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The roman coarse pottery database as a basis for an analysis of the Late Antique settlement pattern in Slovenia

The territory of the modern Slovenija, located at the juncture of the Mediterranean, Alpine and Pannonian words, represented in the Late Antiquity an extremely dynamic area, where the remains of the Roman civilisation mixed with the peoples penetrating across the borders of the Roman Empire.

The most distinctive settlement form of these turbulent times are the hill-top strongholds. Among the material finds from the excavated settlements the pottery is markedly prevalent.

The pottery products belong to the most important sources of archaeological research, owing to the potential both for the chronology and also for the study of economical, sociological and ethnical relationships. Pottery analysis in Europe and Mediterranean made a great progress in the past few decades, however, the development in Slovenia (especially in the domain of the coarse pottery) was not following those trends.

Tonovcov grad, coarse pottery from 6th century

With the rare exceptions (Kučar, Tinje) in Slovenia only selections of the abundant ceramic material were published and the description of pottery was not made in a uniform way. Consequently, the comparison between the material from different sites becomes very difficult. There is an acute need for a systematic processing of all ceramic material, accessible in a unified database, including objective and unified descriptions of forms and fabrics and also drawings and photos of the vessels.

In the first phase of the project a set of guidelines for the documentation of pottery will be developed and the database will be prepared.

Then sets of pottery from some Slovenian already researched sites will be incorporated into the database. The basis of the database will be the pottery assemblage from Tonovcov grad near Kobarid, where the ceramic material is already described according to the uniform criteria. In the next phase the material from some already excavated, but only partially published sites such as Korinjski hrib, Zidani gaber, Ajdna nad Potoki and Križna gora will be incorporated into the database.

This uniform dataset will be together with the analysis of the fine imported pottery and the rest of the fine small material and the stratigraphic situation the basis for the publications of those sites. Thus we shall significantly increase the number of publications of Late Antique material in Slovenia. This material will help us to make a step forward in the knowledge of the chronological, economical and ethnical picture of the whole area.

Project coordinator
Slavko Ciglenečki

Zvezdana Modrijan

Project no.
J6- 2202