Byzantine Ceramic Production from Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli)

Byzantine Ceramic Production from Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli)
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     Archaeometry 51   , 1 (2009) 75–94doi: 10.1111/j.1475-4754.2008.00416.x *Received 3 September 2007; accepted 19 December 2007© University of Oxford, 2008  BlackwellPublishingLtd Oxford,UK ARCHArchaeometry0003-813X1475-4754©UniversityofOxford,2008XXXOriginalArticles  Byzantine ceramic production from Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli)C. Grifa et al.  *Received00Xxxxxxxxx2007;accepted00Xxxxxxxxx2008[Pleaseadddates]  BYZANTINE CERAMIC PRODUCTION FROM CUMA (CAMPI FLEGREI, NAPOLI)*  C. GRIFA,  1  V. MORRA,  2  A. LANGELLA  1  and P. MUNZI  3   1    Dipartimento di Studi Geologici ed Ambientali, Università del Sannio, Via dei Mulini 59/A, 82100 Benevento, Italy   2    Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, Università Federico II, Via Mezzocannone 8, 80134 Napoli, Italy   3   Centre Jean Bérard, UMS 1797 CNRS, École Française de Rome, Via Crispi 86, 80121 Napoli, Italy  Samples of table and cooking ware, dating back to the Byzantine period of the ancient Greek colony of Cuma, were analysed by optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and scanning electron microscopy, in order to reconstruct the main technological properties of these manufactures. The comparison of minero-petrographical data from these samples withthose of some kiln wastes allowed us to hypothesize a local manufacture for most of theinvestigated specimens and to confirm the relative reference groups. A restricted number of samples did not link with the main groups, indicating a regional (or maybe extra-regional) production, in agreement with the widespread circulation of this high-medieval ceramic production in southern Italy.   KEYWORDS  :CAMPI FLEGREI, CUMA, BYZANTINE CERAMICS, TABLEWARE, COOKING WARE, KILN WASTES, MINERALOGY, PETROLOGY, REFERENCE GROUPS  ©UniversityofOxford,2008  INTRODUCTION  Cuma represents the most ancient Greek colony of the western Mediterranean Sea. Foundedin 730 bc  , since the 19th century it has been investigated by several archaeological surveys.From 1994 until 2006, the local Superintendence sponsored targeted researches and developmentprogrammes called  Kyme I   ,  II   and  III   , to identify the urban system of the ancient city and toimprove and preserve this important historical heritage.The Centre Jean Berard   carried out some research within the  Kyme II project (2000–2) inthe depression to the south of Monte di Cuma (Fig. 1), where the Greek and Roman harbour was hypothesized to be located (Bats 1996; Brun and Munzi 2001, 2002; Stefaniuk andMorhange 2005).Field surveys did not clarify the position (nor even the existence) of the ancient docks, butdid highlight some Roman villas and a series of Byzantine structures attributed to a defensivesystem, which provided a large amount of ceramics (Kauffman in press). Stratigraphic studiesfor the high-medieval period identified two main phases:•from the last quarter of the sixth to the mid-seventh century;•from the mid-seventh century to the eighth century.The oldest phase was dated from the presence of later types of African Sigillata  (shapes   Hayes 109  and  Hayes 105  ). The subsequent phase was defined, despite the lack of African  Sigillata  and coins, by comparison with similar ceramic products typical of southern Italy.These Byzantine levels produced a large amount of ceramic fragments belonging to manydifferent ceramic classes, but the minero-petrographical analyses were focused on some of the   76  C. Grifa et al.  © University of Oxford, 2008,  Archaeometry   51  , 1 (2009) 75–94 table and cooking wares; from a stylistic and formal point of view, the analysed sherds can becorrelated with other products that are commonly found within the Campania region(e.g., Carminiello ai Mannesi, Arthur 1994; S. Sofia in Benevento, Lupia 1998; Miseno, DeRossi 2004).The aim of this research was the characterization of these two productions from a technologicalpoint of view. Particular attention was devoted to the evaluation of the mineralogical and texturalfeatures of the pastes, the type of raw materials, the firing temperatures and the relation of these to the ultimate use of the pottery. As regards the provenance and evidence of localproduction, the analytical data were compared with some control samples, which were notclosely related to the analysed fragments, but which belonged to the same ceramic class. Infact, during some restoration work carried out close to the Roman amphitheatre in Cuma, akiln structure was found by accident. Here, some well-preserved specimens of the broad-line  class of ceramic, with strong evidence of overfiring and consequent deformation, were collected(Caputo and De Rossi in press). As this excavation did not follow strict scientific and stratigraphicprinciples, the location of this structure has now been lost, and only three kiln dumps, analysedbelow, bear witness to the site.  THE GEOLOGICAL SETTING  The Campi Flegrei is a volcanic field located immediately west of Naples, in southern Italy(Fig. 1). Its volcanic history has been characterized by a great number of eruptions, giving riseto mainly monogenetic edifices and emplacing huge volumes of pyroclastic rocks and verysporadic small-scale lava flows. The activity has been subdivided into distinct periods bynumerous authors (e.g., Rosi and Sbrana 1987; Di Vito et al  . 1999 and references therein).Notwithstanding the differences between them, these schematizations are fundamentally basedon the identification of two principal volcanic events, which represent two great landmarks in Figure 1 The Campi Flegrei area and the location of the Centre Jean Berard’s archaeological surveys.   Byzantine ceramic production from Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli)  77  © University of Oxford, 2008,  Archaeometry   51  , 1 (2009) 75–94  Phlegraean volcanic history and whose deposits have always been used as efficient stratigraphicmarkers (Campanian Ignimbrite, 39 000 bp  , Fedele et al.  2008; Neapolitan Yellow Tuff, 15 000 bp  ,Insinga et al  . 2004). Following the proposed models, the Campi Flegrei activity can be dividedinto two main periods (a pre-calderic one and a post-calderic one), marked by the formationof the Campi Flegrei caldera and the Campanian Ignimbrite eruption. Pre-calderic activity wascharacterized by the formation of several scattered volcanic centres, generally located aroundthe periphery of the present-day caldera structure.The ancient city of Cuma was located on a trachyte lava dome belonging to the pre-caldericactivity and covered by a welded scoriae layer, the Neapolitan Yellow Tuff formation, and acoarse-pumice pyroclastic deposit (Di Girolamo et al  . 1984). The volcanic products show aclear potassic affinity. Rock compositions range from shoshonitic basalts through trachytes tophonolites, with the most differentiated products, and particularly the trachytes, being by far the most dominant lithotypes. Rock textures vary from totally aphiric to slightly porphyritic(up to ~30% of phenocrysts), with the degree of porphyricity being inversely linked to thedegree of differentiation. The most abundant mineral phases are represented by clinopyroxene,sanidine, plagioclase, biotite and magnetite. Olivine is confined to the least evolved lithotypes(from shoshonitic basalts to latites); common accessory phases are apatite and zircon, while brownamphibole, titanite, nepheline and sodalite can be found only in the most differentiated products.  MATERIALS AND METHODS  The main archaeological information on the 46 samples analysed is reported in Table 1. Twomain ceramic classes were distinguished: tableware, consisting of ceramics used to store andkeep foods or liquids (22 samples), and cooking ware (20 samples). Four specimens are kilnwastes (Cuma SC1, SC2a, SC2b and SC3).Tableware showed an extremely repetitive formal repertoire  (Fig. 2 (a)): small amphorae, jugs, basins and bowls are the most common shapes. Some specimens showed a carved linear decoration realized with a point, a stake or a comb before the firing process. Tableware productionwas characterized by an external smoothed surface covered by an engobe  used to whiten thesurface, on which a red–brown paint was sometimes applied, the so called broad-line  asdescribed by Whitehouse (1966). Cooking ware was represented by covers, lids, pot, saucepansand the so-called clibanus  , a cover used to cook bread (Fig. 2 (b)).Kiln wastes (Fig. 2 (c)) were represented by an amphora (Cuma SC1) and two jugs (Cuma SC2aand SC3) belonging to the tableware class; the fourth kiln waste was a spacer, accidentallywelded to a ceramic body during the firing of a jug (Cuma SC2b).The archaeometric study was carried out with the analytical procedures commonly used inmineralogical and petrographical research. Optical microscopy on thin sections (Leitz Laborlux12 POL) was used to evaluate the textures of the different artefacts (temper/matrix ratio) andto identify crystal phases as well as all the other components. Microscopically non-resolvablephases were investigated by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) with a Philips PW 1730/3710diffractometer (CuK  α  radiation, 40 kV, 30 mA, curved graphite monochromator, scanninginterval 3–80  °  , step size = 0.020  °  2  θ  , counting time 5 s per step). Bulk chemical analyses(10 major and 12 trace elements) were performed by X-ray fluorescence (XRF, PhilipsPW1400). Analytical procedures were carried out according to Franzini et al.  (1975) andLeoni and Saitta (1976). Scanning electron microscope (SEM Jeol JSM 5310) observationswere carried out on freshly fractured sherds of the samples to investigate the microstructureand to evaluate the degree of vitrification of the clay matrix (Tite and Maniatis 1975).   78  C. Grifa et al.  © University of Oxford, 2008,  Archaeometry   51  , 1 (2009) 75–94 Table 1   A list of the analysed samples, with some archaeological information NSampleCeramic classShapeDating (centuries  AD  )  1Cuma 1TablewareBasinSeventh to eighth2Cuma 2TablewareClosed shapeSeventh to eighth3Cuma 3TablewareBasinSeventh to eighth4Cuma 4TablewareBowlSeventh to eighth5Cuma 5TablewareBowlSeventh to eighth6Cuma 6TablewareAmphoraSeventh to eighth7Cuma 7TablewareAmphoraSeventh to eighth8Cuma 8Cooking wareSaucepanSeventh to eighth9Cuma 9TablewareBasinSixth to seventh10Cuma 10TablewareBasinSixth to seventh11Cuma 11Cooking wareSaucepanSixth to seventh12Cuma 12Cooking wareSaucepanSixth to seventh13Cuma 17TablewareJugSeventh to eighth14Cuma 18TablewareJugSeventh to eighth15Cuma 19TablewareJugSeventh to eighth16Cuma 20TablewareClosed shapeSeventh to eighth17Cuma 21TablewareClosed shapeSeventh to eighth18Cuma 22Cooking wareSaucepanSeventh to eighth19Cuma 23Cooking wareSaucepanSeventh to eighth20Cuma 24Cooking wareSaucepanSeventh to eighth21Cuma 25Cooking wareSaucepanSeventh to eighth22Cuma 26Cooking ware  Clibanus  Seventh to eighth23Cuma 27Cooking wareLidSeventh to eighth24Cuma 28Cooking wareOllaSeventh to eighth25Cuma 29Cooking wareOlla Seventh to eighth26Cuma 30Cooking wareLidSeventh to eighth27Cuma 31Cooking ware  Clibanus  Seventh to eighth28Cuma 32TablewareLidSeventh to eighth29Cuma 33TablewareBowlSeventh to eighth30Cuma 34TablewareBasinSeventh to eighth31Cuma 35TablewareBasinSeventh to eighth32Cuma 36TablewareAmphoraSeventh to eighth33Cuma 37TablewareAmphora or jugSeventh to eighth34Cuma 38TablewareBasinSixth to seventh35Cuma 39Cooking wareLidSixth to seventh36Cuma 40TablewareBasinSixth to seventh37Cuma 41Cooking warePanSixth to seventh38Cuma 44Cooking wareSaucepanSixth to seventh39Cuma 45Cooking wareOllaSixth to seventh40Cuma 46Cooking wareSaucepanSixth to seventh41Cuma 47Cooking wareSaucepanSixth to seventh42Cuma 48Cooking wareLidSixth to seventh43Cuma SC1TablewareAmphoraSeventh to eighth44Cuma SC2aTablewareJugSeventh to eighth45Cuma SC2bSpacer 46Cuma SC3TablewareJugSeventh to eighth   Byzantine ceramic production from Cuma (Campi Flegrei, Napoli)  79  © University of Oxford, 2008,  Archaeometry   51  , 1 (2009) 75–94 Figure 2 The ceramic shapes from Byzantine levels: (a) tableware—closed and open shapes; (b) cooking ware— closed shapes, covers, clibanus  and pots; (c) kiln wastes.
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