Making pots and potters in the Bronze Age Maros villages of Kiszombor-Új-Élet and Klárafalva-Hajdova

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17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article examines the choices potters made while collecting and preparing their raw materials, forming, finishing and firing their pots in the Bronze Age villages of Kiszombor-Új-Élet (2600-2000 cal. BC) and Klärafalva-Hajdova (2000-1650 cal. BC) in present-day southeastern Hungary. Following the one-thousand-year-long ceramic tradition of these villagers, known archaeologically as members of the Maros group, I highlight choices that were shared by all, suggesting deeply engrained ideas about how Maros pots should be made, versus choices that were more restricted in distribution, suggesting a smaller group of potters, of greater skill and possibly greater status within the villages. I argue that, although pot making was one of many small-scale housekeeping tasks, the creation and use of pottery were integrally tied to expressions of status and identity, and that by the Late Maros Phase the identity of 'potter' was acknowledged by the community as distinct from other identities, such as those of 'metalworker', or 'weaver'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-380
Number of pages26
JournalCambridge Archaeological Journal
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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village
housekeeping
weaver
raw materials
Hungary
small group
present
community
Bronze Age
Pot
Village
Group
Weaver
Metalworkers
Raw Materials
Ceramic Traditions
Housekeeping
Pottery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies

Cite this

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title = "Making pots and potters in the Bronze Age Maros villages of Kiszombor-{\'U}j-{\'E}let and Kl{\'a}rafalva-Hajdova",
abstract = "This article examines the choices potters made while collecting and preparing their raw materials, forming, finishing and firing their pots in the Bronze Age villages of Kiszombor-{\'U}j-{\'E}let (2600-2000 cal. BC) and Kl{\"a}rafalva-Hajdova (2000-1650 cal. BC) in present-day southeastern Hungary. Following the one-thousand-year-long ceramic tradition of these villagers, known archaeologically as members of the Maros group, I highlight choices that were shared by all, suggesting deeply engrained ideas about how Maros pots should be made, versus choices that were more restricted in distribution, suggesting a smaller group of potters, of greater skill and possibly greater status within the villages. I argue that, although pot making was one of many small-scale housekeeping tasks, the creation and use of pottery were integrally tied to expressions of status and identity, and that by the Late Maros Phase the identity of 'potter' was acknowledged by the community as distinct from other identities, such as those of 'metalworker', or 'weaver'.",
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