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'.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies