Conservative aspects in the use of black-glazed pottery from the 4th to the 2nd century B.C. The case study of Monte Iato (western Sicily)


By the 4th century BC at the latest, blackglazed pottery had advanced from a luxury item to an absolute mass product, which was also produced in numerous production sites around the Mediterranean. In these pottery-centres, new vessel forms were developed to serve local needs. Only recently has the resulting variability of vessels been analysed not only on a chronological but also on a social level in terms of consumptionhabits.

A project team from the University of Innsbruck is conducting strongly consumption-oriented research in connection with the excavation on Monte Iato in Sicily. An initial empirical review of the most recent find material revealed striking similarities, but also discrepancies. In particular, blackglazed drinking vessels appeared in high variability regarding the vessel shape, but also regarding the capacity of the vessels. This leads to the following hypothesis:

The variability of the drinking vessels in the findings on Monte Iato can be attributed to different consumption patterns and consumptionscapes. The shape of the vessel can be understood as a sign of conservatism and exceptionalism. The capacity of the vessels can be interpreted in terms of socio-political distinctions.

By means of comparisons with hellenistic funerary representations, but also with current results from other international excavations, a basis for computer-assisted quantitative analysis of the features is to be created, which will enable simple comparability and visualisation of the diverse findings and thus contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of blackglazed pottery of the 4th to 2nd century BC.


Principal Investigator:

Dr. phil. Thomas Dauth BA MA


Department of Archaeologies
Innrain 52a, 4th Floor
6020 Innsbruck

University/Research Institution:

Department of Archaeologies
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck

funded by Tiroler Nachwuchsforscher*innenförderung

Project collaborations:

Univ.-Prof. Erich Kistler (University of Innsbruck)

MMag. Dr. Birgit Öhlinger (University of Innsbruck)

Dr. Gerhard Hiebel (University of Innsbruck)



Nach oben scrollen