This year’s Seager Fellow, Charles Sturge, is a graduate student in the Dept. of Classics at the University of Cincinnati and an associate member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. His dissertation focuses on evaluating changes in the ceramic repertoires consumed at select Cretan and Mainland sites in MM III–LM IIIA2, and what this might tell us about the drinking and dining practices of prehistoric societies within the Aegean. His primary approach to these questions is the evaluation of vessel size and how this feature changes over time. Size is understood either through rim diameter or most accurately through the volume of vessels. Until recently, volumetric research was limited due to the lack of complete vessels; however, recent advances in digital methods such as the online calculator created by the University of Brussels now enable quick volume estimation from drawings. To date Charles has used this tool to generate estimated volumes for nearly 1500 complete and incomplete vessels.
Charles reports that “during my time as the Seager Fellow at the Study Center, I wanted to ensure the accuracy of these estimates. As such I went through the published vessels from Mochlos and selected the most complete examples for manual measurement using lentils and compared these actual volumes to those generated by the computer program from profile drawings. The results were extremely pleasing. From the sample of 42 vessels, the error margin was +/- 5 to 7% with a single outlier at 12%. This suggests that this tool provides reliable estimates that mark a significant improvement over previous approaches to the question.”
In a lecture to our members, he linked subtle changes in vessel sizes with changes in drinking behavior on Crete before and after the LM IB destructions. Further information can be found in the latest issue of the newsletter (https://instapstudycenter.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Vol-23-Kentro-2020-Fall.pdf#page=26).