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Artisanat lapidaire en Crète minoenne. Les techniques de fabrication des vases de pierre

Abstract : The Bronze Age is the period of emergence of palatial civilizations in the eastern Mediterranean and especially in Crete, at the end of the 3rd millennium BC. This development led to the rise of luxury craftsmanship, including the production of stone vessels. The Bronze Age is also characterised by the development of contacts and exchanges between the different regions of the eastern Mediterranean. In order to identify the techniques employed by the ancient craftsmen, we developed a multidisciplinary method of analysis, combining data from archaeology, ethnography, tribology and experimental archaeology. This approach is also based on an observation at different scales of the manufacturing traces still preserved on the surface of the objects. Macroscopic studies were first performed in the field, with the naked eye and at low magnification using a binocular. Next, a microscopic analysis of the surface was carried out at the Laboratory of Tribology and Systems Dynamics of the École Centrale de Lyon. We thus obtained three-dimensional images, topographic measurements of the surfaces, wear traces were then quantified using specific characterisation parameters (wavelet method). Finally, in order to identify the technical marks observed on the archaeological material, the latter was compared with a corpus of tool traces created experimentally. We analysed a corpus of 305 Minoan stone vases, made between the Early Bronze Age II to Late Bronze Age III. It was completed by the study of more than thirty Egyptian and Levantine vases attributed to the Middle and Late Bronze Age (royal tomb of Qatna in Syria). In this study were also included stone and metal tools linked to the production of stone vessels, unfinished vases, waste materials, but also figurines and pearls in stone. We first established the state of knowledge regarding these industries in the eastern Mediterranean, from the Neolithic period to the end of Bronze Age (Chapter 1). The method developed (described in Chapter 2) was applied to the study of the Minoan corpus of sites that revealed the possible presence of lapidary workshops, such as Malia (Quarter Mu and les abords nord-est du palais), Mochlos (craftsman’s quarter), Kommos and Pseira (Chapter 3). This work allowed us to revaluate the previous identifications of Minoan workshops, but also to reassess the organisation of the workshops production, the notion of technical specialisation and the socio-economic status of the craftspeople (Chapter 4). Thus, thanks to experimental work in the field and in the laboratory, associated with an observation of the archaeological material at different scales, we were able to identify part of the know-how used by the Cretan craftsmen for the manufacture of stone vessels. A technical koine emerged for the different Minoan productions studied, as well as a standardisation of the common production, showing different drilling sequences depending on the shape to be made. It also appeared that the adoption of certain external processes (tubular drilling), were introduced through contacts with foreign craftsmen, certainly Egyptians. If these new techniques were selected and then adopted, the Minoan craftsmen quickly integrated them into local sequences of manufacture for the creation of their own morphological repertoire of vessels. Furthermore, Minoans also spread local techniques to other Aegean centres (the Greek mainland and the Cyclades) during the 2nd millennium BC.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 6:30:22 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, January 15, 2022 - 3:24:49 AM

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Elise Morero. Artisanat lapidaire en Crète minoenne. Les techniques de fabrication des vases de pierre. Art et histoire de l'art. Université Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne, 2009. Français. ⟨tel-03495863⟩

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