In this paper we establish a baseline for the chemical and petrographic characterization of indigenous LBA/EIA funerary urns from south-western Iberia. In this we focus primarily on the morphological category of biconical vases, one of the most iconic vessel types known from Tartessian burial sites. In comparison to other types of ceramic urn vessels from archeological sites of the Orientalizing period in Andalusia, biconical vases are relatively rare, but are generally recognized as the earliest type of funerary vessel within the Tartessian sequence, clearly pre-dating the introduction of new ceramic technologies in the wake of the Phoenician colonization. Eleven samples of biconical vases from the key site of Setefilla are analyzed through XRF and thin-section petrography, in order to determine the chemical composition and technological properties of the samples. To contextualize the results from the chemical analyses, sixteen further samples from other hand-made vessel types, also from Setefilla, are likewise analyzed through XRF. The results indicate a high level of homogeneity in the make-up of biconical vases and a somewhat different chemical signature from other types of hand-made vessel. It remains to be established if minor variations that exist in the petrographic make-up of biconical vases follow a chronological gradient or if they are related to other factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ceramics and Composites