4.0 Results

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4.1 Typology

The coarseware pottery assemblage selected for petrographic analysis includes cooking wares, storage jars, amphorae and a mortarium.

Cooking wares: There are two main types of cooking ware: red and grey. The red cooking pots (Figure 4a) are relatively small thin-walled, ribbed round pots, with two handles and a lid. The lids are shallow conical shapes with a small knob (Figure 4b). The grey cooking pots are similar and also have lids (Figure 4c). This cooking pot form is continuous in the Levant from the Hellenistic period through the Late Antique period. Red and grey casseroles are flat-bottomed, shallow vessels with two horizontal handles and lids (Figure 4d). Also analysed were a red trefoil jug and a grey jug.

Storage Jars: There are two types of storage jar: one type has a ribbed exterior and is in a cream-coloured fabric (Figure 5), and the others are red-coloured jars (Figure 6).

Amphorae: There are two types of amphorae: the Late Roman I Type amphorae, which are a dark red colour, and a dark brown type that are thought to be 'Gaza' amphorae (Peacock and Williams 1986). (Figure 6)

Mortarium: A large brown mortarium was also analysed (Figure 7). This type is common throughout the Levant from the 3rd/4th through to the 7th century.

4.2 Petrographic fabrics

Fifty-one samples of Late Antique pottery were analysed petrographically. They divide into eight main petrographic groupings (see Figure 8), and these are described below:

Red Well-Sorted Sand Fabric

This fabric is characterised by common well-rounded and well-sorted quartz sand in a red clay and silty groundmass (Figure 9). The elongate voids have a strong parallel alignment with the vessel margins, which is distinctive of this fabric. Firing was in an oxidising atmosphere giving a strong red colour to the fabric.

Fine Fabric

This is characterised by a densely packed silty fabric of quartz grains (Figure 10). The greyness of the fabric suggests firing in a reducing atmosphere.

Sand and Silt Fabric

This silty fabric has common sand-sized quartz grains and was fired in a reducing atmosphere giving the fabric a grey colour (Figure 11).

Quartz and Mudstone Fabric

This fabric is distinguished by the presence of mudstone fragments which tend to merge into the micromass (Figure 12). Quartz grains occur in both the coarse and fine fractions. The dark coloration of these samples suggests that firing was in a reducing atmosphere.

Sparse Quartz Sand Fabric

This fabric has sparsely distributed well-rounded sand-sized grains of quartz, set in a loosely packed silty groundmass (Figure 13). It is possible that the well-rounded sand grains were an added wadi sand temper.

Limestone and Igneous Fabric

This fabric has a bimodal grain size distribution (Figure 14 - QuickTime plugin required). The well-rounded sand fraction comprises limestone, mafic minerals (pyroxene, amphibole and biotite mica), serpentinite, altered volcanic rock fragments and chert. Some of the samples also contain minor quantities of low to medium-grade metamorphic rock fragments. The coarse silty groundmass is composed of quartz and limestone.

Quartz and Limestone Fabric

Sand-sized grains of well-rounded quartz and limestone are set in a densely packed, well-sorted groundmass containing abundant very fine sand-sized quartz, limestone and iron oxide (Figure 15 - QuickTime plugin required).

Metamorphic and Igneous Fabric

The vivid orange colour of this fabric in thin section is distinctive, with coarse sand-sized low to medium-grade metamorphic rock fragments, amphibole, highly altered volcanic rock fragments and serpentinite (Figure 16 - QuickTime plugin required). The groundmass is rich in coarse silt-sized amphibole and iron oxide.


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Last updated: Tue Oct 24 2000