Archeologia e Calcolatori Archeologia e Calcolatori
National Research Council Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico
Dipartimento Scienze Umane e Sociali, Patrimonio Culturale

Journal established by: Mauro Cristofani and Riccardo Francovich
Editor: Paola Moscati

Authors Naumov, G. -
Title Symmetry analysis of Neolithic painted pottery from the Republic of Macedonia
Volume Archeologia e Calcolatori n. XXI - 2010
In Biró, K.T. (ed), Quantitative Methods for the Challenges in 21st Century Archaeology, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the UISPP 4th Commission (Budapest, Hungarian National Museum, 5-6 June 2009)
Pages pp. 261-280
Publisher Edizioni All'Insegna del Giglio
Subject Statistics
Subject Classification of archaeological finds
Abstract Neolithic pottery from the Balkans and Anatolia is well known for its remarkable and unique decoration. Very often the visual features of these objects are used for determining the relative chronology of excavated sites, without considering its potential for mathematical observation. The repertoire of patterns used for developing the compositional structures painted on the vessels provide abundant data for such analysis. Almost all of the fragments discovered so far as well as the completely preserved painted pots from these regions were decorated following several visual principles which made it possible to achieve a precise disposition of the patterns on the spherical surface of the vessel. This decorative approach was established on the basis of the standards of Neolithic geometry which employ both symmetry and the principles of visual entropy. For this reason, the painted vessels from Early and Middle Neolithic settlements discovered in the Republic of Macedonia provide a variety of information about the organization and structures incorporated on the decorated pottery. In the earlier phases these painted compositions were mostly based on The Four Rigid Motions of pattern disposition on a one dimensional format, while later, besides using this concept, the principle of asymmetry was implemented in order to compose a two-dimensional image . The aim of this paper is to identify all possible forms of plane symmetry, patterns and compositions applied in the decoration of Neolithic vessels from the Republic of Macedonia, as well to promote the use of geometric symmetry as a possibility for the reconstruction of decorated fragments.
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