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An archaeometrical investigation on provenance and technological properties of Seljuk period pottery from Komana (Tokat)

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2020
Er, Mehmet Bilgi
The archaeological excavation at Komana (Tokat) unearthed great number of pottery reflecting wide variety in decorations and archaeological evidences including biscuit-fired pottery and tripod stilts showing local production of glazed pottery dated back to Seljuk period (12 – early 14th centuries). In this study, analytical techniques were used to identify the local compositional groups and import wares in the pottery collection, the production technology of local pottery, and to locate the clay used for the production of pottery samples from Komana. The samples from the clay pastes of glazed and unglazed pottery, biscuit-fired pottery, tripods and soil samples were analysed with optical microscope, XRD and ICP-MS techniques. Statistical methods including two sample t-test, cluster and principal component analysis were carried out to identify the patterns in data produced from chemical analysis. Pottery samples were classified into six compositional groups based on the variations in their mineralogical and chemical compositions. The analysis results showed that majority of glazed pottery and local reference samples supported a single production in Komana. Compositional affinity between local group, unglazed moulded wares and coarsewares indicated that vi moulded wares were produced from same local clay source with different recipes and firing regimes. Observations of variations in the petro-mineralogical composition of local groups presented deviations in the clay paste due to the fractionation and firing parameters in the production process. Few samples of monochrome turquoise glazed pottery having calcareous paste were identified as import wares. Chemical and mineralogical analysis of soil samples showed that the most optimal clay for glazed pottery production is alluvial deposits from the banks of Yeşilırmak River. The mineralogical composition of the deposit from Yeşilırmak river consist of illite/mica, calcite, quartz, feldspar and hornblende overlaps with the paste of local glazed pottery. This thesis is the first study using archaeometrical analysis presented provenance and production technology of local glazed pottery of Komana. Compositional groups created with this study will contribute the prospective research focusing on understanding of regional economic, political and cultural interactions in Black Sea region.