In December 2019 Niki Saridaki completed her Ph.D. dissertation in the School of Archaeology and History at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Here she describes how the Study Center supported her study of “Pottery Technology and Mobility in Central and Western Macedonia during the Neolithic Period by Petrographic Analysis.”
For the past three years, I have worked closely with the staff of INSTAP SCEC. As the petrography intern in 2017, I had the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Eleni Nodarou and explore Minoan fabrics in the reference collection. That same year, I analyzed thin sections of Neolithic pottery from northern Greece for my doctoral thesis. The internship introduced me to the fabrics, geology, and technological practices of different parts of Greece, which provided valuable context for my research.
As the Library Fellow in 2018–2019, I managed the Study Center’s print and digital collections, which focus on the Aegean Bronze and Iron Ages but also include a good selection of resources for Neolithic Greece. During the fellowship and the following months, I finished the remaining chapters of my thesis under the supervision of Prof. Kostas Kotsakis. The study combined both a diachronic approach, comparing the characteristics of pottery production and mobility over time, and a synchronic approach, comparing the ceramic assemblages from different sites during the same period. An additional aim was to improve our understanding of the relationship between Neolithic potters and the natural environment as reflected in their choice of raw materials and the distances they traveled to obtain them. The results of the study shed light on various aspects of Neolithic pottery production and circulation.