Kilns and wasters have been largely studied as indicators of pottery production, but an analysis of the broader landscape context is needed to better understand ceramic production in the Classical Antiquity. For my PhD, I am investigating how ceramics workshops in Greece and Southern Italy of Classical and Hellenistic age fit into their natural and socio-economic landscapes, through an analysis of their spatial location and the products manufactured.
In this presentation, I will focus on the case study of the chora of Metaponto (Basilicata, Italy) as an example of the use of landscape by kiln sites. My study is a result of a combination of data from archaeological excavations and surveys, palaeoenvironmental studies and ethnoarchaeology, with also a use the geoprocessing tools of GIS software. Firstly, I will analyse the technology and size of kilns, the organization of the workshops and the type of production. Then, I will investigate the proximity and the availability of main pottery making resources, clay and particularly fuel. Finally, since ceramic products were made for human use, I will also analyse how the location of workshops was related to socio-economic dynamics: for example, the distance to roads and to rural settlements is crucial to understand the distribution patterns of workshops’ products.