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Pottery in Anatolia

It is rather difficult to define when and how men were first involved in the efforts to create earthenware pots and pans.

The remainders of the first examples of clay pots and pans revealed during the excavations performed in Anatolia, in Hacılar and Çatalhöyük, were understood to date back to 6700 BC.

These are the first cultural remains of the Neolithic Age to be discovered in Anatolia.
The Çatalhöyük excavations demonstrate a clear transition from a Neolithic Phase of wickerwork wooden pots and pans to a Neolithic Phase of ceramics (1).

The first findings of Anatolian paddled pottery were first discovered around Kayseri, in Alişar, Boğazköy (Hattusa) and Troy (Troy) between 3000 and 2000 BC (2).

The type of potter’s lathe used for such works were made up of a manually rotated shaft seated on a flywheel placed close to the ground. This potter’s lathe has not been modified to a significant extent. However, the fact that the works were easily cut with strings during the rotation of the flywheel indicates that the shafts had been seated on a bearing.

In addition to various versions of foot-operated potter’s lathe, the hand-driven versions have also survived to our day in almost all fields.

Living Anatolian Pottery

This handcraft was identified to have survived in Anatolia after the various phases it went through from the Neolithic Age to today. From the type of lathe utilized in the Neolithic Age to its modern versions, people have used eight types of lathes, including an engine-driven lathe, shaping methods specific to each of these types and four separate firing, lining and glazing methods. 

Shaping Methods and Potter’s Lathes

In today’s Anatolian pottery, shaping methods and relevant potter’s lathes for these methods can be observed in seven distinct types:

1. The clay on the lathe is shaped manually in a band-driven manner on a wooden base plate.

Applies where: Akpulat ve Ardıçlı köyleri (Gümüşhane); Alişar köyü (Ordu); Aliköse köyü (Kars); Dölek köyü (Gümüşhane); Hıdırdudu köyü (Ağrı); Karabörk köyü (Giresun); Koşapınar köyü (Erzurum); Sırın köyü (Urfa); Yiğitbaşı köyü (Erzurum); Zıramba köyü (Gaziantep).

2. The clay on the lathe is shaped manually in a band-driven manner on a clay base plate seated on a rotatable clay plate with an edged bottom.

Applies where: Burgudere köyü (Elazığ); Gökeyüp köyü (Manisa); Gökçeayva ve Sorkun köyleri (Eskişehir); Uslu köyü (Elazığ).

3. The clay on the lathe is shaped manually in a band-driven manner on a wooden base plate and with a manually-rotated wooden lathe equipped with a shaft but not yet a bearing.

Applies where: Demiryurt köyü (Sivas); Küçüksu köyü (Kastamonu)

4. The clay on the lathe is shaped manually in a band-driven manner on a clay base plate with a wooden lathe rotated by both hand and foot and equipped with a shaft but not yet a bearing.

Applies where: Günkırı köyü ve Kavakbaşı köyü (Bitlis/ Mutki ilçesi)

5.  The clay on the lathe is shaped with a manual draft by way of the centrifugal force on a lathe equipped with a bearing and a short shaft and rotated by both hand and foot.

Applies where: Avanos (Nevşehir); Kızılhisar  (Denizli); Kayapa köyü (Balıkesir)

6. The clay on the lathe is shaped with a manual draft by way of the centrifugal force on a lathe equipped with a bearing and a long shaft and rotated by both hand and foot.

Applies where: Adana; Mersin; Diyarbakır; Edirne; İsparta; İstanbul; Iğdır; Çanakkale; Gaziantep; Sivas; Kırklareli; Akçaova köyü (Aydın); Akköy köyü (Çanakkale); Bardakçı köyü (Van); Beti köyü (Mardin); Bodrum (Muğla); Borçka (Artvin); Çağış köyü (Bolu); Çanaklı köyü (Burdur); Çivril (Denizli); Doğanbey, Sille ve Doğanhisar (Konya); Gölbaşı (Ankara); Karadirek bucağı (Afyon); Kınık köyü (Bilecik); Mustafakemalpaşa (Bursa); Peri (Elazığ); Subaşı köyü, Samandağı ilçesi (Antakya); Şebinkarahisar (Giresun); Sivaslı (Uşak); Urganlı köyü (Manisa); Tarsus (İçel); Simav (Kütahya); Kütahya Çinicileri

7. The clay on the lathe is shaped manually by way of the centrifugal force on a lathe equipped with a bearing and a shaft; however, the lathe is rotated by a second person rotating a shift lever connected to the shaft.

Applies where: Çorum; Merzifon ve Osmancık (Çorum); Şereflikoçhisar (Ankara); Tokat.

8. Although rarely used today, manpower used for potter’s lathes is being substituted by electric engines.

Applies where:Malatya; Menemen (İzmir); Ünye (Ordu).

Firing Methods

Four methods can be observed in living Anatolian potter in terms of firing:

1. This firing method is performed by lighting a fire with brushwood, wood and cowpat generally for an hour in windy weather and placing the works on top of each other or side by side.

Applies where: Burgudere köyü (Elazığ); Demiryurt köyü (Sivas); Günkırı köyü (Bitlis); Gökeyüp köyü (Manisa); Gökçeayva ve Sorkun köyleri (Eskişehir); Kavakbaşı köyü (Bitlis); Küçüksu köyü (Kastamonu); Sırın köyü (Urfa); Zıramba köyü (Gaziantep)

2. This firing method is performed by stacking finished pots and pans onto cinders obtained by burning cowpat in a tandır* (floor furnace).

(*) Tandır: A kind of furnace made of clay with a thickness of 5-6 cm. buried in the ground with a cylindrical shape with a slight tapering towards the top to light fires from cowpat. It is more common in eastern Anatolian regions.

Applies where:Aliköse köyü (Kars); Dölek köyü (Gümüşhane); Hıdırdudu köyü (Ağrı); Koşapınar köyü (Erzurum); Yiğitbaşı köyü (Erzurum).

3. This firing method is performed by placing first the firewood or any other fuel and then the works on top of each other in an enclosed, beltless, furnace-like space and leaving the contents in after covering its last hole.

Applies where: Çağış köyü (Bolu/ Gerede); Alişar köyü (Ordu)

4. This firing method is performed by stacking the works on top of each other into a bottom-fired furnace, with an open top or a chimney, seated on belts.

Applies where: Milli ve yataklı çarkın girmiş olduğu tüm kent, kasaba ve köylerde bu tip fırın bulunmaktadır.

Lining and Glazing Methods

Living Anatolian pottery is observed in four separate methods in terms of lining and glazing.

1. Works lined and fired once without any glazing.

Applies where: Aliköse köyü (Kars); Beti Köyü (Mardin); Burgudere köyü (Elazığ); Çanakçılar köyü (Van); Demiryurt köyü (Sivas); Dölek köyü (Gümüşhane); Gökçeayva ve Sorkun köyleri (Eskişehir); Gökeyüp köyü (Manisa); Günkırı köyü (Bitlis); Hıdırdudu Köyü (Ağrı); Kavakbaşı köyü (Bitlis), Karabörk köyü (Giresun); Kızılhisar bucağı (Denizli); Küçüksu köyü (Kastamonu); Uslu köyü (Elazığ); Sırın köyü (Urfa); Zıramba köyü (Gaziantep).

2. Works fired once and internally or externally glazed with tar, resin or milk.

Applies where: Akpulat ve Ardıçlı köyleri (Gümüşhane); Avanos (Nevşehir); Dölek köyü (Gümüşhane); Karadirek bucağı (Afyon); Koşapınar köyü (Erzurum); Merzifon ve Osmancık (Çorum); Simav (Kütahya); Urganlı bucağı (Manisa); Alişar köyü (Ordu); Tokat

3. Glazed works fired once, glazed and fired for a second time.

Applies where: Adana; Edirne, Gaziantep; Kırklareli; Kocaeli; Isparta; Akköy köyü (Çanakkale, Ezine ilçesi); Akçaova köyü (Aydın); Bodrum (Muğla); Menemen (İzmir); Merzifon ve Osmancık (Çorum); Sille (Konya); Ünye (Ordu).

4. Glazed works shaped and fired after decorating linings while at a leather-like rigidity, glazed and fired for a second time.

Applies where: Çanakkale; Malatya; Kınık köyü (Bilecik); Mustafakemalpaşa (Bursa)

Thus, two separate types of pottery can be distinguished in Anatolia, namely 'primitive pottery' and 'advanced pottery'.

Primitive Pottery

This type of pottery comprises a single firing process in open air or in a floor furnace without the use of any proper furnaces where clay is manually shaped on bearings rotatable without a lathe or, even in the presence of a lathe, on bearings since the shaft still lacks a base plate.

Advanced Pottery

This type of pottery involves shaping clay by way of the centrifugal force with manual drafts on a lathe with shafts and bearings and firing the resulting work with or without glazing in type-four potter’s furnaces. 

see...

 

    Kapat
 

Kaynak:Güngör Güner, Anadolu'da Yaşamakta Olan İlkel Çömlekçilik, Akbank yayınları 1988
    
Güngör Güner, Anadolu’da Yaşamakta Olan İlkel Çömlekçilik ve Dekorasyonunda ki Yeri,  Ev Dekorasyon Dergisi Haziran sayısı,1978

(1) J. Mellaart, Khayats Beyruz,The Chalcolithic and Early Bronz ages in the Near East and Anadolian, 1966
      Robert W. Enrich, Chronologies in old world archaeology
      J. Mellaart, Stadt aus der Steinzeit
(2) J. Mellaart, Earliest Civilizations in the Near East, 1965 
 
     Veröffentlichung der Deutsch-Orientalischen Gesellschaft
 
     Dörpfeld-Schmidt, Troja, Ilion, 1902

 
     
 
 
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