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The origins and evolution of Cypriot glazed ware productions during the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries CE

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Rehren, Thilo 
Vionis, Athanasios 
Kassianidou, Vasiliki 


Abstract: This paper challenges the conventional characterisation of glazed ware productions in the eastern Mediterranean, especially the ones which did not feature the use of opaque or tin-glazed technology, as technologically stagnant and unsusceptible to broader socio-economic developments from the late medieval period onwards. Focusing on the Cypriot example, we devise a new approach that combines scientific analyses (thin-section petrography and SEM-EDS) and a full consideration of the chaîne opératoire in context to highlight the changes in technology and craft organisation of glazed ware productions concentrating in the Paphos, Famagusta and Lapithos region during the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries CE. Our results indicate that the Paphos production was short-lived, lasting from the establishment of Frankish rule in Cyprus in the thirteenth century to the aftermath of the fall of the Crusader campaigns in the fourteenth century. However, glazed ware production continued in Famagusta and Lapithos from the late thirteenth/fourteenth centuries through to the seventeenth century, using technical practices that were evidently different from the Paphos production. It is possible that these productions were set up to serve the new, local demands deriving from an intensification of commercial activities on the island. Further changes occurred to the technical practices of the Famagusta and Lapithos productions around the 16th/17th centuries, coinciding with the displacement of populations and socio-political organisation brought by the Ottoman rule.



Original Paper, Glaze technology, Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean, Late medieval, Post-medieval

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Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences

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Springer Berlin Heidelberg
H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (750904)