Tomlinson, J. E.
1991 Provenance of Minoan ceramics by Multivariate Analysis of Neutron Activation Data. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, University of Manchester, UK.


Neutron activation analysis has been used to measure 24 chemical elements in 368 samples of Bronze Age pottery associated with Minoan sites on Crete. The major sources of sample-to-sample systematic errors were identified, and possible procedures for reducing or eliminating these errors were evolved.

Multivariate statistical procedures were used to define the range of elemental concentrations characterising the composition of pottery from several production centres on Crete using data obtained in this laboratory and from an earlier data bank from the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, University of California. An intercomparison of Manchester and Berkeley data for material from two sites (Chania and Knossos) showed that systematic differences are not a problem in the intercomparison of data from these two laboratories.

Earlier studies of "heavy ware" stirrup jars have suggested that many of those excavated at Mycenae and other mainland Greek sites may have had their origins in west Crete. A difficulty with this work was that the west Cretan reference groups were finewares, not necessarily related to the coarser stirrup jars. In the present work, comparison of jars found at Mycenae was made with Cretan material of similar fabrics. However, because of the apparent geochemical similarities between east and west Crete, it was still not possible to draw any definite conclusions as to the origins of the bulk of the Mycenae jars.

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