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Facultas Philosophica Universitatis Comenianae Bratislavensis


Tomus X

Bratislavae MMX

Analysing Pottery Processing Classication Publication

edited by

Barbara Horejs Reinhard Jung Peter Pavk

Comenius University in Bratislava

Published with nancial support of the following institutions: Slovak Archaeological and Historical Institute - SAHI Austrian Archaeological Institute AI Slovak Grant Agency VEGA, Project 1/4533/07

Reviewers: Prof. Dr. Josef Btora, DrSc. Prof. Dr. Eduard Krekovi, CSc.

Editors: B. Horejs R. Jung P. Pavk English corrections: S. Hmmerle, Graphics and layout: J. Molnyi Cover design: N. Gail

Publisher: Comenius University in Bratislava ISBN: 978-80-223-2748-0 Contact address for book exchange: Department of Archaeology, Comenius University, Gondova 2, SK-81801 Bratislava, Slovakia


Preface ......................................................................................................................................................7 B. Horejs R. Jung P. Pavk Introductory Remarks, or What Should Be Done with a Pile of Sherds ....................................................9

Ware Denitions B. Horejs Possibilities and Limitations in Analysing Ceramic Wares ......................................................................15 L. Berger Zur Terminologie und Denition der Oberchenbehandlung anhand gebrannter Gefe in der prhistorischen Keramikforschung ...............................................................................................29

Multivariate Analyses J. Machek Zur Methode der Bearbeitung der (frhmittelalterlichen) Keramik aus Siedlungsarealen .......................41 P. Pavk Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis: How Do They Work Together? ................................................................................................................73 K. abatov Mglichkeiten der statistischen Methoden bei der Auswertung eines bronzezeitlichen Fundorts (Pslavice, Mhren, Tschechische Republik) .........................................................................99 J. Kneisel H. Dibbern S. Diers Ein Aufnahmesystem fr bronzezeitliche Keramik ................................................................................121

Other Statistics R. Jung Classication, Counting and Publication of Aegean-Type Pottery around the Mediterranean .....................................................................................................................145 L. Girella The Gold of Rhadamanthus: Ceramic Deposits and Wares Distribution at Phaistos and Ayia Triada during Middle Minoan III period ..................................................................................163 D. P. Mielke Kuakl und Boazky (Trkei) Zwei Anstze zur Bearbeitung groer Keramikmengen aus hethitischen Kontexten ...................................................................................................................187 B. Bader Processing and Analysis of Ceramic Finds at the Egyptian Site of Tell el-Dabca/Avaris (Eves and Other Strange Animals) .....................................................................................................209 B. Lis Cooking Pottery in the Late Bronze Age Aegean an Attempt at a Methodological Approach ..............................................................................................................235 T. Scarano The Burnt Layer of the Apennine Fortication Walls of Roca (Lecce, Italy): the Typological Classication of Pottery Assemblages as an Instrument for Functional Characterisation of Archaeological Contexts ......................................................................245 C. Tappert Statistical Analysis and Historical Interpretation La Tne Pottery from Straubing-Bajuwarenstrae, Lower Bavaria..........................................................................................263 M. Corremans J. Poblome P. Bes M. Waelkens The Quantication of Amphorae from Roman Sagalassos, Southwest Turkey ....................................285

Database Systems W. Gauss gina Kolonna Materialaufnahme, Dokumentation und Datenverwaltung .........................................307 List of Contributors................................................................................................................................323


Archaeologists working on ceramic finds from long-term, large-scale excavations all face similar problems: heaps of pottery from hundreds of contexts of diverse quality, more often than not re-deposited in a secondary or even tertiary position. There can be no general approach since each site has its own specific characteristics, be it a flat settlement lasting just a couple of generations or a tell-settlement in use for millennia. Likewise, pottery with simple or no decoration must be viewed from a different perspective than pottery with complex decoration. Hand-made pottery will pose different problems to mass-produced wheel-thrown ceramics and sherds from a settlement must be treated in yet another way than whole pots from a cemetery. It was, therefore, our intention to produce an edited volume offering fresh insight into modern approaches to processing large amounts of ceramic finds from settlement excavations, going back to basics so to speak. The volume focuses on archaeological practice and more specifically on factors that determine the methodological choices made by researchers under specific working conditions. In other words: which methodological approach is appropriate to which kind of ceramic assemblage and for which type of stratigraphic context, especially if the analysis is supposed to be completed in a reasonable period of time. The choice of a suitable method also depends on the questions for which we seek answers by analysing the material: chronology, pottery production and use, social structures etc. We believe that there is no general answer to these questions and that a methodological pluralism is justified by the specific problems which arise from the nature of the material and its archaeological contexts. Nevertheless, by concentrating on practical case studies it should be possible to assemble a list of conditions that determine which methods of analysis and especially which statistical methods can be employed in order to analyse most effectively certain kinds of pottery from certain types of contexts. At this stage the volume can look back at a history of its own. Initially, a group of young archaeologists working in Slovakia, Austria and the Czech Republic met for a two-day workshop in Bratislava on 28th-29th November 2003, funded by the sterreichisches Ost- und Sdosteuropa-Institut. We then attempted to bring the topic to a pan-European level and organised a session at the XII. Annual Conference of the European Association of Archaeologists in Cracow held on 22nd September 2006. Finally, to round off the issue thematically and geographically, other colleagues were invited to contribute to the volume, along with the participants at the two meetings. We are now pleased to offer perspectives ranging chronologically from the Bronze Age down to the Early Middle Ages and geographically covering the Aegean, Anatolia, the Levant, Egypt, as well as Central Europe. It was decided to arrange the volume by subject, which in the end proved a daunting task since many contributions covered several aspects and were not easy to categorise. Even if a specific model developed for a particular site cannot be applied en bloc to other sites, there is always something inspirational about other peoples models. We therefore humbly hope to offer some inspiration with the contributions collected in this volume.

Bratislava, Salzburg and Vienna, 20.11.2009

Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis: How do they Work Together?

xcavations at a site such as Troy literally produce tons of pottery covering hundreds of years, pottery which comes from all sorts of primary, secondary or tertiary contexts, with stratigraphic sequences often disturbed or even disrupted by later building activities and terracing. In this paper I will concentrate on how some of my colleagues, and to a lesser extent also I myself, tried to tackle the masses of Trojan pottery not only using a standard typological approach but also attempting to apply seriation and correspondence analysis. Five attempts at using these methods at Troy, their results and the problems encountered will be described and discussed from the perspective of our current knowledge. However, the majority of what we shall discuss here happened between 1990 and 1994, when many of the facts which are now obvious to us, had not yet been discovered. Let us therefore take a fresh look at the old data.

Site Introduction
Troy is a multiphase tell-like settlement strategically placed at the mouth of the Dardanelles in northwestern Anatolia, or in the northeastern Aegean, consisting of a fortified citadel and an adjacent lower town of changing dimensions1. It came into being around 3000 BC, during the local EBA I, reached one of its peaks around the mid 3rd millennium, during Troy II and III, and lost its importance at the end of the millennium during Troy IV. The beginning of the 2nd millennium is represented by Troy V but a new prosperous era only started with the subsequent phases of Troy VI. The site came to its second peak in the 14th century BC, possibly witnessed the Trojan war at the end of the 13th century and finally welcomed the incoming Balkan tribes a century later, during what is now known as Troy VIIb. First excavated by Frank Calvert, Heinrich Schliemann and Wilhelm Drpfeld in the 19th century, the site later received a detailed treatment in the 1930s by the American team of Carl Blegen2. The recent excavations under the guidance of the late Manfred O. Korfmann started in 1988 and are approaching final publication, now under the auspices of Ernst Pernicka3.

I would like to thank all of my Trojan colleagues who have discussed the pottery issues with me over the years, but especially Diane Thumm-Dorayan, Wendy Rigter, Pavol Hnila, Stephan Blum and Christiane Frirdich, as well as Peter Jablonka, who taught me the basics of seriation and correspondence analysis. 2 Blegen et al. 1950; 1951; 1953; 1958. 3 For the most recent summary with further bibliographical references see contributions in Korfmann 2006, but also the annual reports in Studia Troica.


Research has concentrated mainly on the citadel area and its vicinity but the site plan shows that a number of smaller and bigger trenches scattered throughout the lower town were also investigated (Fig. 1). It must be noted that most of these cannot be connected stratigraphically, which will be one of the points discussed here. Likewise, Troy represents an Eldorado of various site and deposit formation processes, which of course influence our interpretation of the excavated pottery and other finds. Whereas the EBA levels accumulated more or less evenly over time and space, the site-formational processes started changing during Troy VI. Heavy terracing and enlarging of the citadel involved cutting away older levels and caused massive filling actions. This was one aspect that the Blegen team did not fully reflect in their evaluation of the Trojan pottery and it also took us years to fully understand what had actually occurred at Troy during the periods concerned here. As regards pottery development, handmade, burnished, dark-surfaced pottery was typical of Troy I but continued to be produced in later stages of the EBA. Troy II introduced a completely new concept, namely wheel-made pottery, the first of its kind in the Aegean. Typical were so-called A2 plates and two-handled cups, which Schliemann named Depas Amphikypellon. The colours changed to beige, red and brown, a range that continued to be produced until Troy V, with its red variety slowly dying out at the beginning of Troy VI4. At this stage a new phenomenon began to appear at Troy, and in fact all over northwestern Anatolia, a wheel-made burnished grey ware called Anatolian Grey Ware (AGW), which was complemented by a beige variety called Tan Ware (TW) around the mid 2nd millennium BC. Our knowledge of 2nd millennium pottery has since increased and it is now possible to distinguish four ceramic phases during Troy VI complemented by Troy VIIa as a follow-up phase5. Some time after 1200 BC, handmade burnished pottery reappeared, this time showing Balkan affinities; AGW continued to be produced but TW numbers declined sharply6.

The Beginnings
Northwestern Anatolia is not a region with many excavated settlements. Troy itself has figured in countless archaeological arguments, but there are hardly any other sites with stratigraphies that would independently confirm or even further explain what was believed to have been learned in Troy (certainly not in the 2nd millennium)7. The opinions presented by Blegen and his team in the 1950s were by the late 1980s already being adjusted, enhanced or even declined by a number of scholars, often contradicting one another. In order to approach the site in an unbiased way, the new team attempted therefore to develop a recording system, which would be both compatible with but at the same time independent from that used by Blegen. The new excavations at Troy started in 1988 but it was not until 1989 and 1990 that the first trenches with undisturbed prehistoric levels were properly excavated. This was also the period during which the new team tried to come to terms with sudden masses of pottery coming in from the open trenches. There was on one hand the euphoria of running a new project, and on the other a great deal of insecurity in terms of how to best approach it, especially since it was not just any site but Troy. One was trying to meet too many demands at once: both prehistorians and classical archaeologists, Central European mixed with Anatolian approaches, and while there was a deep respect for Blegen on the one hand, there was an almost adolescent ambition to do everything differently, and of course better, on the other. One of the new lines of approach was the use of electronic data processing and information systems.

For summaries on EBA pottery from Troy see specifically al-Sazc 2006 and Blum 2006. Pavk Rigter 2006. For Early and Middle Troy VI see Pavk (in print). The Troy VI-Late and VIIa pottery will be published by W. Rigter. 6 Troy VIIb pottery is currently being studied by Pavol Hnila and the observation concerning the Tan Ware decline is his own (Hnila 2009, 22). 7 There is of course Thermi on Lesbos and Poliochni on Lemnos but these largely cover Troy I to III; their material culture is not even exactly the same as that of Troy. In addition, there is no site in the vicinity of Troy with a preserved continuous stratigraphy covering both the 3rd and 2nd millennia.
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Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Fig. 1. Plan of Troy with the excavation areas discussed in the text highlighted (prepared by P. Jablonka)

Since Manfred Korfmann viewed himself as a pioneer in applying various natural sciences methods and statistics at his excavation in Demircihyk in the late 1970s (and with respect to Anatolian archaeology he certainly was)8, he maintained a positive outlook on all the methods, which created the impression of being measurable and, in his opinion, objective. Seriation and correspondence analysis were therefore perceived by him as something which simply must be carried out at a modern excavation9. This must also be viewed in the context of Central European prehistory and of Neolithic studies in Germany, renowned for the successful application of the methods mentioned in the study of pottery, most prolifically at the University of Frankfurt.10 This Frankfurt connection will remain a leitmotiv in this paper. Nevertheless, what was an almost automatic thing to do in German Neolithic studies in the late 1980s, was at that stage quite new in Anatolian and Aegean archaeology.11 Besides the German school there were of course also other centres that dealt with statistics and correspondence analysis applied to archaeological pottery, suffice to mention some names, such as M. Greenacre, C. Orton and P. Tyers.12 However, what works for a flat settlement with a horizontal stratigraphy built on a series of pits is not necessarily suitable for a tell settlement such as Troy. Likewise, one might say that a well-stratified site such as Troy does not need a seriation to establish chronology, since the stratigraphy itself should be a sufficient dating tool. Troy had a rich vertical stratigraphy indeed, but the problem was that when a trench was opened, the upper levels had usually already been removed either by previous excavators or by the Greeks/Romans, and the underlying seemingly intact sequence was also often incomplete, with a number of levels missing due to Bronze Age site-formation processes. For that reason questions such as whether some features still pertained to Troy VIIa or to VI-Late, or whether some others still belonged to Troy III or already to IIg kept arising over the years. Therefore, it was one of the main aims initially to establish a better chronology by means of correspondence analysis, to facilitate the dating of individual excavation units, but especially to enable a subsequent correlation of the individual stratigraphic sequences among the dispersed trenches.

Pottery Recording at Troy

Let me briefly describe the recording system applied at Troy. The intention was to process as much excavated pottery as possible directly on site and during the same excavation campaign. A series of students were trained every year, some of whom took part several times and gained a deeper knowledge of the material. The sherds were processed by excavation unit, alas with varying information on their actual context and with little attention paid to neighbouring excavation units. With tens of buckets coming in every day from contexts whose date was often not clear until later on, such information was not readily available for every bucket. After washing, the sherds were separated according to wares, the body sherds were counted, all the diagnostic sherds were given an extension number and the following characteristics were recorded: type of ware, sherd thickness, preserved height of sherd, wheel-made/hand-made, surface colour, surface treatment outside and inside, shape, diameter and preserved portion of rim (eves). The same applied to bases and handles as well as decorated sherds. The wares are more or less standardised and a more or less detailed description exists for each of these. A so-called Formenbrse (stock of shapes) was developed to register the shapes of the rims, bases and handles, which meant that every new type of profile was drawn and received a number. In addition, the material from every excavation unit was weighed and all this information was noted in a spreadsheet called Computerbogen (computer sheet) (Fig. 2).

Korfmann 1987. For a general description and some history of research see for example Ihm 1983, Mller 1997 and Zimmermann 1997 but also Weninger 2002, 1036 f. 10 Stehli 1988. Coincidence or not, Korfmann obtained his PhD also in Frankfurt years ago. 11 The American and British projects on Keos and Melos (Renfrew Wagstaff 1982; Davis Cherry 1984; Davis Lewis 1985) were exceptions. 12 For the most recent summary of the non-German schools and the French contributions see Bellanger et al. 2006.
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Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Fig. 2. Example of a so-called Computerbogen used at Troy for the primary recording of pottery (Troia-Archiv) The current excavation uses a system of wares, which goes back to Blegen but has also witnessed some considerable additions and slight alterations with regard to its definitions. Generally speaking, there are some 10 wares typical of Troy I, 16 wares typical of Troy II-V levels and 17 wares predominant in levels of Troy VI and VIIa. Most of the wares are defined as a combination of fabric and surface treatment13. These wares will play a major role in the discussion presented here, since the ratios of wares changed over time and show a certain chronological potential. As regards the shapes, Korfmann opted for a completely new typological system of pottery shapes, since he believed that that was the only way of testing Blegens results. An advantage of Blegens system of shapes is its clarity, but it is not always easy to use on sherds and is at times somewhat oversimplified. It also has the advantage of already existing, because, with the exception of the levels of Early and Middle Troy VI, the new typological system has still not been unified and fully developed. One must also admit that in the initial euphoria, this method of pottery processing was believed to be the definitive tool and that all the information necessary for future analysis would be available on the Computerbogen. This was, of course, too optimistic but the principal approach was maintained and almost all the excavated pottery has been documented using this system even though it is now considered to be only a first stage. Therefore, some basic information is recorded for all the Bronze Age sherds excavated at Troy since 1988, which is an incredibly large amount of data. The situation improved over the years, the fluctuation of students slowed down and a kind of second generation of students/collaborators processing pottery emerged between 1995 and 1997, most of

13 For the original definitions of various wares see Blegen et al. 1950, 5156. 219224; 1951, 1822. 117122. 235237; 1953, 33 38; 1958, 1924. 154159. The current system of wares is not yet published comprehensively, but basic information can be extracted from Easton Weninger 1993, 6970; Frirdich 1997, 121127.


which later started PhD theses on related issues. However, almost all of the seriations and correspondence analyses (CA) discussed here were run by the first generation and with material processed in the early years. Since the main protagonists in the computer seriation left the project soon after their studies were completed, there was no continuation and the second generation showed little interest in this approach. One of the reasons for this lack of interest was that in the meantime our knowledge of the stratigraphy and its dating had improved and a better understanding of the typology had resulted in a resolution to within 100 years, which made the seriation appear redundant. The pottery assigned for the final publication was split among the PhD students according to periods lasting no more than 200-300 years14 and the aim moved to the study and definition of minute details. In doing so, a better understanding of the individual phases was achieved, albeit with the potential risk of loosing sight of the overall picture. Having finished my own part, I would now like to take a step back and take a fresh look at the seriations run previously, at the questions asked and the answers proposed in order to ascertain what might still be of interest today and especially what might be interpreted differently given the knowledge accumulated over the past 15 years.

Weninger 1993 Analysing Troy VI Pottery

Bernhard Weninger, also a Frankfurt student, was the first researcher to attempt the application of seriation and CA to Trojan material. Since the new typology of shapes had not yet been established and the Blegen typology was at first rejected by the new team, Weninger concentrated on the wares. Almost 1500 excavation units from the new excavations were seriated, even including the Schliemann dump, in the hope of reconstructing the total sedimentation history of the site, reaching into modern times15. It was a test to see whether CA as a method also works for a tell site such as Troy and this did yield a more or less positive result. Troy I and II were located at the far right, Troy VI in the middle and Roman pottery (Troy IX) to the left of the plot, roughly confirming what we already knew even before the seriation was carried out (Fig. 3). An interesting point was, however, a perceived reversal of the development within Troy VI, with Late Troy VI units positioned closer to the EBA than the stratigraphically succeeding subperiod of Early Troy VI. This was explained by the inclusion of the material from excavation areas D7 and D8 in the southern part of the Schliemann trench with units containing genuine Troy III-IV material mixed with washed down Late Troy VI material16. Weninger also carried out a case study in collaboration with Donald Easton on stratified pottery from trenches 8 and K8 excavated in the summer of 1991. Easton made a stratigraphic evaluation of the two neighbouring but not connected trenches, individual excavation units were combined to form larger meaningful deposits and those in turn were assigned to architectural phases. It was also attempted to correlate the sequences in the two trenches, based on stratigraphic observations, elevations and observed changes in the pottery (prior to the seriation). Students processed the excavated pottery, while Weninger entered the data in the Troy pottery database and ran several tests, again using only information on the ware-counts from the individual units. 291 excavation units and 12 wares from both excavation areas were analysed together (Fig. 4). The resulting plot showed early units to the left and late units on the right-hand side. The CA also divided Troy VI wares into an early (Early Troy VI) and a late phase (Middle and Late Troy VI)17. Again, none of this was new and had also been known to Blegen. However, in the early days of the excavation, it was useful to have this validated. A small gap appeared between the values 0.0 and 0.5 at factor 1, which seemed to correspond with a transition from Early to Middle Troy VI and with the appearance of the non-micaceous variant of Anatolian Grey Ware (AGW-II). Oddly, the Tan Ware occurred first according to the plot, while AGW-II appeared only

The 2nd millennium was allocated as follows: Troy V to Stephan Blum, VI Early and Middle to me, VI-Late and VIIa to Wendy Rigter, VIIb to Pavol Hnila. 15 Easton Weninger 1993, 77. 16 Easton Weninger 1993, 7478 fig. 33. 17 Easton Weninger 1993, 77 fig. 34.


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Fig. 3. Correspondence analysis of 1431 excavation units against 40 wares excavated at Troy between 1988 and 1991 (adjusted after Easton Weninger 1993, g. 33)

Fig. 4. Correspondence analysis of 291 excavation units against 12 Troy VI wares from area K8 excavated in 1991 (adjusted after Easton Weninger 1993, g. 34)


at the end of the sequence, which, based on our current knowledge, is contrary to reality. A similar result was also obtained by combining the excavation units to form deposits as defined by Easton and re-running the CA. It was observed that combining excavation units to form larger deposits did not lead to a better dating accuracy18. Finally, a seriation plot using these deposits was created for both trenches separately. It was attempted to identify stratigraphic boxes corresponding with the expected phases of Early, Middle and Late Troy VI and to synchronise the two sequences from trenches 8 and K8 (Fig. 5). A number of discrepancies were indeed observed but all of these could be seemingly explained and dismissed19. Weninger raised the possibility that the factorial distances at factor 1 may in fact reflect absolute dates and that the CA can be used not only for relative dating but also for absolute dating of a given excavation unit. This also initiated the idea that once a better sequence ranging from Troy I to Troy VII had been established, any newly entered excavation unit could be dated with an accuracy of one or two generations by means of a correspondence analysis, as long as the unit contained more than a handful of pottery.

Fig. 5. Stratigraphic boxes and synchronisation of trenches 8 and K8 by means of correspondence analysis. The vertical position reects excavation units in stratigraphic sequence, the horizontal shows the seriation results within a given stratigraphic phase. Original proposal by Easton and Weninger (adjusted after Easton Weninger 1993, g. 38)

18 19

Easton Weninger 1993, 79 fig. 36. Easton Weninger 1993, 82 f. fig. 38.


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Unfortunately, what started as a well planned test and with the best intentions, in the end suffered from the teething troubles of the whole Troy project and the authors are hardly to blame20. There was simply not enough quality data available in 1991 and the analysis came too early. Just one year later, in 1992, Easton continued to excavate the two trenches concerned and recovered some important new evidence for their stratigraphic correlation which, however, could no longer be included in the study. All of the pottery analysed was reinvestigated by me in the summers of 1999 and 2000, with Ralf Becks producing a new stratigraphic analysis of the two trenches in 2004. The new study in fact uncovered many discrepancies in what had been believed in 1991, most importantly the fact that the sequences in 8 and K8 did not cover the whole of Troy VI, but only its Early and Middle stages, since the Late Troy VI and VIIa levels had already been excavated by Blegen21. This shed a completely new light on the stratigraphic boxes, the whole periodisation, and the synchronisation between 8 and K8 as suggested by Easton and Weninger (Fig. 6). The differing results between 8 and K8 were not caused by re-deposited material dug

Fig. 6. Stratigraphic boxes and synchronisation of trenches 8 and K8 by means of correspondence analysis. New proposal after re-evaluation of both the pottery and the stratigraphy (adjusted after Easton Weninger 1993, g. 38)

Despite objections to the stratigraphic analysis of the areas 8 and K8, I would like to stress my deep respect for Donald Eastons many years of contributing to our knowledge of Troy. 21 Blegen 1953, 350363. This was also known to Easton, but he still postulated that the K8 sequence reached the early part of VI-Late. This of course can not be excluded but it is not reflected by the pottery.


up during later building activities22, but simply by the fact that the units in 8 were indeed of a later date. Furthermore, the extensions excavated in 1992 allowed for a better and quite different stratigraphic correlation between the K8 and 8 areas to that proposed originally.23 To make things worse, some of the sherds had been attributed to the wrong wares. The students had experienced problems in particular in distinguishing between the early micaceous variant of Anatolian Grey Ware (AGW-I) and the later nonmicaceous (AGW-II) ware, and had also identified many Burnished Plain Ware sherds as Tan Ware (TW); the existence of Burnished Plain Ware in Troy VI levels was only recognised the following year. That also explains the unexpected early position of TW and a comparatively late position of AGW-II in the CA plot, since we know now that Burnished Plain Ware occurred largely in Early Troy VI only. A wrong attribution of both AGW-II and Tan Ware is in fact a lethal combination, since both are chronological indicators of later wares. Nevertheless, a fair number of sherds were obviously attributed correctly (or the mistakes were balanced out) and the CA plot does show the developmental tendencies expected. However, having said all of the above, there was one important result, which remained unrecognised at the time. The seriation identified so-called Pithos Ware (W666) as one of the late wares. Pithos Ware used to be a general category including all sherds thick enough to be pithos fragments or sherds readily recognisable as such by their shape and decoration. Since this ware was defined rather by the shape than by the fabric and was therefore inconsistent with the system of wares intended, it was decided in 1992 that one should rather attempt to attribute the pithoi to the wares already defined such as Red Washed, Red Coated, Plain or Gritty, and Pithos Ware as a category was abolished. This resulted in the disappearance of the general category of pithoi from any further statistics when wares only were included. However, Ware 666 was still registered in 1991 and therefore also appeared in Weningers seriation. The fact that W666 appears exclusively in the later excavation units is not coincidental or caused by functional changes of the area over time. As we now know, there were indeed no pithoi in Early Troy VI and instead clay-lined pits were used for storage. The pithoi did not appear until Middle Troy VI24, which would roughly correspond with Eastons/Weningers late group. This is, in fact, a pleasant and unexpected confirmation of a relatively new observation, which shows that if the pottery processing had been carried out at a later date and with more knowledge, the CA could indeed have yielded interesting results. In any case, this playing with numbers in a way meant Troys loss of electronic innocence, with Bernie Weninger planting the initial seed and definitely showing us the way.

Jablonka 1995 Dating the Ditch Fill in the Lower Town

As a follow up to the seriation exercises of Easton and Weninger on the Troy VI material from area K8, Peter Jablonka attempted to seriate the pottery finds (again wares only) from the fill of a fortification ditch surrounding the LBA lower town, encountered in trenches p28, z29, A29 and C2925. He re-ran the seriation of the K8 and 8 material excavated in 1991 and obtained slightly different results than Easton/Weninger had arrived at26. In Jablonkas plot, all of the K8 stratigraphic phases as defined by Easton started around a -1.5 value of factor 1 and there did not seem to be much variation within most of the sequence (Eastons phases 3 to 28), despite the fact that according to current knowledge the K8 sequence covers two architectural phases of VI Early and a further two phases of VI-Middle. On the contrary, the units and stratigraphic phases in area 8 do indeed show some development, albeit quite rough and distorted. While the older 8 phases 14 to 10 (corresponding roughly to the two phases of Early Troy VI) cluster in the negative values of factor 1, phase 9 spells not only the beginning of VI-Middle but also positive values. I have no explanation as to why this discrepancy with Easton/Weninger exists, since they used the same set of data.
Easton Weninger 1993, 83 fig. 38. Becks (2006). This is also why the correspondence analysis of the excavation units yielded more accurate results than that of the presumed deposits. For a further discussion of the correlation problem see the following section. 24 This chronological observation is my own, but I would like to thank Diane Thumm-Dorayan, who is currently studying the Trojan pithoi, for discussing the matter with me and for supporting my idea. 25 Jablonka 1995, 6176. 26 Jablonka 1995, fig 19 (K8) and fig. 20 (8).
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Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

As a second step Jablonka added pottery finds from the above-mentioned excavation areas, where the Troy VI ditch had been uncovered (Fig. 7). The result was not really a curve, but rather a semicircle filled with the seriated units27. At first glance the result was somewhat disappointing but a closer look at the distribution of the individual trenches in fact revealed a more coherent picture. The units from K8 concentrated in the left half of the semicircle, and thus in the negative values of factor 1, with some K8 units also occurring in the right half of the semicircle, or in the positive values of factor 1. Here they only filled the inner part of the semicircle. The outer part was occupied by the ditch units. The two groups met but barely mixed. The ditch units themselves did in fact show some curve, but there were also a number of unrelated units, which strayed into the high positive values of factor 2.

Fig. 7. Correspondence analysis of 373 excavation units based on ware-counts from the trenches in the Lower Town (adjusted after Jablonka 1995, g. 17) Despite the obstacles, the CA quite clearly shows a sequence starting with the majority of the units from K8, followed by all of the ditch units without overlap or gap. But even the ditch units themselves seem to show some sequence. While the units from trenches z29, A29 and C29 intermingle and occur systematically within the same strip, the units from trench p28, situated almost 200 m to the west of the other trenches, clearly form their own cluster at the far right of the semicircle, in the high positive values of factor 1. In 1995 or even in 1994, when the original article was written, this result would have seemed confusing because it was believed that the sequence in K8 covered the whole development of Troy VI pottery. However, as we now know, almost all the pottery and the associated strata from K8 only dated from Early and Middle Troy VI and no later (see above). The fill of the ditch, on the other hand, dated largely from Late Troy VI or in certain instances even later. In addition, the lower sections of the ditch regularly also contained washed-in earlier pottery, some very Early Troy VI wares and some even older


Jablonka 1995, fig. 17 (just units) and fig. 18 (just wares).


fragments (EBA). Plotting of the ware coordinates revealed that these were the units straying into the high positive values of factor 2. Units along the outline of the semicircle between the values 0.5 and 1.75 of factor 1 are therefore possibly the true Late Troy VI units, which leaves units from the ditch in p28, all concentrating around the value 2 of factor 1. Those are possibly even later; just how late is currently impossible to say28. However, the published fragments from p28 do indeed look somewhat unusual for standard Troy VI shapes, which strengthens the suspicion that the fill is indeed later29. We also have the published statistics on sherd/ware counts30. What makes p28 so different is the high proportion of Tan Ware (TW), the almost total absence of EBA wares and also the low ratio of early wares such as early Anatolian Grey Ware (AGW-I) and Red Coated ware (RCW), which were regularly present in the fill of the ditch in the other trenches. The ratio between AGW-II and TW was around 2:1, whereas in the other trenches it was much lower and favoured AGW-II. Given that Tan Ware numbers sharply declined in Troy VIIb, it is reasonable to postulate that the ditch in the area of p28 was (for whatever reason) filled later than the other parts of the ditch, namely in Troy VIIa. Jablonka has likewise pointed out the high probability of differing formation processes in and around the citadel as opposed to the lower part of the lower town, which is certainly true and must also have a bearing on the seriation/CA results. However, for the time being, the main reason for any structuring behind the CA result presented by him seems to be a chronological development, with the various formation processes possibly being responsible for a blurring of the results, that is, for the semicircle as described above. Last but not least, the human factor must also be mentioned, since the individual trenches were excavated in different years and processed by a number of different students.

Frirdich 1997 EBA Pottery and Stratigraphy

Around the same time, Christiane Frirdich, who was also originally trained in processing Neolithic pottery at Frankfurt, concentrated on another trench: E4/5, an inverted trench or pinnacle31. Schliemann had removed most of the central part of the citadel but had wisely left a couple of so-called islands or pinnacles for later testing. Some of these were excavated by Blegen and one of the last ones, already heavily eroded, was examined by Gnter Mansfeld32. Korfmanns colleague in the early days of his excavations. This pinnacle contained potentially crucial information, since it stood in the middle of the Troy II citadel, covering part of the eastern anta of the famous large Megaron IIA. Preserved to a height of over 5m, the excavator believed it to cover the whole sequence of Troy II to V. Starting with methodological questions, Frirdich further elaborated on the suitability issues of CA application on Trojan material previously raised by Easton, Weninger and Jablonka. While Jablonka stressed the obvious problems with the deposit and site-formation processes on site as well as possible biases caused by the fact that different students had processed the pottery33. Frirdich pointed out a further problem relating to our definition of wares and shapes, which in a way goes back to Blegen. In his view, stratigraphy was the main chronological yardstick, and he had specialised in this field early on34. The definition of wares and shapes was subordinate in this context and served mainly as descriptive tools for the catalogue35. Blegen could afford this luxury, because he excavated only a small number of trenches with near-complete stratigraphic sequences (or at least he believed them to be). The trenches were often these so-called islands left by Schliemann with profiles visible from the outside and therefore ideal for

Almost all pottery from the fill of the ditch, unfortunately except for trenches p28 and w28, was reinvestigated by me in collaboration with Diane Thumm-Dorayan and Wendy Rigter in the summer of 2006. 29 Jablonka 1995, fig. 24:8 (typical VI-Late); 25:14, 16 (standard VI-Late); 25:18 (unusually decorated vertical strap handle); 26:24 (unusual spouted bowl with incised wavy-line); 26:2728 (undiagnostic); 27:3841(LH IIIA to IIIC and Protogeometric) 30 Jablonka 1995, 64. 31 Frirdich 1997. 32 Mansfeld 1993. 33 Easton Weninger 1993, 7478, 84 f.; Jablonka 1995, 64 f. 34 McDonald in McDonald Thomas 1990, 204. 35 Frirdich 1997, 112 f.


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

fine stratigraphic excavation. They were disconnected but situated quite near each other, thus enabling the correlation of individual strata in a purely stratigraphic way, with pottery being addressed only in a second step. Nevertheless, Blegens final publication and the diaries of his team members36 clearly show that they did gain in-depth knowledge of the pottery during the excavation itself and noted chronologically detailed similarities and differences between individual trenches and strata. However, in terms of the classification and description, many of these fine variations, which possibly made up the difference, for instance, between Troy II and III, disappeared in the generalised definitions of wares and shapes, which later became endorsed by all subsequent publications, mainly because of their clarity and simplicity. The Blegen Dataset Nevertheless, in order to obtain a better perspective on the finds from the E4/5 trench, Frirdich analysed EBA material from both the Blegen (1932-1938) and Korfmann (1987-1994) excavations, which resulted in two datasets. In order to test the Blegen data, she entered all published Troy I and II contexts in a database. Because of limitations posed by the original publication, Frirdich opted for binary entries on both wares and shapes, registering only their presence or absence in any given context. The CA yielded roughly the same result as the stratigraphic dating by Blegen, except it showed slight discrepancies within Troy I and a surprisingly clear cut between Late Troy I and Early Troy II material, supposedly undistinguishable according to Blegen37. Plotting just the shapes, however, yielded an unexpected result (Fig. 8), which deserves a brief mention here. Blegen had devised a system of shapes, divided into four broad categories: drinking and serving

Fig. 8. Correspondence analysis of Troy I and II excavation units from the Blegen excavations against the pottery shapes. Distribution of Blegens B and C-shapes (adjusted after Frirdich 1997, gs. 5, 6)

36 37

Marion and Dorothy Rawson, Jack Caskey, Jerome Sperling, Walter Heurtley and others. Frirdich 1997, 114117.


vessels (A), pouring vessels (B), storing and cooking vessels (C) and miscellanea (D)38. As it turned out there were marked differences in their chronological distribution. Whereas the A-shapes (largely bowls), and to a lesser extent also the somewhat unusual D-shapes (miscellanea), systematically occurred in all contexts, covering Early, Middle and Late Troy I as well as Troy II, there was a conspicuous decline in B- and C-shapes at the end of Troy I and in Early Troy II. Decisively fewer jugs and jars appeared to have been used in the Late Troy I / Early Troy II citadel39. This was not exactly the answer that had been expected and instead the seriation raised a new question. What was happening at the end of Troy I within the citadel? While this is still unanswered, there is a clear hint at some functional change, which occurred over the time-span mentioned, and in fact there was a further change when the jugs and jars re-appeared at the end of Troy II. Questions such as this in the end proved to be the more important results than the few answers actually gained by running the CA. In general, the Troy I/II transition was one of the main themes treated by Frirdich back in 1992-94, and again in the summer of 2008. I will therefore not elaborate any further on this aspect, as it still remains an unresolved issue. The Korfmann Dataset The second dataset consisted of Troy I to IV (and possibly also some Troy V) material from the new excavations carried out before 1994, when the original study was completed. It included pottery from the so-called Schliemann trench (Troy I), trenches E3 and E4 (mainly Troy I), E4/5 (Troy II and later) and also from the connected trenches in squares D7 and D8 spanning complete Troy III and IV sequences but also covering the end stages (?) of Troy II and some of Troy V. For most of these trenches, preliminary stratigraphic dates were available and the excavated pottery underwent the first stages of processing by the students. The pinnacle material was processed by Frirdich herself. As was the case with the trenches analysed previously by Easton/Weninger and Jablonka, the only readily available and quantifiable information of potentially chronological value again concerned the wares40. All the following results are therefore based on wares only and there was no opportunity to test the above-mentioned uneven chronological distribution of Blegens shapes between Troy I and II. The main issues addressed remained the chronology and the transition from Troy I to II. However, I would like to comment on three aspects only: the potential occurrence of Troy VI wares in Troy IV levels (area D8), the accuracy of the sequence parallelisation between trenches D7 and D8, and the date of the pinnacle material from area E4/5. Troy VI Wares in Troy IV Contexts? Of more than 400 analysed EBA excavation units only 40 Troy IV and V contexts, all from area D8, also contained Troy VI wares. Frirdich did not simply dismiss these as contamination but tried to asses all possibilities, including the existence of previously unknown predecessors of Troy VI wares in Troy IV and V contexts. Even if they were a contamination, she hoped to explain its nature. She noticed that the distribution of these units resembled the letter T and not, as one would expect, a parabola. The contexts containing Troy VI wares did not set themselves apart on factor 1 (or eigenvector 1), which usually represents some kind of chronological development, but instead looked like the other standard Troy IV units, with the addition of a few Troy VI sherds. She also noticed that if there had been true contamination from above (later foundation trenches or pits), there would have to be some other later material as well, i.e. Troy V sherds. However, this was not the case, which is why she considered the possibility of Troy IV predecessors of Troy VI wares, occurring possibly only in functionally discreet areas, as in this case D841. The issue has since been clarified, but this took a number of years. The Troy VI sherds were indeed a contamination, but not from above. At some point during Early Troy VI (Blegens architectural phase VIb/ c) a major terracing operation had been undertaken at the southern end of area D8, which simply laterally sliced away a whole sequence of Troy IV and V levels and a terracing wall, possibly a section of a circular

38 39 40 41

Blegen 1950, Fig. 129132. Frirdich 1997, 117119 fig. 47. The typological studies of EBA shapes have still not been completed. Frirdich 1997, 129.


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

fortification of Early Troy VI, was constructed. Approximately 100 years later, the wall was replaced by another terrace wall (Blegen phase VId), whose foundation trench removed even more of the Troy IV and V strata in that area. As it happens, there was a baulk exactly in the crucial location and the cut was not noticed at the time of excavation. This is how the contaminated excavation units consisted partly of uncontaminated true Troy IV/V contexts and partly of the Troy VI fill of the foundation trench. I checked all 40 of the contaminated units listed by Frirdich42. with the following results: 4 units stratigraphically belonged to Troy VI and were previously wrongly identified as Troy IV-V units; 21 units were situated exactly in the disturbed area described above; 4 units were located in a position where there should have been no Troy VI intrusion, but they suspiciously cluster around the same spot; finally, 11 units could not be readily checked due to a lack of data availability. This should settle the issue. There were no predecessors of Troy VI wares in Troy IV contexts, which was also confirmed by excavations in other trenches with Troy IV and V sequences, most notably in area A5/6, meticulously excavated by Magda Pieniek-Sikora in 2000 and 2001. Parallelisation of trenches D7 and D8 Having removed the contaminated Troy IV-V units, a re-run of the CA showed a different picture and the expected parabola finally emerged (Fig. 9). It was L-shaped, with Troy I units at the far right, Troy II

Fig. 9. Correspondence analysis of the EBA (Troy I-IV) excavation units from the Korfmann excavations up to 1994 based on the ware-counts. The excavation units from the so-called pinnacle in area E4/5 are marked with asterisks (adjusted after Frirdich 1997, g. 14)


Frirdich 1997, 187195 Anhang B.


around the relatively sharp peak and Troy V in the top left corner. This was a nice result, but it was again something we had already known. Using just factor 1, Frirdich also produced two seriation plots visualising the position of the individual excavation units according to their respective trenches or even stratigraphic phases, as was the case for trenches D7 and D843. With regard to the distribution of Troy III and IV units in trenches D7 and D8 (Fig. 10), one immediately notices that those from D7 cluster almost exclusively around the value -1.0 (stars), whereas those from trench D8 cluster mainly around value -1.5 (dots); however, some do indeed occur together with the D7 units around value -1.0. Frirdich did not comment on this fact but it makes one wonder about the accuracy of attributing material to Troy III and Early Troy IV for some of the units from trench D8, especially given the highly complicated nature of the sloping stratigraphic sequence44. This is certainly something worth paying further attention to.

Fig. 10. Correspondence analysis of the same set of material as used in Fig. 9, arranged vertically according to excavation areas or stratigraphic levels within a given area (adjusted after Frirdich 1997, g. 15) Dating the E4/5 Pinnacle Material The most interesting results concerned the dating of the pinnacle material, which was in fact central to Frirdichs study. The seriation and CA consistently showed that based on the wares, the excavation units did not spread to Troy IV or even V, as had been expected due to the dates given by the excavator; instead, the units clustered around the peak of the parabola (Fig. 9, 10), together with Troy II contexts

Frirdich 1997, fig. 10. 15. The stratigraphic phasing of D7 and D8 reflects the state of knowledge before 1994. The two trenches have only recently received a more in-depth publication (Saz 2005). 44 It would be interesting to plot the seriation results according to the updated stratigraphic analysis as presented by Saz 2005.


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Fig. 11. Reconstructed N-S section through the EBA citadel of Troy, visualizing the relative position of the individual pinnacles and the different dates proposed by different excavators for approximately identical levels. The new dates proposed in this article for the pinnacle in area E4/5 is indicated on the far left (adjusted after Drpfeld 1902; Blegen 1951; Frirdich 1997 and Mansfeld 2001)


from other areas, the position of which had also been confirmed by the previous CA of the Blegen material. How can this be explained? Again, as we now know, there is a major discrepancy between Drpfelds and Blegens chronologies, which had not been taken into account by Mansfeld, and was therefore not available to Frirdich. This concerns the so-called Easton Law: Blegen = Drpfeld-1. Blegens Troy IIg is Drpfelds Troy III, Blegens Troy III is Drpfelds Troy IV and Blegens Troy IV is Drpfelds Troy V45. If all islands excavated by Drpfeld, Blegen and Korfmann/Mansfeld are juxtaposed, and the changes observed within the E4/5 pinnacle are taken into consideration, it becomes clear that the E4/5 sequence covered only 200-300 years and not 500-600 years as expected; moreover, instead of a Late Troy II to V sequence, only Troy II and III were represented with some possible elements of Troy IV (Fig. 11). Unfortunately, since Frirdichs seriation results did not attract enough attention among the second generation, the pinnacle received a full and definitive publication by Mansfeld in 2001, which still showed it as spanning Troy II to V46. This in fact shows, my own scepticism concerning the quality of the data gathered by the students notwithstanding, that seriation/CA can take on the role of correcting factor. However, at this stage our knowledge of the typological development of pottery from the new excavations is much better and in fact the seriation would no longer be necessary in order to establish the situation outlined.

Weninger 2002 Testing the Blegen EBA Finds

In 2002, Weninger published his research on the EBA material from the American excavations, which he had been studying since the late 1980s. Similarly to Frirdich, he also attempted to create a database of the Blegen finds but instead of binary data for Troy I and II only, Weninger launched a very ambitious project with the aim of quantifying all the contexts attributed by Blegen and his team to the strata of Troy I to V47, including not only wares but also pottery shapes. His approach to the task was quite interesting and was by no means straightforward48; it nevertheless proves the genius of Carl Blegen, John Caskey and Marion Rawson, who half a century ago managed to produce a publication enabling the creation of such a database, especially when one considers that their study was in turn based on field research from the 1930s. Weninger first performed a CA on all recorded excavation/publication units, without regard to their stratigraphic position, with the comforting result that the units (just by way of their pottery contents) were sorted roughly in accordance with the stratigraphic dating proposed by Blegen (Fig. 12). However, the expected parabola (or U-shaped curve) was represented only by Troy I and II units facing factor 1. A sharp bend occurred at the end of Troy II, the direction of the curve changed and it continued almost vertically along factor 2, covering Troy III, IV and V. The result showed that responsible for the chronological development was not only factor 1, but factor 2 also played some kind of role. The following observations are worth noting. 1. Similar to the result of the Blegen CA run by Frirdich, but unlike her CA of the Korfmann material, there seems to have been a clear gap between Troy I and II, with units and vessel shapes concentrating at the beginning and the end of the parabola. Checking Blegens stratigraphic dates of the units, Weninger postulated that the resulting sequence, running from right to left on factor 1, began with Early Troy I units on the far right followed by Middle Troy I material further left. The gap was flanked by Late Troy I units on the right and Early Troy II units on the left. Troy II then continued up to Troy IIg units, which marked the sharp bend. This would suggest that the sequence is correct, but something is missing. If the distances on factor 1 reflect a possible time-scale49, then the existing factorial distance between the units and the length of the gap would suggest that there were three or even five architectural phases missing at the end of Troy I, which for whatever reason had not been encountered by Blegen50.

45 46 47 48 49 50

Easton 2000; Jablonka 2000, 103 fig. 3. Mansfeld 2001. Reaching in fact into MBA, as we now understand it. Weninger 2002, 10371040. See especially 1038. This was envisaged by Weninger but I am somewhat sceptical. See also my remarks on area K8 above. Possibly caused by the limited choice of suitable excavation areas left over by Schliemann.


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

2. Weninger further tried to unravel the mystery of the sharp bend at the end of Troy II and suggested a number of possible explanations, none of which, unfortunately, stood his own tests. The most interesting observation was that, with a conflagration during Troy IIg resulting in a high number of complete vessels, the bend might reflect a change from sherd counts (Troy Ia-IIf), to pot counts (IIg) and back to sherd counts (III-V). However, running the seriation without the Troy IIg units did not remove the bend. The change in the curve therefore still remains unexplained.

Fig. 12. Correspondence analysis of 138 pottery shapes against 171 excavation units from the Blegen excavation spanning Troy I to V (adjusted after Weninger 2002, g. 1) In a second step, the excavation units were combined to form settlement phases as defined by Blegen and as reconstructed in some cases by Weninger51, resulting in 14,197 sherds, 139 pottery shapes and 27 settlement phases. The picture gained from the CA shed further light on the issues discussed here, and also raised further questions (Fig. 13). 1. As to the first point mentioned above, the position of the settlement phases according to Blegen around the possible gap has been somewhat clarified. The biggest distance lies between the penultimate phase of Troy I (Ij) and the second phase of Troy II (b), with phases Ik and IIa in an intermediate position. As stated above, the issue of the Troy I/II transition is beyond my erudition, but one should stress that the current excavations have brought up the possibility that a number of Troy I phases were not recognised by Blegen52, and that their stratigraphic position lies exactly within the proposed gap! This possibly also
Weninger 2002, 1046 f. Korfmann 2000, fig. 6.

51 52


explains why there was no gap observed in the CA run by Frirdich on the Korfmann material53. If it is indeed true, this is, at least in my view, the biggest discovery of all the seriations/CA run at Troy so far. 2. Using the settlement phases as units has also softened the bend after Troy II and has brought the Troy III phases closer to Troy IIe, f, and g, which seems to better reflect the situation as it is perceived based on the current excavation. Troy III pottery seems to have been a smooth continuation of Troy II material and the real change only came with Troy IV.

Fig. 13. Correspondence analysis of 139 pottery shapes against 27 settlement phases from the Blegen excavation spanning Troy I to V (adjusted after Weninger 2002, g. 4) 3. Continuing along factor 2, one encounters a large jump between Troy III and IVa and another, even larger one between Troy IVa and IVb. As stated above, a certain difference between Troy III and IV was to be expected but such a large distance is indeed remarkable. This probably does not represent another gap, but there was certainly a major change in the local pottery development. The only other detailed analysis carried out on later EBA pottery from Troy by Christian Podzuweit also viewed the first half of Troy IV more akin to Troy III and Later Troy II, as he grouped these into his Frhtrojanisch II, leaving only Troy IVd-e and Troy V for his FT III54. Frirdichs CA on the Korfmann material also showed that the lowest Troy IV levels were set apart from the rest and more similar to Troy III (Fig. 10)55. In any case, the CA again does not answer any of the questions but rather raises a warning.

Frirdich 1997, f ig. 14. 16. 17. 18. Podzuweit 1979, 1932 (especially 24 f.) and Beilage 26. His analysis is possibly outdated at this stage, but it is nevertheless an interesting fact that his subdivisions actually fit the seriation! It is furthermore intriguing, that his other subdivisions match the clustering of Weningers CA run with the Blegen settlement phases as units: FT Ia = Troy Ia-c, FT Ib = Troy Id-IIc, FT IIa = Troy IId-f, FT IIb = Troy IIg, FT IIc = Troy III, FT IId = Troy IVa-c, FT IIIa = Troy IVd-e, FT IIIb = Troy V. 55 Frirdich 1997, fig. 10. 15.
53 54


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

4. Troy IVb to V-Middle forms a cluster and Troy V-Late again seems to set itself apart. This is possibly no coincidence either, since the last phase of Troy V, as defined by Blegen, was indeed not without its problems. The transition between Troy V and VI still remains somewhat problematic but it was certainly not as dramatic as postulated by Blegen56. We now view it as having been much smoother and one wonders whether some of the contexts which Blegen identified as Late Troy V were not in fact the beginnings of Troy VI, as we now understand it57. Again, the CA possibly sees something, which was not recognised earlier but can now be independently confirmed.

Pavk 20002002 Troy VI Pottery Again

My own involvement with seriation and CA has a personal touch. I was first introduced to it by my father Juraj Pavk in the late 1980s, long before my active involvement with archaeology. Both of the methods were quite successfully applied in his study of the pottery finds from a Neolithic settlement in trovo in southwestern Slovakia58. He in turn received great help from Petar Stehli, which brings us once again back to Frankfurt! Years later, thanks to a seminar on computer applications in archaeology led by Peter Jablonka and Mirko Novk at the University of Tbingen, I tried to apply the method to the data collected during my reinvestigation of Early and Middle Troy VI material from trenches K8, K13 and KL16/17. I attempted this between 2000 and 2002, which is a few years before establishing my own typology of shapes and the seriation was therefore once again run on wares only. Both rim and body sherds were included, whose numbers were extracted from an updated FileMaker database, which was then being used by the Troy Project59. Having run just the material from trench K8, a quite satisfying U-shaped curve emerged both at the level of single excavation units, as well as at the level of Eastons deposits. However, the deposits did not align according to the expected sequence, which was possibly caused by the stratigraphic inconsistencies uncovered by Ralf Becks (see above)60. When included, the pottery from trench K13, which according to current knowledge should run parallel to the K8 sequence, all the K13 units concentrated at one end of the plot and the K8 units at the other. The situation got even more confused after entering the KL16/17 data. The result was truly disappointing and I left it at that. I felt that the wares were not suitable, that one should concentrate on rim sherds only and run the CA on shapes. Originally, I believed that there would be some sophisticated reason for this irregular grouping, I guessed at differing depositional processes in the three areas, which were located 100 to 200 metres from each other, and I even considered various functional or social backgrounds, since the trenches were situated roughly in one line but at different distances from the citadel. None of these theories were correct. Instead, the human factor was again responsible, this time my own. Having had a second look at the plots after 5 years, I have now discovered that the problem lay solely in the quality of the data entered. While I concentrated mainly on the fine wares during the recording and on the establishment of a new typology for shapes, it escaped my notice that my approach to identifying the coarse wares had not been systematic enough. The plot of the wares actually shows quite clearly that while ware W668 was systematically identified in trench K8, it was ware W256 for trench K13 and certain codes for some of the Troy VII coarse wares for KL16/17. They should have been all identified as W256. An inconsistency in one category alone was enough to distort the whole picture. Unfortunately, I did not notice this coarse ware problem earlier and the initial misfortune led to my abandoning the approach altogether. Instead, I decided to concentrate on the shapes of diagnostic sherds and having combined these with quite detailed observations of changes in the stratigraphy within 10 different trenches, I developed a complex typology and a definition of four ceramic phases covering the whole of Troy VI61. These included

Blegen 1953, 5 f. Despite many years of excavating, both by Blegen and ourselves, no clear and uninterrupted sequence ranging from Troy V to Troy VI has been uncovered, largely due to later building activities on the mound. 57 Pavk 2007; Pavk (in print). 58 Pavk 1994, 152163. 59 I would like to express my gratitude for the help and kind guidance of Dr. Peter Jablonka. 60 Becks new analysis was not yet available at that stage. It would be interesting to run the seriation again, using the results of the new stratigraphic analysis. 61 Pavk (in print).


two ceramic phases for Early Troy VI, one for VI-Middle and one for VI-Late, with an additional phase corresponding to Troy VIIa. Using absolute dates derived mostly from the Aegean based on typological parallels of AGW, imports and Mycenaean pottery, as well as C14 dates from the new excavations, a period of 70 to 150 years was calculated for the individual phases, with Troy VI lasting approximately 450 years. I have thus possibly achieved a realistic resolution that is much finer than that offered by seriating wares only. However, it would still be rather interesting to run a new seriation now, this time on shapes, using the database of all Troy VI-Early and Middle diagnostic sherds recorded in the course of my dissertation.

I must admit that I originally approached this topic with a certain degree of scepticism, which stemmed from my own misfortune with the seriation and from my mistrust in the data collected by the students in the first step of pottery processing at Troy. At first glance, the results gained did not seem to provide much new information but delving deeper into the topic, I had to admit that even in the case of Troy, interesting data can be obtained. One just has to look for them. So let me get back to the question posed at the beginning: are seriation and correspondence analysis really useful for a tell site such as Troy? In principle they are, but the results are not as straightforward as one would originally hope for. They usually confirm what is already known, in which case we use the sophisticated terms verication or validation. That is certainly valuable, but one must calculate whether the time invested does not outweigh the value of the information gained. What has emerged as the main contribution is the fact that seriations raise new questions, as I have tried to show in this paper. There are, however, many aspects of a methodological, stratigraphic and depositional nature, which decisively influence the seriation results, not to mention the human factor. The problem is not with the method itself, but with the quality of the data used, much like in the case of C14 dating. The issues revolve around the data, their contexts and the way they were excavated. In terms of the depositional processes, some deposits are more mixed than others. There are only very few primary deposits at Troy, as is probably also the case at other tell sites. Before seriating, one should in fact select the more suitable deposits and seriate these only or one should seriate like with like. This is particularly important when attempting to achieve a reconciliation of various stratigraphic sequences from disconnected trenches. Likewise, my experience gained at Troy shows that seriations based on wares only and on counts of all body sherds can be rather misleading. With body sherds, it is hard to tell how much re-deposited material is in fact represented; in addition, different wares tend to have different rates of fragmentation. For that reason, one should only use seriations based on shapes, or shapes in combination with wares, but in any case, the diagnostic sherds only. As has been hinted at on several occasions in this paper, the human factor is a major weakness. Simple typing errors can also cause great problems. The whole seriation is blocked and one has to search laboriously for the error and correct it. This of course can be eliminated by pre-defining values in the database. The original hope was to develop a dating tool that would enable us to date any excavated unit to within 40 years, without even knowing its exact stratigraphic position. I am still sceptical about this, especially if the seriation/CA is run on the wares only. The seriation procedure always results in some kind of order for the data entered, but given all the potential influences (especially the depositional processes, excavation techniques and the human factor), it is often highly questionable as to whether the position of a given unit within an established sequence gives us its real stratigraphic date or an amalgam of all possible biases. One had also hoped for a correlation of floating sequences. This is indeed an issue in need of further research. However, it must again be stressed: not with wares only. Surprisingly, good results were, in fact, obtained from the seriations and CA run on the Blegen material, based on the published data, despite the fact that his typology of wares and his definition of shapes is too general, with little regard for finer variations. Nevertheless, Blegens work deserves merit, as shown by both Frirdich and Weninger for the EBA material (see above) and most recently by Weninger for the


Pottery Processing at Troy. Typology, Stratigraphy and Correspondence Analysis

Troy VI and VII material, most strikingly for the latter62. Simplicity of the definitions and their systematic application are possibly the keys to making the analysis work in this case, despite a certain inaccuracy of the definitions. To summarise the main contributions of seriation/CA to our understanding of Trojan pottery: 1. It stimulated many questions concerning the development of Troy I pottery and the Troy I / II transition, not discussed in detail here. 2. It showed the hitherto unexplained functional changes towards the end of Troy I the sudden absence and later reappearance of pouring and storage vessels. 3. It foreshadowed the possibility of missing strata at the end of Troy I. 4. It showed that the material from the pinnacle in area E4/5 dated mainly from Troy II and III and not from Troy II, III, IV and V. 5. It stressed the changes in the pottery development at the beginning of Troy IV. 6. It confirmed the problematic position of the last phase of Troy V as defined by Blegen. 7. It confirmed that the Troy VI pithoi did not appear before Middle Troy VI. 8. It showed that the fill of the ditch was of a later date than the majority of the deposits in trench K8. 9. It suggested that the filling of the ditch was not carried out in a single operation, since the fill of trench p28 was possibly later than the fill of trenches z29, A29 and C29. 10. Last but not least, it forced us to re-evaluate the quality of our data. Different questions are obviously asked at different stages of the excavation and with different backgrounds of knowledge and experience. Seriation certainly uncovers the underlying structure of the raw data, but is not the answer in itself. It requires further decoding based on thorough knowledge of the pottery and stratigraphy. This is, in fact, the core of the problem. The questions raised at the beginning of the excavations were undoubtedly justified and legitimate, but the decoding of the answers obtained required more experience. Not so much experience with the technology of seriation, but with the material and the stratigraphy itself. Given its temporary absence in the early 1990s, the potentially useful answers provided by the seriation remained largely without impact on our understanding of the Bronze Age processes on the site. Let us therefore hope, that the new seriation projects based on betterquality data, yet to be carried out at Troy in the near future, will bring new insight and that our improved knowledge of the site will enable us to decode the results more successfully.

Weninger 2009. I would like to thank B. Weninger for kindly sharing his results before publication. The CA resolution seems to work especially well for Troy VII.



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