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PRODUCTIONS LOCALES ET CIRCULATION DES CÉRAMIQUES AU VI e MILLÉNAIRE, AU PROCHE-ORIENT

Mane Le MIÈRE and Maurice PICON
Paléorient
Vol. 13, No. 2 (1987), pp. 133-147
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41492261
Page Count: 15
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PRODUCTIONS LOCALES ET CIRCULATION DES CÉRAMIQUES AU VI
          e
          MILLÉNAIRE, AU PROCHE-ORIENT
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Abstract

L'analyse des compositions chimiques des céramiques de plusieurs sites de Syrie, de Cilicie et de Djezireh irakienne, qui avait été entreprise avec pour objectif l'étude des choix d'argile, a fait apparaître l'existence de productions non locales sur la plupart des sites étudiés. La méthode utilisée est l'analyse par fluorescence X, dont les résultats ont été traités statistiquement, principalement par analyse de grappes. Bien que les résultats obtenus sur chaque site soient souvent limités, disparates et parfois incertains, l'ensemble permet pourtant de conclure que la circulation des céramiques est, dès le VI e millénaire, un phénomène général et important. En effet, si l'on ne peut encore que très rarement déterminer l'origine exacte des céramiques importées, il semble bien que, pour un même site, celles-ci puissent avoir des provenances diverses, situées à des distances variables. Alors que les matériaux rares semblent avoir suivi des « routes » plus ou moins obligées en fonction des sources, la multiplicité des gisements d'argile donne à la circulation des céramiques une physionomie beaucoup plus variée qui est peut-être un reflet de la circulation des produits périssables qui nous est encore inconnue. The aim of the chemical analysis of various wares originating from several sites located in Syria, Cilicia and Iraq (Djezireh) was the study of the reasons that determined the choice of different kinds of clay in the manufacture process. This analysis also showed that non-local production was a fairly important fact in most of the sites studied. The methods used are X-ray fluorescence and cluster analyses for interpretations. Although the data collected are certainly not to be given the same value, and not all reliable, these analyses which often confirmed previous typological and technological studies did show as a fact that the ceramics circulated from one site to another. This movement seems to have been important and a rather widespread occurrence during the Vlth millennium. With the exception of one case, the exact provenience of the imported ceramics could not be ascertained. However, the analyses have shown that 1) the finest ceramics are frequently imported, and not produced locally; 2) the amount of non local ceramics is rather large; 3) their provenience could be multiple; 4) the distance from the original source could vary greatly. A comparison has been made between circulation of ceramics and circulation of other products like obsidian. In that case, finished products (the pots themselves) are circulating. This seems to imply that in some sites more pots than locally needed were produced. This fact can lead to the assumption of an incipient specialization, an hypothesis further supported by the high quality of most of the imported ceramics. If rare materials seem to have circulated along "pre-determined" routes, depending on the location of raw material sources, the case of ceramics is a more complex and diverse one. It could not be a reflection of the movement of ceramics stricto sensu, but of the perishable products (food products). The network of this circulation is still undeciphered. As a methodological point of view, we insist on the fact that for each site excavated, one should try with the help of technological and chemical analyses to differentiate systematically local products from imported ones and to determine their various characteristics in order to generate intra — and inter — sites comparisons.

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