Colston, B. J.
1989 Multidisciplinary Methodologies Applied to Ancient Ceramics. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, UK.


This work was concerned with the methodological approach in the compositional and statistical analysis of coarse pottery. Two archaeological projects were undertaken, one in which the temper was chemically measurable (shell temper) and one in which the temper was petrographically quantifiable (sand temper). The first project involved the analysis of shell-tempered pottery from two sites in Lincolnshire (Ancaster and Dragonby), which were typologically distinct and fully expected to be compositionally distinct. Due to the archaeological simplicity, this project was treated as a `test case' for statistical procedures. The analytical data were treated in a number of different ways: aluminium- and scandium-normalisation, calcium carbonate corrections and correlation corrections (modified CLUSTER analysis). The results of the multivariate statistical analysis on the respective data sets were compared and the success of the various temper-correction methods evaluated on the basis of how well the two sites were separated. The modified CLUSTER analysis was found to give the most successful site separation. The second project involved the analysis of sand-tempered Durotrigian pottery from Maiden Castle, Dorset, and incorporated both petrographic and chemical analyses. The sand temper was quantified by point counting, and the analytical data subsequently corrected for the amount of added sand. It was found that the majority of the Durotrigian pottery was made from the same clay source. Fired clays from the Poole Harbour region were compared with the pottery samples. Three of the clays were found to be compositionally similar. Samples of Pre-Durotrigian pottery were compared with the Durotrigian pottery and were also compared to samples of fired clay from the vicinity of Maiden Castle. The Pre-Durotrigian samples were found to be fairly similar to the local clay. Some of the Durotrigian samples were shown to be similar to the Pre-Durotrigian pottery, suggesting that some of the pottery was manufactured closer to Maiden Castle than previously expected.

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