the Danilo field. In case a Mesolithic assemblage is discovered, a comparison could be made with the local Neolithic stone tool industry in a non-cave context.
10:25 – 10:45
1 Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia, 2 School of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tuscon, USA
Palaeolithic Artefact Scatter Visibility in the Changing Landscapes of the Western Morava and Resava River Valleys (Serbia)
Lithic surface scatters are perhaps one of the most numerous but underappreciated sources of archaeological data. While lithic surface finds were integral for developing Palaeolithic Stone Tool Typologies throughout Europe, they have been displaced in importance by site-specific archaeological excavations. However, in certain areas (such as the Republic of Serbia), work on finding and identifying lithic surface scatters and associated Palaeolithic stone tool industries has been a minor part of archaeological research until recently. This lack of previous research provides us with the opportunity to collect and record high resolution data on Palaeolithic surface scatters with technology not available to prior generations of researchers. Our presentation focuses on two major themes.
We begin by describing potential sources of bias (such as differences in geology, raw material availability and anthropogenic activity) that impact the visibility of lithic surface scatters. Next, we present specific examples of these biases acting on two surveyed areas in Serbia: the Western Morava and Resava River Valleys. Of particular interest in these two valleys is the role that raw material availability may have on the density of lithic surface finds and our corresponding views on landscape usage intensity by hominins in the past.
10:50 – 11:10
Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb,
Results of a lithic trampling experiment and its comparison to the Mujina pećina lithic material
Stone tools can, apart from man-made retouch, exhibit traces of damage due to post depositional processes. As a result of post depositional factors, whether animal, human or natural in origin, this damage can sometimes be interpreted as man-made retouch, even though it is actually the so called pseudo-retouch. Due to the problems arising in differentiating these two wholly opposite things, the last few decades have shown an increase in trampling experiments the goal of which was to separate and recognize real retouch from pseudo-retouch.
This lecture is going to present one such experiment done in 2015/2016, its methodology and results, and the comparison to the results of the pseudo-retouch analysis done on lithic finds from the levels E1 and E2 of Mujina pećina. The experiment consisted of 40 pieces of experimentally made lithic artifacts which were buried 15 cm deep on a path in the vicinity of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. After being in the sediment for 6 months, these lithic artifacts were then carefully excavated and analyzed using a system developed by P. Villa and M. Soressi (Villa i Soressi 2000).
11:15 – 11:35
1Institute of Archaeology, Belgrade, 2 Laboratory for Bioarchaeology, Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Zooarchaeological and the studies of osseous artefacts: where one ends and another begins?
The borders between subdisciplines and disciplines should be blurred in modern scientific research, and interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches are more and more encouraged in all scientific fields, both of natural sciences and humanities. However, mutual relations and interconnections of diverse fields of research are much more complex in practice, as every discipline has not only different goals but very often also completely different methods and even worldviews.
In this paper, we will analyse the relations between zooarchaeological and the studies of osseous artefacts. Osseous artefacts are sometimes completely separated from zooarchaeology and beautiful, complete objects are analysed from morphological viewpoint, while manufacture debris remains unrecognized in the faunal assemblage. Purely zooarchaeological analysis cannot yield information on technology, usage, typology, nor relations of osseous industry with other industries and production of other objects (stone, ceramic...). Complementary analyses are also important for the exact and precise identification and interpretation of every trace that may be found on bones.
Coffe break (Library Foyer): 11:40 – 12:10
12:10 – 12:30
1 2 Department of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, Faculty of History and Philology, University of Tirana, Albania
From handmade to wheel made: the impact of archaeometric analysis on the understanding of innovation in the pottery production, the case of the prehistoric cave settlement of Tren (Albania)
In the pottery studies, the transition from handmade to wheel-made production comprises an insightful subject matter that contributes a great deal on crucial issues related to the social, cultural and economic premises. Due to the lack of data or applications of the appropriate methodology, in the Albanian studies this question yet remains peripheral and not fully addressed. Recent excavations in the multilayer cave settlement of Tren (southeast Albania) have yielded a unique assemblage of handmade and wheel-made matt-painted pottery dated to the Early Iron Age cultural horizons. By taking into advantage this unique context, the analysis focus on the examination of composition on fabric and decorative pigment. An amount of 11 samples, seven handmade and five wheel-made matt-painted pottery sherds are subject of this investigation.
Fabric is examined with the EDXRF analysis. The sherds were first cleaned from depositions, dried overnight at 1050 C then grinded in a mixer/mill for 15 min. The fine powder (< 200 mesh) is converted to a pellet by pressing at 25 T. Fresh cross sections of a selection of sherds (handmade and wheelmade) were polished and used for micro XRF examinations.
Pigment is analyzed using the transportable Micro – XRF spectrometer ARTAX 800 (Bruker Gmbh) composed of low power (30 W; max HV- 50 kV). The spectrometer allows single point measurements as well as line and/or area scans (variation of the elemental intensities along a line or an area of the sample). The elemental distribution maps of the painted ceramic surface with a spatial resolution in the sub-mm range are prepared by collecting X-ray spectrum for 30s in each pixel and the resulting peak areas of the elements were further converted to a three-dimensional matrix (X-pixels, Y-pixels, I-elements) and plotted in intensity readouts graphs. We attempt obtain an understanding on the extent to which the introduction of a new tradition in the pottery technology transforms the choices of the artisan. Are the properties of the wheel made pottery distinctively different from the handmade counterparts? Does the new technology imply an innovative process of production or its implication does not convey drastic changes to the existing tradition of the pottery production?
12:35 – 12:55
Department of Geosciences – Archaeometry, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Game of numbers: how to define a local ceramic reference group. Case study: coarse ware from Pharos and Issa
Studies of ancient ceramics productions comprises of descriptive and analytical approaches; archaeological stylistic and morphological analysis, and petrographic and geochemical analysis. Sometimes, if not often, an interpretation of analytical results can confirm archaeological hypothesis of local ceramic production, but sometime it cannot. This could be the outcome of missteps in the final phase of the analysis - the interpretation of the analytical results. Using the different multivariable statistical analysis not only facilitate to identify local productions more clearly and set a reference groups, but also helps to identify imported ware.
Following the archaeological hypothesis for the local ceramic production in Issa (on the island of Vis) and Pharos (on the island of Hvar) - Greek settlements on the Central Dalmatian islands - with analytical analysis we were able to confirm their existence. Even more so, we were able to determine that both Greek settlements produced coarse and fine ware, but with different types of geological clays.
In this paper, the author will present the results of comparative multivariable statistical analysis of geochemical results of coarse ware from Issa and Pharos; the local production of different types of amphorae, pithoi and kitchen ware, respectively. The aim of this paper is to show the importance of this approach in identifying local production and local reference groups.
13:00 – 13:20
1Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Helth, Zagreb,2 4Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, 3 Institut of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia
Total lipid extraction from archaeological samples from Ancient sites on the island of Brač
During archaeological survey of Ancient sites on the island of Brač, fragments of different amphorae types were found. Preliminary results of amphorae samples analyses are presented, types Tripolitana II, Tripolitana III, Tripolitana III (late) and Keay 59/Bonifay 37 from sites of Njivice Selca, Luke Škrip, Mladinje Brdo Pučišća and Bunje Novo Selo. Typological analyzes and bibliography suggest that in the found amphorae oil was transported or/and kept. Due to these facts in this preliminary research we determine total lipids content to confirm the function of these amphorae as olive oil containers.
Samples of different types of amphorae where analysed: V3 (Tripolitana II, site: Njivice Selca) , V4 (Tripolitana III, site: Luke Škrip), V5 (Tripolitana III, (late), site: Mladinje Brdo Pučišća) and V13 (type of amphora:Keay 59/Bonifay 37, site: Bunje Novo Selo). They were taken from necks or inner lip side. Traces of adsorbed lipids resin were present in all sample extracts. The extraction of total lipids from 4 samples is done according to method Mottram et all. (1999). The extraction was performed with different solvent mixtures of chloroform and methanol in different rate. Fatty acids methyl esters (FAME) analysis is performed on gas chromatograph with flame ionization detection.
In two extracts of Amphora sample type Tripolitana III qualitative analysis was performed and compounds of fatty acids was identified. These types of amphora were used for storage of vegetable olive oil. In these samples we have confirmed the presence of these fatty acids: C10:0, C11:0, C13:0, C15:0, C15:1, C16:0, C18:0, C20:0, C20:5, C24:1. Chromatogram of sample Tripolitana II identified small abundance of fatty acids: C20:0, C21:0, C20:4. In extract of sample Keay 59/ Bonifay 37 it was identified presence of: C10:0, C11:0, C15:0, C15:1, C16:0, C18:0, C20:0, C20:4, C20:5, C24:1. It is also known that this type of amphora was used for storage and transport of oil.
The presence of oleic fatty acid, C18:1, as biomarker for olive oil residues in our samples isn't confirmed. This compound as other mono-,di- and triunsaturated C18 fatty acids are prone to oxidation processes and are poorly preserved in archaeological samples. Porous amphorae material adsorbs lipids into the matrix and reduces the exposure to oxygen, air, sunlight and heat that cause decomposition process. Palmitic (C16:0) and stearic (C18:0) fatty acids are present in all samples in higher abundance. Presence of long chain fatty acids such as C20:0, C21:0, C22:0 and C24:0 could be related with the presence of waxes. Presence of C22:0 also indicated the presence of plant oils in residues. Due to small abundances of fatty acids in our samples we cannot confirm with certainty presence of olive oil in these amphorae. So in further research and analysis of archaeological samples we suggest applying different sample preparation method.
13:25 – 13:45
Institute of Archaeology, Zagreb, Croatia
Identification of pottery forming techniques - Middle and Late Bronze Age vessels (NW Croatia)
Pottery production process can be identified on the basis of macroscopic and archaeometric analysis of their fragments or complete and partially complete vessels, and considering the results of these studies it enable us to discuss about their significance in the context of a society or culture. The pottery forming techniques are directly related to potters decisions on the selection of specific techniques that are often culturally conditioned and are directly related to the tradition. The paper will present the results of the pottery forming techniques analysis conducted on the vessel samples of cultural group Virovitica that is by relative chronology dated to the end of a Middle and the beginning of the Late Bronze Age. The study was conducted on samples from several archaeological sites of two micro-regions (Turopolje and Podravina) in the area of northwestern Croatian. The analysis included forming techniques, surface treatments, methods of decoration, and methods of firing.
The analysis revealed that variety of techniques were applied in forming and finishing treatment, but there are also indications of certain innovations and local specific selection during the final processing of the vessel. Such differences in technological choices were observed depending on micro-region of the same cultural characteristics.
13:50 – 14:10
Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Reconstructing the Technology: Excavation of the Oven from the House 01/06 from Vinča – Belo Brdo and its Experimental Reconstruction
Ovens are often found at the Vinča culture sites. Sadly, these fire installations are frequently preserved only at the floor level (firebed), while parts of the upper structure are almost always missing. At the beginning of the XX century, at the site of Vinča – Belo Brdo, several fully preserved ovens were found. Even though those examples are extremely valuable, they do not offer a lot of information about the technology of their construction. Later on, the examples from ethnology were taken, in order to explain the construction process. Luckily, in the year of 2006, at the site of Vinča – Belo Brdo, a fully preserved oven was found in the house 01/06. It was partly excavated in the spring of 2015, in order to gather data about the technology of its construction. Dome fragments were carefully removed and examined so that braking patterns can be determined. Inner surface of the dome was closely observed to determine presence or absence of a wooden frame. By not cutting through it, but removing dome fragments piece by piece, we were able to determine the exact construction technique, previously not taken into consideration by other authors. For the sake of testing the theory, an experimental oven was constructed. Later on, the experimental oven was taken apart. The experimental wall fragments had the exact breaking patterns and shapes as the original oven, confirming the supposed method of construction.