SPP Networking Meeting ‘Ceramics’ in Frankfurt/M, June 18-19, 2019
Attendees: Carlos Magnavita (Frankfurt), Christopher Breninek (Leipzig), Dietrich Raue (Leipzig), Friederike Jesse (Köln), Jana Eger (Münster), Jörg Linstädter (Bonn), Tim Karberg (Münster), Ulrike Nowotnick (Berlin)
Ceramics is not only the most common type of find that most archaeological projects in the Priority Programme (SPP) 2143 ‘Entangled Africa’ are concerned with. It is undoubtedly one of the most important classes of artefacts that can be used to gain an understanding of possible intra-African cultural relations in the past. Due to the interregional orientation of the SPP, members of geographically and/or thematically neighbouring projects were therefore very interested in comparing ceramics. To this end, a two-day networking meeting took place in June at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main with the support of programme coordination.
The primary objective of the meeting was to become familiar with the typical ceramics from some of the regions covered by SPP projects in the Central Nile Valley, North Kordofan, Northern Ethiopian Plateau and Lake Chad. For this purpose, the participants brought material from previous or current surveys or excavations to Frankfurt am Main.
The comparison of the brought together ceramics did not only allow a direct comparison regarding construction, form and decoration to each own material; with the tangible examples from the meeting there were indications for the further research in the individual projects on the basis of which type of ceramics interregional contacts between ‘SPP areas’ could be identified. In addition to the scientific focus ‘ceramics’, the meeting was also used for a general exchange of information, especially with regard to the respective project backgrounds and goals, schedules as well as existing and planned cooperation.
As a result of the meeting, the participants agreed on two steps. Firstly, in view of new finds from planned field work, a further networking meeting is to take place in 2020 (possibly in Münster). It is planned to exchange information on other types of finds in addition to ceramics. Secondly, with regard to both uniformity and comparability of the material, the participants agreed to develop a simplified sheet for the classificatory recording of ceramics from the find sites/areas processed by the SPP projects. The aim of this measure is to set up a database which will be evaluated with the objectivity of statistical as well as GIS-based analyses. On the one hand, the evaluation of the data should draw attention to technical, typological and decorative similarities; on the other hand, it should make possible inter- and supra-regional influences or contacts visible. At present Friederike Jesse and Ulrike Nowotnick are working on the recording sheet.
Author: Carlos Magnavita