THE PRODUCTION OF CHIOS-STYLE AMPHORAE AT A CERAMIC WORKSHOP IN PHOCAEA (FOCA)
The third term of archaeological excavations carried out in the township of Foca, in Izmir province, Turkey revealed what appears to be a pottery workshops and dumping grounds that are capable of illuminating the ceramic industry of the city, the pottery forms produced, and the chronologies of both. The discovery of the Hellenistic Period Ceramic Workshop Sector near the Persian Cemetery Monument is particularly significant because amphora production of the ancient city of Phocaea was previously unknown, even though workshops and pottery dumps ranging from the Archaic to the Byzantine periods have been discovered at various locations throughout the city center. During the 2001 excavation season, two rooms (referred to as. Alpha. and. Beta.) and a clay basin lying under the old road to Foca revealed numerous amphorae sherds, some with obvious defects, and a piece of a stamped handle. The amphora sherds and several soil samples were subjected to various archaeometric analyses including petrography, and were thus characterized physically and chemically. The Phocaean Chios amphoras have long and cylindrical neck, long and round-section handles, conical body and a pointed base. This form is suitable for the form of Chios amphoras which were produced in 2nd century BC in terms of their typology. The other vessel types which are found in clay pool of the workshop confirm this date. These convergent forms of evidence suggest that this structure was a pottery workshop producing local Chios-style amphorae alongside quotidian wares. Within the archaeometrical investigations, physical, petrographical and chemical properties of the samples were analysed by basic physical tests, thin section optical microscopy, and PED-XRF methods. The samples were groupped by using thin section analysis in their matrix/agregate feature, type/distiribution/size of aggregate, porosity, clay type and structure. The firing temperature of the samples might be the values between the 800 and 950 degrees C. The clay type of the samples were mainly illite. Most of the samples had the brick particles in their aggregate content. Both petrographical and chemical properties of the samples gave high competibility not only the each other but also to the local rock formation.