4.0 Results

4.1 Typology

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In the Kilise Tepe LBA assemblage there are at least 140 feature sherds of RLWm ware, counting both fine and coarse variants (the coarse variants are not always lustrous and/or wheel-made). A number of different RLWm shapes are represented (Baker et al. 1995, 178-82) - libation arms are common (examples on Figure 1, a-d), as are lentoid flasks (e.g. Figure 2a), some with fenestrated stands, and bowls with inturned rims. Hemispherical bowls (Eriksson's type IIa; 1991; 1993) are rather less common and represented only by rim fragments. Spindle bottles are relatively rare, but base fragments (Figure 2b) do exist with potter's marks incised on the base. There are also many larger storage wares in what is simply a coarser version of the same fabric (body sherds shown in Figure 2c), with different sorts of rim profile, some thickened and rounded and others flat and everted. As none of these storage vessels has been found whole, nor reconstructable, their overall shape is unclear. However, it is significant that storage wares in this fabric do appear to begin in the Middle Bronze Age levels, which would therefore antedate the earliest known occurrence of the ware cited by Eriksson (Late Cypriote IA:2; 1991; 1993).

There are certain features indicating that RLWm ware may not be totally 'foreign' to the site. We have already noted how storage wares were already present in the Middle Bronze Age. Moreover, certain shapes such as the bowls with inturned rim are made not only in RLWm ware, but also in local semi-fine buff fabrics (i.e. this shape is a local phenomenon, and is also already present in the MBA). A number of the shapes in RLWm ware, particularly the bowls with inturned rim, and the pilgrim flasks, including those with fenestrated stands, continue with relatively little change into the post-Hittite Early Iron Age levels (phases II a-d), although they no longer occur with the same distinctive fabric and burnish. Altogether, the picture from Kilise Tepe does not tally at all with Eriksson's observation that wherever it has been found it looks utterly unique and exotic (1991; 1993).

4.2 Main fabric types

One key aspect of this class of pottery at Kilise Tepe is that the fabric shows a continuum of variation from fine to coarse. Visually this continuum is quite apparent, and it is clearly confirmed by petrological analysis. Moreover, the samples analysed chemically form an extremely tight chemical group, with fine and coarse variants together. These chemical results come from work in collaboration with V. Kilikoglou, using Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis (Postgate et al., forthcoming). Yet further evidence to back up this link between the fine and the coarse comes in the form of a partially preserved RLWm lentoid flask from the site (see Figure 2a; also in Baker et al. 1995, 166-68, fig. 11:1). What is of particular interest here is that, whilst the neck and handle are made of the typical very fine, hard pink-red fabric, the shoulder and body are made of a fabric identical in colour and hardness, but differing in being conspicuously coarser. This coarser fabric used for the body appears exactly the same visually as the coarse red fabric used for storage vessels. Generally in the RLWm pottery the varying coarseness of the fabric corresponds to the shape of the vessel - libation arms tend to be very fine, whilst bowls can range from very fine to semi-fine, and the storage wares are usually semi-coarse.

The very fine variant contains hardly any visible diagnostic inclusions, not even in the silt-size range (Figure 3, a-d). There are often, but not always, very small mica laths (less than 0.06mm), and iron-rich textural concentration features (Tcfs). Angular to sub-angular quartz does occur (15-30%), as do micritic inclusions (5-15%), rarely larger than 0.1mm (for terms of petrographic description, see Whitbread 1995). The fineness and consistency of the fabric, coupled with the fact that there are coarser variants, suggests that the clay used may have been well-levigated.

The semi-fine variant of this fabric is very much the same except that the inclusions tend to be larger and more frequent (Figure 4, a-d). The iron-rich Tcfs are up to 0.25mm, and the quartz grains range from 0.1 to 0.5mm. Inclusions of micritic limestone are common, and may be as large as 2mm in some instances. Some micritic inclusions are long and curved and could be shell fragments. Low-grade metamorphic rock fragments are rare, as is chert. In the semi-coarse version low-grade metamorphic rock fragments are much more common (including quartz-mica schist and phyllite), and are up to 3mm in length. All the other features observed in the semi-fine fabric are repeated - micritic (and sparry) limestone, shell fragments, quartz, iron-rich Tcfs, and rare chert (Figures 5a-d, 6a-b).


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