Characterization of Emecik limestone figurines for provenance

Muşkara, Üftade
Archaeometry, the collaboration of different disciplines with archaeology, has revealed some facts that could change our understanding of the past. Provenance studies should be among the primary topics in interdisciplinary archaeometric reseach. Provenance studies, determining the source of the archaeological materials, play an important role in the understanding and reconstruction of trade connections, and social, political and religious relationships of ancient societies. A group of limestone figurines dated to 6th century BC constitutes an interesting case since they have a high abundance in Eastern Mediterranean region. Generally, it is accepted that these figurines were of Cypriot origin. However, beside the ones made according to Cypriote style and were found in Cyprus; the extended distribution of the figurines and the varieties in their styles raised the questions on the location of production and/or the provenance. The Sanctuary of Apollon in Emecik is situated in Datça peninsula. The amount and the variety of types found in Emecik make it reasonable to think that they were produced locally. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that possibly a local limestone was used. The islands of Dodecanese are located at one of the busiest and most important cross roads of the Eastern Mediterranean and readily accessible from all directions, including Asia Minor. Geologically the Dodecanese form an extension of south Western Anatolia known as Caria enclosing Emecik where the figurines within the scope of this work. The two areas appear to have shared a common culture. Indeed, the archaeological evidence seems to agree. The overall interpretations for the results of this work would provide a wide perspective for understanding the common culture of this area. Provenance studies of Emecik figurines were applied through the determination of trace and REE’s (rare earth elements) with ICP- OES (inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry) and ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) along with mineral examinations through thin section and XRD analysis. Various statistical approaches were applied in order to interpret the original data obtained by the determination of concentration values of REE’s and major and trace elements in the samples. Bivariate analysis of the samples will be plotted. In addition, hierarchical cluster analysis and principal component analysis, PCA, were used to understand the relation between archaeological and geological samples. The resulting groups and variations as a result of these statistical analyses were shown in dendrogram plots and graphs. According to the results of mineralogical, chemical and statistical analysis of this study, it is obvious now that there was a local production for the limestone figurines in Datça. It is even clear that the local artists tried different limestone sources in Datça perhaps in order to improve the quality of their works. Beside the locally produced figurines, it has been understood that majority of the figurines that were analyzed in this study were made from vi limestone material which was collected from quarries within Pachna formation in Cyprus. These figurines were either imported from Cyprus or made in Datça using limestone brought from Cyprus. The result of this study also supports the theory on the commercial relations of limestone from Cyprus through other sites in Eastern Mediterranean. Further studies on limestone figurines should cover the discovery of new production center, Emecik for the figurines beside Cyprus. Figurines found at other sites in western Anatolia should be studied to reveal true nature of the extensive relation between Aegean and Mediterranean sites in Archaic Period.


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Citation Formats
Ü. Muşkara, “Characterization of Emecik limestone figurines for provenance,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2013.