New information on early Islamic ceramic production and distribution in the Gulf: Siraf, Bushehr and Fulayj
Keywords:Petrography, Islamic ceramics, Siraf, Iran, Oman
In this paper a new petrographic study of ceramics from the early Islamic period in the Gulf is presented. The paper considers samples coming from Siraf (Iran), excavated by David Whitehouse (and conserved in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, UK), samples from the Iranian coast of Bushehr (recovered by Andrew Williamson and conserved in the collection that bears his name in Durham, UK) and some samples from Fulayj, Oman (excavated by a team co-directed by Seth Priestman, Nasser Al-Jahwari, Eve MacDonald and Derek Kennet). The technique of analysis is petrography, that offers compositional (mineralogy and petrology) and textural information (distribution and arrangement of inclusions). This technique can be used to interpret the technological procedures involved in the manufacturing of the ceramics and to characterise products from particular areas, thus helping to clarify trends of distribution of wares across time.
The samples of these collections have been classified according to Priestman’s Indian Ocean Pottery Classification (IOPC, Priestman ii.2021), providing an important link between macroscopic and microscopic analyses. The results are also compared with samples previously analysed from Murwab and the Old Doha excavations, providing an overview of the production technology and exchange of ceramics in the early Islamic Gulf over the longue durée.
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Archaeopress Publishing, Oxford, UK