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The Standardization of Pre-Classical Greek Amphoras

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, November 5, 2019. 05:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Stanford Archaeology Center
Workshop: 
Standardization in Ancient Economies
Meeting Description: 

Dr. Catherine Pratt will share her work examining what is meant by the term "standardized" in reference to Bronze and Iron Age amphoras in the Greek world. When compared to later classical, Hellenistic, or Roman periods of amphora production, do we use the term in the same way? How does the relatively limited data available for the Bronze and Iron Ages affect our interpretation of standardized production methods and the role of standardization in exchange contexts? Case studies presented will include Minoan oval-mouthed amphoras, late Bronze Age transport stirrup jars, early Iron Age north Aegean amphoras, and early Archaic SOS amphoras. This paper will take a critical view of the term "standardization" and suggest that a nuanced, contextual, and comparative approach is necessary.

Dr. Catherine Pratt received her PhD at UCLA and is currently an assistant professor of Greek archaeology at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her research and teaching focus on agriculture, trade, and the cultural economies of the eastern and western Mediterranean, from the Bronze Age to the classical period. Her current fieldwork projects include the study and publication of the earliest amphoras from the Athenian Agora, and she is co-director of an archaeological survey of the Bay of Porto Raphti in Attica, Greece. Her publications include: “The Rise and Fall of the Transport Stirrup Jar in the Bronze Age Aegean” in the American Journal of Archaeology, “The SOS Amphora: An Update” in the Annual of the British School at Athens, and “Minor Transnationalism in the Ancient Mediterranean? The Case of Phoenicians on Crete in the Early Iron Age” in Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies. Her first book, Oil, Wine, and the Cultural Economy of Ancient Greece: From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Era, is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

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