The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Tradition, practice and creativity: an exploration of Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegis cremation urns

Tradition, practice and creativity: an exploration of Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegis cremation urns
Tradition, practice and creativity: an exploration of Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegis cremation urns
Understanding similarity and difference is perhaps a cornerstone of archaeological enquiry. What is it that makes two objects similar and what is it that makes them different? Furthermore, how do we distinguish and explain these similarities and differences?

This thesis explores similarity and difference within Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegiš ceramic urns from the region of Vojvodina in Serbia. This material comprises a corpus of cremation vessels that are similar to each other, yet also display differences, most noticeably in decoration. It therefore presents itself as an ideal case study to explore similarity and difference. Traditional approaches to the Belegiš phenomenon have rested upon typological classification within a culture-historical paradigm, meaning that similarities and differences have been explained in terms of cultural ethnicity, both spatially and temporally. Yet these attempts to categorise Belegiš urns have fallen short of sufficiently dealing with and explaining the complexity of the material, leading to confusing and often contradictory typological narratives.

In order to redress these issues and elucidate the underpinnings of similarity and difference, this thesis focuses on how the vessels were made. The analysis of technological traces is used to shed light on three aspects of production; tradition, practice and creativity. Each of these three axes is suggested to provide a framework for exploring commonalities and variation within vessel manufacture.

Exploration of Belegiš ceramic technology through tradition offered a macro-scale investigation and enabled the isolation of aspects of production that were shared across the region of Belegiš distribution. Analysis of the dataset demonstrated a clear core set of manufacturing principles. Despite this, urns from different sites show differences in the way in which the guidelines of tradition were used. It is suggested that trends in the data demonstrate that there were three communities of Belegiš practice; eastern Srem, southern Banat and southern Ba?ka. It is additionally suggested that creativity within Belegiš manufacture accounts for some of the variation present which sits within the relationship between maker and the collective. Each example of creativity is shown to be a reworking of existing manufacturing practice.
Coxon, Sarah
100ef4e0-937c-483a-ac50-eebeaca4a996
Coxon, Sarah
100ef4e0-937c-483a-ac50-eebeaca4a996
Sofaer, Joanna
038f9eb2-5863-46ef-8eaf-fb2513b75ee2

(2016) Tradition, practice and creativity: an exploration of Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegis cremation urns. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 362pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Understanding similarity and difference is perhaps a cornerstone of archaeological enquiry. What is it that makes two objects similar and what is it that makes them different? Furthermore, how do we distinguish and explain these similarities and differences?

This thesis explores similarity and difference within Middle and Late Bronze Age Belegiš ceramic urns from the region of Vojvodina in Serbia. This material comprises a corpus of cremation vessels that are similar to each other, yet also display differences, most noticeably in decoration. It therefore presents itself as an ideal case study to explore similarity and difference. Traditional approaches to the Belegiš phenomenon have rested upon typological classification within a culture-historical paradigm, meaning that similarities and differences have been explained in terms of cultural ethnicity, both spatially and temporally. Yet these attempts to categorise Belegiš urns have fallen short of sufficiently dealing with and explaining the complexity of the material, leading to confusing and often contradictory typological narratives.

In order to redress these issues and elucidate the underpinnings of similarity and difference, this thesis focuses on how the vessels were made. The analysis of technological traces is used to shed light on three aspects of production; tradition, practice and creativity. Each of these three axes is suggested to provide a framework for exploring commonalities and variation within vessel manufacture.

Exploration of Belegiš ceramic technology through tradition offered a macro-scale investigation and enabled the isolation of aspects of production that were shared across the region of Belegiš distribution. Analysis of the dataset demonstrated a clear core set of manufacturing principles. Despite this, urns from different sites show differences in the way in which the guidelines of tradition were used. It is suggested that trends in the data demonstrate that there were three communities of Belegiš practice; eastern Srem, southern Banat and southern Ba?ka. It is additionally suggested that creativity within Belegiš manufacture accounts for some of the variation present which sits within the relationship between maker and the collective. Each example of creativity is shown to be a reworking of existing manufacturing practice.

PDF
COXON FINAL THESIS.pdf - Other
Download (53MB)

More information

Published date: January 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 386646
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/386646
PURE UUID: fdae0f05-34f6-411c-8d2b-e95722f18069

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 10 Feb 2016 15:35
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 19:48

Export record

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×