Abstract: Bar codes (but no scanner!): Potmarks and what they tell us about Late Bronze Age business
People mark things for all sorts of reasons: to claim ownership, to indicate recipient, to keep track of sequence, to label contents or weight or quality or price or date of consumption or manufacture, for example. Some marks are less purposeful: doodles.
Archaeologists regularly find marked objects: coins, tools, architectural elements, and especially pottery. The audience may be familiar with the many kinds of information gleaned from the study of Greek and Roman amphora stamps. This lecture presents the author’s research on marking systems of the Late Bronze Age, and what they tell us about the organization of trade and industry.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
N. Hirschfeld. 2008. “How and Why Potmarks Matter,” Near Eastern Archaeology (71.1-2) 120-129.