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Ceramics in Context, Jerash PhD Project

Projekter: ProjektForskning

  • Peterson, Alex (Deltager)
Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet


My PhD project aims to explore the settlement history of the Northwest Quarter of the ancient city of Gerasa, known today as Jerash, in Jordan. The Northwest Quarter of Jerash is largely unexplored and was selected for further study for this reason. Ongoing excavations since 2011 have resulted in many discoveries and expanded current knowledge of urbanization and settlement development over time in Jerash. Although Jerash was an important Decapolis city, much material has been excavated that has contributed to the understanding of the Ayyubid-Mamluk periods. On top of the NW hill an extensive building complex was found, with Mamluk style pottery alongside repairs and modifications of the buildings, indicating Mamluk settlement over several generations. This activity is reflected in the material culture through handmade geometrically-painted ware (HMGPW), which was a ceramic style generally associated with Mamluk activity and also known to have existed during the Ayyubid period. Evidence of Ayyubid-Mamluk occupation in this area is much better represented than previously thought. My PhD project, ‘ceramics in context’, grew out of a need to analyze this later medieval material. By examining the ceramic material from these periods, both empirically and in a wider regional context, my project aims to better understand the settlement history in the Northwest Quarter.
The ceramic repertoire of the Middle Islamic period in Jordan, and its chronology and typology, is still largely unclear. Research on Islamic pottery in Jordan and the Levant is still at an early stage of development and many of the studies publish ceramics without contextualizing them or saying too much. For this reason, I aim to develop a more precise ceramic chronotypology for the Ayyubid-Mamluk period by focusing on an individual site such as Jerash. Through empirical analysis of individual finds I will contextualize them within the site and the urban development of Jerash. After constructing a chronotypology and examining the pottery at a local level, it can then be placed in its regional context in order to gain insight on the social history of a region, production and consumption, lines of trade, and cultural regionalism. Another question I hope to answer is, ‘what was the pottery used for?’ Considering aspects of diet or food and eating trends is necessary to better understand and contextualize the pottery. By combining both the empirical analysis of ceramics and the deeper meanings of pottery use, their social and economic implications will be understood in a way which can take research on this topic much further.
Effektiv start/slut dato01/06/201501/09/2018




ID: 129032874