Searching for the potters behind the pots: re-examining the Tell Ahmar Neo-Assyrian ceramic assemblage


  • Andrew Jamieson Author



Tell Ahmar, Neo-Assyrian pottery, pottery technology, Syria, pots and potters


Ceramic studies have been crucial to the development of archaeology. This paper is concerned with a re-examination of the pottery, and the potters, of Tell Ahmar (ancient Til Barsib), Syria. It focuses on the ceramics from the Australian excavations in the Middle City (Area C), especially the more than 250,000 items from the 7th-century BCE Neo-Assyrian Stratum 2. The Stratum 2 assemblage was readily grouped into seventeen ware types. The various wares reflect different production systems: some hand-made products were manufactured locally, possibly by individual households; other wares, characterised by high rates of uniformity, were probably produced by large-scale, centralised pottery industries; another ware group exhibits considerable investment in the application of different surface treatments, indicating specific uses. The Area C assemblage provides a rare opportunity to examine a large and relatively complete well-dated corpus. Observations and explanations relating to the technology of preparing, forming, decorating, and firing these ceramic vessels casts light on the circumstances of their manufacture and, in turn, on the potters behind the pots of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.







How to Cite

Jamieson, Andrew. 2024. “Searching for the Potters Behind the Pots: Re-Examining the Tell Ahmar Neo-Assyrian Ceramic Assemblage”. Buried History: The Journal of the Australian Institute of Archaeology 59 (March): 29–42.