8th Experimental Archaeology Conference abstract – Hossein Mardi

An Experimental Approach to Studying the Decoration Technology of Pottery

Golnaz Hossein Mardi

University of Toronto, 4 Bancroft Ave., 2nd floor, Toronto, ON, M5S 1C1, Canada

The early Middle Chalcolithic pottery tradition of Seh Gabi Tepe in Iran is called “Dalma tradition” (c. 5000-4800 BC.). Among different types of Dalma pottery, I have focused on monochrome and bichrome ceramics in this paper to see whether or not similar motifs were depicted with different techniques. My study is narrowed down to brush strokes and order of decoration, and other technological aspects such as types of pigments and tools (e.g. type of brush) are not investigated here. In my study, I used experimental analysis along with an examination of actual pottery and reading publications to answer the questions. Here I did not replicate the whole manufacturing process of pottery, and instead of making complete vessels, I made clay slabs to test the decoration on them. Since there is little information about the decoration technology in previous studies on Dalma ware, my interpretations are mainly based on my own observations and experiments as well as general sources about pottery technologies. The analysis suggests that the motifs were mainly painted with similar techniques. Nevertheless, some variation in the decoration of some ceramics was present as well.

Henrickson, Elizabeth F. 1985. An Updated Chronology of the Early and Middle Chalcolithic of the Central Zagros Highlands, Western Iran. Iran 23: 63-108

Henrickson, Elizabeth. F. and V. Vitali 1987. The Dalma Tradition: Prehistoric Inter-regional Cultural Interaction in Highland Western Iran. Paleorient XIII (2): 37-45.

Levine, Louis D., and T. Cuyler Young Jr. 1987. A Summary of the Ceramic Assemblage of the Central Western Zagros from the Middle Neolithic to the Late Third Millenium B.C. In Préhistoire de la Mésopotamie: La Mésopotamie Préhistorique et l’Exploration Récente du Djebel Hamrin: Paris 17-18-19 Décembre, pp. 15-53. Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

Tonoike, Yukiko 2009. Beyond Style: Petrographic analysis of Dalma ceramics in two regions of Iran. Unpublished Ph. D Dissertation, Yale University.

Young, Jr., T. Cuyler, and Louis D. Levine 1974. Excavation of the Godin Project: Second Progress Report. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum.


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