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Multidisciplinary approaches to food and foodways in the medieval Eastern Mediterranean

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Sylvie Yona Waksman

Cyprus and the Levant

Archaeological and archaeometric investigations of cooking wares in Frankish and Venetian Cyprus

Ruth Smadar Gabrieli, Sylvie Yona Waksman, Anastasia Shapiro et Alessandra Pecci

Résumé

The POMEDOR project in Cyprus studied the cooking wares that were used on the island during the 12th-16th centuries, with a focus on the 13th-14th centuries, from the annexation of the island to the Crusader Levant, up to a century after the fall of the last Crusader principalities. The goal was to better understand local production, to identify the sources of imports, and to investigate any development in the pottery of food and foodways that may be associated with the change in the political and cultural affiliation of the island. The study focused on sites in Paphos and Nicosia, and employed archaeometric analyses, including petrographic and chemical analysis of the pottery, as well as residue analysis of their contents. It was not possible to identify direct influence on food and foodways, or on local production as a result of the political changes and the import of new types of cooking wares, but certain changes do provide indirect evidence that such influence did exist.

Texte intégral

Introduction

1Cyprus has a long and robust tradition of pottery production. Although next to nothing is known about this production during the so-called gap period which spans the mid‑7th to the 12th centuries, first under the combined rule of Byzantium and the Caliphate and later as part of the Byzantine empire, there is little doubt that local pottery production continued, even if at a limited level. By the end of the 12th century, the island was annexed to the Crusader Levant, under the rule of the Frankish Lusignan dynasty. One of the visible effects of the new political and economic situation was a burgeoning industry of glazed wares, which developed within the tradition of the Levantine and Byzantine industries (e.g. Port Saint Symeon and Zeuxippus-related table wares). Production of local, handmade, cooking and coarse wares continued within the local tradition that developed through the gap period, but to it were added glazed cooking wares (deep cooking pots and shallow pans/baking dishes) from the Levant.

2The POMEDOR project in Cyprus was dedicated to investigating food and foodways in Frankish Cyprus through examination of the pottery assemblage. Our goals were to attain a better definition of local production and the changes it underwent during this period, to identify possible interactions of local production with imported cooking wares and to examine possible associations between the imports and new foodways.

3Within the Frankish period, the study therefore concentrated on the centuries up to the fall of the Crusader principalities in 1291, since it is then that the impact of close contact between two different cultures can best be seen. We used archaeometric analyses to expand previous research on provenance, technology and use.

4The glazed table wares of this period have little relevance to our study. Their production began with the annexation of the island to the Levant, and no previous local production of glazed table ware is known. Nevertheless, subsequent changes in table ware will be briefly discussed. The handmade utility wares on the other hand, have their origin in the gap period, and the well-standardised corpus of the 12th-13th century is clearly the product of a long tradition, and any changes should be visible and assessable. The import of cooking wares that followed the annexation of the island would therefore offer an opportunity to gauge the effect of the impact of a new culture and the manifestation of such an impact on the local material culture.

Material and methods

The material

  • 1 We are grateful to L. Vallauri and V. François for giving us permission to publish and discuss thi (...)

5The study concentrated on cooking wares, and focused on the cities of Paphos and Nicosia. Paphos is a coastal town, in the south-west of the island, and its harbour was a stop for the ships that sailed between Europe and the Holy Land. Land-locked Nicosia was supplied through the eastern harbour of Famagusta. We supplemented our own sampling with cooking wares found in Potamia during excavations directed by N. Lecuyer (François & Vallauri 2014, and see references there), and dated to the 14th and 16th centuries,1 and our conclusions were further enhanced by unpublished work in the area of Polis and the Troodos (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 – Map of Cyprus, showing the sites and survey areas mentioned in the text (Courtesy Michael Given, University of Glasgow).

Fig. 1 – Map of Cyprus, showing the sites and survey areas mentioned in the text (Courtesy Michael Given, University of Glasgow).

6The assemblages that were studied came from the Cistercian convent of St Theodore in Nicosia (13th-16th centuries; pottery currently studied by Gabrieli), the castle of Saranda Kolones in Paphos (12th-early 13th centuries; Megaw 1971; 1972), a well which contained debris of an earthquake in the industrial site of Fabrika Hill, Paphos (late 13th/early 14th centuries; Green et al. 2014), and an assemblage that appears to represent a complete household, which was stored in a Roman constructed tomb, at Odos Ikarou, near Fabrika Hill, Paphos (13th century; Raptou 2006; Gabrieli 2008). We took samples of the glazed, wheel-thrown cooking-ware imports from the Levant, and of two groups of comparative local production: unglazed cooking pots and dishes of the 13th century that represent the pre-contact tradition, and glazed and unglazed vessels of the 14th-16th centuries, after a century or more of contact.

7Figures 2‑4 provide an overview of the assemblage that was sampled: the Cypriot vessels include globular cooking pots, pans/baking dishes and jugs of the 12th-14th centuries from Paphos and Nicosia (fig. 2), all unglazed except for one glazed dish (BZY626); globular pots and cooking bowls/jars with in-turned rims of the 14th-16th centuries from Nicosia, some of which are glazed (fig. 3). The Levantine imports are wheel-thrown, glazed cooking pots and pans/baking dishes (fig. 4).

Fig. 2 – Types of Cypriot handmade vessels dating to the 12th and 13th centuries that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.

Fig. 2 – Types of Cypriot handmade vessels dating to the 12th and 13th centuries that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.

Fig. 3 – Types of Cypriot handmade vessels dating to the 15th and 16th centuries from the convent of St Theodore, Nicosia, that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. The grey areas represent glaze. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.

Fig. 3 – Types of Cypriot handmade vessels dating to the 15th and 16th centuries from the convent of St Theodore, Nicosia, that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. The grey areas represent glaze. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.

Fig. 4 – Types of glazed, wheel-thrown Levantine cooking wares that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.

Fig. 4 – Types of glazed, wheel-thrown Levantine cooking wares that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.

8The assemblage of handmade cooking and storage wares of medieval Cyprus is the product of a long development that began in the 7th century (Gabrieli, in‑press), with the decline of the centralised industries of the Roman period. At the beginning of this period, production was very uneven in quality (published sites include Kalavasos Kopetra, Maroni Petrera, Kourion Basilica), with some crudely shaped and roughly finished vessels, and others which seem to have been finished on a turntable (see Hayes 2007, p. 445, fig. 14.6, 14.7; Rautman 1998, fig. 4). By the 12th century, specialised craftsmanship with a strong tradition had developed, and the assemblage was well standardised throughout those parts of Cyprus that have so far been studied. The range of shapes is limited (Gabrieli 2013, fig. 3.2), and some at least are multi-functional. The deep globular cooking pots such as BZY633 (fig. 2) dominate the assemblage, with a much lesser proportion of open shallow dishes such as BZY622 and BZY623 (fig. 2). Given the isolation of Cyprus throughout this period, and the absence of any cooking wares that could be identified as imports, this development can be considered as entirely local.

  • 2 The survey was carried out by Gabrieli in 2014, with the kind permission of the Princeton Cyprus E (...)

9After Cyprus was annexed to the Crusader Levant in 1191, it became part of the regional trade networks, and cooking wares from the Levantine coast (fig. 4) began to arrive in the Cypriot markets. In contrast to local production, the imports were glazed and include a considerable proportion of open, shallow, baking dishes/pans. However, the distribution of the Levantine imports is not universal. A large quantity was found in Paphos and Nicosia, but none at all in the two surveys of the Troodos mountains (fig. 1; Gabrieli 2013, p. 73); none were published in the Palaeopaphos Survey (Gregory 1993) and none were found in the Vasilikos Valley Survey, from which, however, only a sample was studied (Rautman 2016; Walker 2016). Information from the north of the island has not been published, but the presence of Levantine imports in landlocked Nicosia (e.g. von Wartburg & Violaris 2009; François 2017) suggest that these cooking wares arrived at Famagusta, the major harbour of the period and the gateway to the capital. Unpublished material from Limassol suggests further distribution along the southern coast can be expected, but only a few body sherds were identified in the excavations of Princeton University in the northwestern town of Polis.2

Sampling and analytical methods

10The provenance of 74 vessels was investigated by petrographic and chemical analyses (tabl. 1). These included 44 vessels from Paphos (24 from Odos Ikarou, 17 from Saranda Kolones and three from Fabrika Hill; the types are presented in Gabrieli et al. 2017, fig. 3‑7 and here in fig. 2 and 4), and 30 from St Theodore, Nicosia (the types are presented in fig. 3). Fifty-three of these sherds are Cypriot types, and 21 are Levantine. The results of previous chemical analysis of five samples of cooking ware from Potamia (François & Vallauri 2014, p. 50, fig. 6: 1 [BYZ789], p. 52, fig. 7: 3 [BYZ792], and unpublished) were included; they complement the sample for the later periods.

Tabl. 1  The sample, organised according to sites.

Lyon lab. id. context /
inventory no.*
site type figure no. expected origin estimated date
BZY614 OI98 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish fig. 4 Beirut 13th c.
BZY615 OI99 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish fig. 4 Beirut 13th c
BZY616 OI170 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish Beirut 13th c.
BZY617 OI100 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish Beirut 13th c.
BZY618 OI103 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish Beirut 13th c.
BZY619 OI97 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish fig. 4 Beirut 13th c.
BZY620 OI107 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish fig. 4 Beirut 13th c.
BZY621 OI101 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish unknown 13th c.
BZY622 OI90 Paphos, Odos Ikarou baking dish fig. 2 Cyprus 13th c.
BZY623 OI91 Paphos, Odos Ikarou baking dish fig. 2 Cyprus 13th c.
BZY624 OI92 Paphos, Odos Ikarou baking dish Cyprus 13th c.
BZY625 OI93 Paphos, Odos Ikarou baking dish Cyprus 13th c.
BZY626 OI94 Paphos, Odos Ikarou glazed baking dish fig. 2 Cyprus 13th c.
BZY627 OI145 Paphos, Odos Ikarou jug fig. 2 Cyprus 13th c.
BZY628 OI151 Paphos, Odos Ikarou jug Cyprus 13th c.
BZY629 OI134 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY630 OI143 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY631 OI121 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY632 OI171 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY633 OI123 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot fig. 2 Cyprus 13th c.
BZY634 OI172 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY635 OI117 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY636 OI135 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY637 OI118 Paphos, Odos Ikarou cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY661 inv. 3410 Paphos, Fabrika Hill jug Cyprus 13th c.
BZY662 inv. 3390 Paphos, Fabrika Hill jug Cyprus 13th c.
BZY663 inv. 3408 Paphos, Fabrika Hill cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY884 FC3734/1 Paphos, Saranda Kolones cooking pot Cyprus 12th-13th c.
BZY885 FC3734/2 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY886 FC3734/3 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed baking dish Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY887 FC3735 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY888 FC3739 Paphos, Saranda Kolones cooking pot Cyprus 12th-13th c.
BZY889 FC3740 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed baking dish Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY890 FC3744 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed baking dish Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY891 FC3780/1 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed baking dish Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY892 FC3780/2 Paphos, Saranda Kolones cooking pot Cyprus 12th-13th c.
BZY893 FC3821 Paphos, Saranda Kolones cooking pot Cyprus 12th-13th c.
BZY894 FC3827 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY895 FC3841/1 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY896 FC3874 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY897 FC3841/3 Paphos, Saranda Kolones jug with pinched spout Cyprus 12th-13th c.
BZY898 FC3879 Paphos, Saranda Kolones jug with pinched spout Cyprus 12th-13th c.
BZY899 FC3892 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY900 FC3907 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot Beirut 12th-13th c.
BYZ 93 FC606 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot fig. 4 Beirut 12th-13th c.
BYZ 94 FC606 Paphos, Saranda Kolones glazed cooking pot fig. 4 Beirut 12th-13th c.
BZY686 Γ7-0.64‑0.94 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking pot Beirut 13th c.
BZY687 θ6-0.17‑0.55/3 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed baking dish Beirut 13th c.
BZY688 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/1 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed baking dish Beirut 13th c.
BZY689 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/2 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking pot Cyprus 14th c.
BZY690 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/3 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking pot Cyprus 14th c.
BZY691 Δ8-0.09 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking pot Cyprus 14th c.
BZY692 Γ7-0.70‑0.86/1 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking pot Cyprus 14th c.
BZY693 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/4 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking bowl with in-turned rim and pinched spout Cyprus 15th c.
BZY694 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/5 Nicosia, St Theodore jug with long neck Cyprus 15th-16th c.
BZY695 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/6 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking bowl with in-turned rim Cyprus 15th-16th c.
BZY696 Δ8-0.46‑0.64/7 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY697 θ5-0.76 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c
BZY698 Γ7-0.70‑0.86/2 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY699 θ8-0.17‑0.38 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY700 θ6-0.17‑0.55/4 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY701 θ6-0.56‑0.70/1 Nicosia, St Theodore jug Cyprus 13th c.
BZY702 θ6-0.17‑0.55/5 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY703 Γ7-0.70‑0.86/3 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY704 θ5-0.30‑0.62 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY705 θ6-0.56‑0.70/2 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot Cyprus 13th c.
BZY874 Γ7-0.62‑0.70 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed cooking pot fig. 3 Cyprus 14th-15th c.
BZY875 Δ7-0.20‑0.44/1 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed bowl with in turned rim Cyprus 15th c.
BZY876 H6 29/9/04 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed jug with incised decoration fig. 3 Cyprus 15th c.
BZY877 θ7-0.09‑0.83/1 Nicosia, St Theodore bowl with in-turned rim Cyprus 15th c. or later
BZY878 θ7-0.09‑0.83/2 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed bowl with in-turned rim and spout fig. 3 Cyprus 15th c.
BZY879 θ7-0.40‑0.50 Nicosia, St Theodore jug with pinched spout and incised decoration Cyprus 15th c. or later
BZY880 θ7-0.50‑0.58 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed baking dish with pinched spout fig. 3 Cyprus 14th c.
BZY881 θ7-0.50‑0.77/1 Nicosia, St Theodore glazed bowl with in turned rim fig. 3 Cyprus 15th c.
BZY882 θ8-0.67‑1.07 Nicosia, St Theodore cooking pot/jug fig. 3 Cyprus 13th-14th c.
BZY883 θ8 BW25-0.15‑0.67 Nicosia, St Theodore jug with long narrow neck fig. 3 Cyprus 15th-16th c.

* The vessels from Odos Ikarou and Fabrika Hill have database registration numbers, which are used in publications of these sites; the vessels from Saranda Kolones and St Theodore were numbered according to the context in which they were found. BYZ 93 and BYZ 94, from Saranda Kolones, were previously analysed and published (Waksman 2002; 2014), and are included here as type-illustration for Levantine pots (fig. 4).

11Petrographic analysis was carried out at the Israel Antiquities Authority, and chemical analysis by X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) at the analytical facilities of the “Laboratoire de céramologie” in Lyon (CNRS UMR 5138; see e.g. Waksman 2011 for the analytical protocol). A sub-sample of 11 pots, pans and jugs from the closed context of Odos Ikarou was selected for organic residue analysis, in an attempt to identify their contents (Pecci et al. 2016, tabl. 1, fig. 1). This was carried out by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) at ERAAUB laboratory, University of Barcelona. Preliminary results of the archaeometric investigations, focusing on the material from Paphos, were published recently (Pecci et al. 2015; Gabrieli et al. 2017, see details there). Here we shall present the previously unpublished results from Nicosia, and only refer to the ones from Paphos, which were published elsewhere.

Results and discussion

Local production

  • 3 An origin in the Troodos may also be proposed for the chemical outlier BZY879, not included in the (...)

12Chemical analysis of the Cypriot cooking wares shows two main groups (fig. 5). Although each group is heterogeneous, they are well differentiated, especially in their titanium and aluminium contents (tabl. 2). One of them (fig. 5: group 1) presents some specific chemical features (including very low titanium, zirconium and rare earths concentrations, tabl. 2; see Gabrieli et al. 2017). This group corresponds to the early examples, which date to no later than the 14th century (with the possible exception of BZY874 from Nicosia [fig. 3], a glazed pot which may date either to the 14th or to the 15th century). The chemical characteristics of this group suggest a workshop or workshops that were possibly located in the area of Phini in the Troodos3 (Gabrieli et al. 2017). Initial petrography also indicated the Troodos area (Gordon-Smith 2006), and later samples added possible areas of provenance in southern Cyprus, related to the presence of micas (Gabrieli et al. 2017).

Fig. 5 – Classification of 12th-16th centuries Cypriot cooking and coarse wares found in Paphos, Nicosia and Potamia according to chemical composition.

Fig. 5 – Classification of 12th-16th centuries Cypriot cooking and coarse wares found in Paphos, Nicosia and Potamia according to chemical composition.

The sites and the dating of the wares are indicated by symbols, the main chemical groups are underlined.

 

Tabl. 2 – Chemical composition of samples of Cypriot cooking and coarse wares from Paphos, Nicosia and Potamia. The order of the samples is as in fig. 5.

Tabl. 2 – Chemical composition of samples of Cypriot cooking and coarse wares from Paphos, Nicosia and Potamia. The order of the samples is as in fig. 5.

Major and minor elements are indicated in oxides weight percent, trace elements in ppm (parts per million). Elements between brackets were not taken into account in the classification; <l.q.: below limits of quantification.

13The vessels that date to the 15th-16th centuries, all of them from Nicosia or Potamia, are all part of the second chemical group, which clearly corresponds to another clay source that was in use throughout the period (fig. 5: group 2). The chemical features of this group are much more common (tabl. 2), so we cannot suggest possible locations without further investigations. These results accord with the recognition that, by the late 14th or 15th century, diversification in details of shape and decoration began, and the industry began to develop regional characteristics (Gabrieli 2014), whether as a result of increasing isolation between the regions, because there were more workshops, or because workshops were located in different places than before.

Levantine imports

14Levantine imports in the cooking ware assemblages of the 12th and 13th centuries in Paphos and Nicosia have been published since the 1970s (Megaw 1971; 1972; Maier & von Wartburg 1997; von Wartburg 2003; Waksman 2002; Gabrieli 2008; von Wartburg & Violaris 2009). Quantitative data are missing for most of the sites, but the assemblage found at Odos Ikarou, Paphos, has 16.6% of these vessels by Minimum Numbers count, and 17.8% by E.V.E, while at the Frankish site of Saranda Kolones in Paphos, Megaw’s initial impression was that these vessels were locally made, because of their prevalence (Megaw 1972, p. 334). Chemical analyses carried out as part of the POMEDOR project on samples from Odos Ikarou and Saranda Kolones, and from the convent of St Theodore in Nicosia, showed that all but three of the glazed wares of Levantine types came from Beirut. These 3 samples, of glazed frying pans/baking dishes from the Odos Ikarou assemblage, came from other as yet unrecognised production sites, possibly in Cyprus and possibly in the northern Levant (Gabrieli et al. 2017, pp. 122‑123). This situation contrasts with the southern Levantine coast, where investigations in a variety of urban and rural sites produced no evidence of workshops of glazed cooking wares concurrent with Beirut (Stern et al., in this volume).

Changes in food and foodways

15No changes could be identified in the local handmade assemblage of the 13th century. The imports from the Levant appear to have had no effect on local production. However, this does not necessarily mean that there were no new food habits associated with the Levantine wares. While the deep Levantine cooking pots are adapted to the same mode of cooking as the local globular cooking pots, the shallow pan/baking dishes would have provided scope for new dishes. Although dishes with comparable forms were known (e.g. von Wartburg & Violaris 2009, fig. 2: 5‑9), they were a distinct minority in those assemblages that have been published so far, and were hardly known in Paphos, where most of the shallow dishes of the 13th century were nearly flat (Gabrieli 2008, fig. 5: OI90; Maier & von Wartburg 1997, fig. 11: 12). Moreover, the Levantine pans/baking dishes were glazed, a surface finish that opened possibilities for a range of food preparations that set during cooking, and would have been difficult, if not impossible, to detach from the unglazed surfaces of the local shallow dishes.

16Perhaps more significant is the proportion of open dishes among the imported assemblages in Paphos. In Odos Ikarou, for example, there are 11 glazed pans and five glazed pots, in contrast with the seven non-glazed pans and 31 non-glazed pots. There is no quantification yet of the Saranda Kolones assemblage, but a quick survey suggests that the proportion of open glazed vessels to closed ones is also considerably higher there than for unglazed vessels.

17Residue analysis on a sample from the site of Odos Ikarou was conducted in an attempt to see if any significant difference could be detected between the glazed Levantine and the non-glazed Cypriot vessels (Pecci et al. 2015). The results demonstrate different uses of the Cypriot and Levantine pans. In the former almost no organic residues were found, whereas the latter present a combination of residues of animal and vegetal fats, which does not differ significantly from those contained in cooking pots, whether Cypriot or Levantine. It is not clear how these results should be interpreted. Were the Cypriot pans used for food such as cereals which leave no residues, or were they not used for cooking? In any case, the glazed pans/baking dishes introduced from the Levant during the Crusader period had a different use, and further study should be attempted.

18In spite of the popularity of the glazed Levantine cooking wares in Paphos and Nicosia, there was no attempt on the part of local workshops to try and imitate the new vessels during the 13th century. There are two immediate explanations for this lack of interest. The workshops that produced the local cooking wares were concentrated in the Troodos, an area that was outside the distribution range of the Levantine cooking wares; or the kilns of the local workshops could not attain the high temperature necessary to produce glaze.

19These explanations may be assessed through examination of assemblages of the 14th century. By 1291 the last Crusader principality of Acre was captured by the Mamluks, and Levantine cooking wares no longer arrived in Cyprus. The fall of Acre was preceded by several decades of refugees arriving in Cyprus, mainly at the port cities, as the Crusader principalities collapsed one after the other. It is only at this point, when glazed cooking wares no longer arrived from the Levant, that the local industry rose to the challenge, and glazed pots and pans/baking dishes began to be manufactured. Their distribution is again interesting as it appears to follow that of the Levantine cooking wares: they are common in Paphos (unpublished, on display in the District Archaeological Museum) and in Nicosia (see Flourentzos 1994, pp. 48‑49, pl. XXIII), but were not identified in the Troodos surveys. Information from elsewhere is still missing.

20This late introduction of locally made glazed pans and globular cooking pots shows that the explanations offered above for their earlier absence can only be partially true. It seems that as long as supply was adequate, the incentive to invest the extra effort required to produce glazed wares was not sufficient, but once they were no longer available, demand was strong enough to encourage production. Nevertheless, the glazed cooking wares that were produced in Cyprus were not a direct imitation of the Levantine ones. Glaze was applied to some pots, but their shape was not modified, and the majority remained unglazed. The pans/dishes are more interesting. Details of shape, such as the vertical flat handles and the in-turned rim clearly derive from local traditions of the 12th-13th centuries, while the glazed surface suggests adaptation to the cooking done in the Levantine pans, and yet the Cypriot glazed pans have an innovation, a round pinched spout, which indicates that liquids were a regular feature of cooking in these vessels. Another significant difference from the Levantine pans is the size. While the imports came in three standard sizes that could fit inside each other (rim diameter ca 19 cm, 25 cm and 30 cm), the Cypriot version was fairly uniform in size range, with a diameter close to the larger size of the Levantine set.

21The impression is therefore that while the new vessels may well have been associated with different foodways, or at least new modes of cooking, these novelties were not simply adopted, but at most served to influence local tradition.

22The changes that were introduced into the local manufacture of cooking wares in the 14th century were not only a measure to fill a sudden gap, but a starting point for the development of a new cooking-ware assemblage. The globular cooking pots disappeared in the 15th and 16th centuries, to be replaced by vessels with in-turned rims, a family of vessels that derived from a minor shape in the earlier cooking-pot assemblage. The new vessels ranged in outline from shallow wide pans to deep cooking pots. A new soot pattern appeared, a thick glossy soot that often covers the outside surface up to the rim. The earlier suggestion (Gabrieli 2006, pp. 8‑9), that the predominance of vessels with in-turned rims represents a delayed influence of the Levantine cooking wares, no longer seems convincing. The quick pace and totality of the change and the soot marks, which are not found on the Levantine cooking wares, suggest local development – perhaps to do with changes in the subsistence economy? The fact that in spite of certain regional styles that developed (Gabrieli 2014) the forms of cooking wares remained common to the whole island (at least the part we know), and the fact that production concentrated around the Troodos throughout the period, again indicate local development.

Table wares

  • 4 We are grateful to Demetra Papanikola-Bakirtzis for her help in identifying Enkomi ware, as well a (...)
  • 5 Prof. Grivaud pointed out that Lapithos, Lemba and Nicosia were all crown estates, and suggested t (...)

23Glazed table ware production in Cyprus began with the annexation of the island to the Crusader Levant in the 13th century and thus, as stated above, should not be considered for the purpose of investigating the influence of the newcomers. Glazed table wares and cooking/coarse wares were produced by two strictly separated industries throughout the period. Manufacture of handmade pottery seems to have centred on the Troodos area, and no attempt was made to adopt the fast wheel, at least not until the 16th century (Gabrieli 2007, p. 406); production of glazed table ware has so far been identified at Paphos-Lemba, Lapithos, Nicosia, and Enkomi (fig. 1), and would appear to have been more associated with coastal areas. Moreover, at least in the first century of production there seems to have been only limited overlap in the distribution between the various production centres. Paphos-Lemba wares arrived in only small quantities in the Troodos and Nicosia, although it is found in large quantities in the Crusader principalities of the Levant; the Nicosia ware and the Enkomi ware,4 which were found in considerable quantities at the convent of St Theodore in Nicosia, do not appear to have been present in the area of Paphos. Lapithos pottery appears to be the one ware that was distributed throughout the island, but not before the 14th century, after the demise of the Paphos-Lemba workshops.5

24Food processing and food consumption vessels were therefore distinct entities in production and distribution. Correlation in the development of shapes is still not clear. The main change in the dining bowls is the transition from wide, open bowls with a low ring-base to bowls with upright walls and a high base, which eventually became smaller and resembled goblets. This trend began in the 14th century, and is in line with other parts of the Byzantine world (for recent discussion see Vroom & Tzavella 2017, in particular pp. 147, 159‑160). Although the chronology of the cooking wares is not precise enough, the change in table wares appears to predate the major change in shapes of the Cypriot cooking wares.

25If we follow the changes in table wares to the 16th century, the small bowls change their outline and become rounded – a stylistic rather than a functional change. A more radical change, however, can be seen in the introduction of wide, flat plates, which became common in Nicosia (fig. 6, from the convent of St Theodore). These plates are suitable for eating dry food, and may indicate introduction of new ways to prepare food, but they do not take over the assemblage, and other reasons may also be cited for the new shape, either related to foodways, as for example an increasing use of forks in this period, or a stylistic influence from Italian imports.

Fig. 6 – Glazed plate from the convent of St Theodore, Nicosia production, dating to the 16th century.

Fig. 6 – Glazed plate from the convent of St Theodore, Nicosia production, dating to the 16th century.

26In summary, while the glazed table wares contribute to an understanding of the ceramic industries of the period and the interaction between them, they contribute little to our understanding of changing foodways at this point.

Summary and conclusions

27The annexation of Cyprus to the Crusader Levant opened a regional trade/exchange network that connected the Levantine and Cypriot coasts, a network that was distinct and independent from the wider international trade networks, although the routes overlapped (Gabrieli 2006, chap. 8, pp. 1‑2, 24). Cooking wares that were produced on the Levantine coast arrived by this newly established route. These glazed vessels were adapted for cooking modes that differed from those of the Cypriot non-glazed vessels, and had a ready market in the Frankish population that arrived from the Crusader principalities, no doubt happy and eager to have an ongoing supply of the familiar vessels. Consequently, in some sites that were occupied by the Franks, e.g. Saranda Kolones, the imported vessels appear to have been used as much or nearly as much as local cooking ware (Megaw 1972, p. 334).

28It appears that the local population did not adopt the new vessels wholeheartedly. Their distribution remained limited, and their influence on local manufacturing tradition was non-existent for as long as the supply lasted. Nevertheless, a certain level of use by the local population, and/or a strong enough wish of the Franks to find an acceptable substitute once supply from the Levant ceased, can be identified in the innovation of glazed Cypriot-made cooking wares in the 14th century. However, this was an adaptation of local forms rather than an imitation of the imports, and the minor change in shape – the addition of a spout that indicates that liquid was present in the cooking – supports an assertion that the Greeks Cypriots as well as the Franks used the vessels and became accustomed to their advantages, although they did not necessarily cook the same dishes in them. The use of glazed cooking wares never became universal, or even prevalent, and was eventually abandoned, so that by the end of the 15th century, glazed cooking wares petered out. By that time, however, a fundamental change had taken place in the prevalent shape of cooking wares in Cyprus (Gabrieli 2007, pp. 404‑406; 2008, p. 428), and it is difficult to argue that this change was still related to the Frankish population. For one thing, the soot pattern on the new cooking pots is very different from anything previous, and finds no parallel in the Levantine imports; for another, as the Cypriot assemblage becomes better known, it is clear that rather than the stasis that was once proposed, there was an ongoing, if slow, development in shapes, and it is possible to suggest – with at least as much conviction – a development of local forms for reasons other than external influence. It seems that rather than being influenced by new foodways, the Greek Cypriot population remained faithful to its tradition and gradually integrated the foreign Frankish population, which did not retain its old habits. There is no doubt that had the demand been strong enough, the sophisticated glazed ceramics industry of the 14th and 15th centuries could have easily produced the required products.

Acknowledgements

29This study was partly funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) through the POMEDOR project, and we acknowledge the support of the ANR under reference ANR-12‑CULT-0008. We are grateful to the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus for access to material from excavations of the Department, and in particular to Dr Stathis Raptou and Mrs Eftychia Zachariou.

30The illustrations are by Chris Schofield, Marios Constantinides, and Celine Brun, Jacques Burlot and Yona Waksman (CNRS UMR 5138, Lyon).

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Notes

1 We are grateful to L. Vallauri and V. François for giving us permission to publish and discuss this material.

2 The survey was carried out by Gabrieli in 2014, with the kind permission of the Princeton Cyprus Expedition.

3 An origin in the Troodos may also be proposed for the chemical outlier BZY879, not included in the classification in fig. 5, which combines most of the chemical characteristics of group 1 with ultrabasic features (high magnesium, chromium and nickel concentrations, tabl. 2).

4 We are grateful to Demetra Papanikola-Bakirtzis for her help in identifying Enkomi ware, as well as Nicosia production, and discussing the dates of their production. For a discussion of the little known Enkomi production, see Papanikola-Bakirtzis 1989, for its chemical characteristics see Waksman 2014. Not all the vessels from St Theodore can be attributed with certainty to the same production that was published by Papanikola-Bakirtzis.

5 Prof. Grivaud pointed out that Lapithos, Lemba and Nicosia were all crown estates, and suggested that the crown was behind large-scale ceramics production. He also pointed out a possible connection between the location of ceramic production and sugar production.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – Map of Cyprus, showing the sites and survey areas mentioned in the text (Courtesy Michael Given, University of Glasgow).
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M
Titre Fig. 2 – Types of Cypriot handmade vessels dating to the 12th and 13th centuries that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 463k
Titre Fig. 3 – Types of Cypriot handmade vessels dating to the 15th and 16th centuries from the convent of St Theodore, Nicosia, that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. The grey areas represent glaze. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 810k
Titre Fig. 4 – Types of glazed, wheel-thrown Levantine cooking wares that were sampled by the POMEDOR project. Lyon laboratory id. are indicated.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 442k
Titre Fig. 5 – Classification of 12th-16th centuries Cypriot cooking and coarse wares found in Paphos, Nicosia and Potamia according to chemical composition.
Légende The sites and the dating of the wares are indicated by symbols, the main chemical groups are underlined.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 419k
Titre Tabl. 2 – Chemical composition of samples of Cypriot cooking and coarse wares from Paphos, Nicosia and Potamia. The order of the samples is as in fig. 5.
Légende Major and minor elements are indicated in oxides weight percent, trace elements in ppm (parts per million). Elements between brackets were not taken into account in the classification; <l.q.: below limits of quantification.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 818k
Titre Fig. 6 – Glazed plate from the convent of St Theodore, Nicosia production, dating to the 16th century.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10154/img-7.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 34k

Auteurs

The University of Sydney and the University of Western Australia, Australia, smadar.gabrieli@sydney.edu.au

Universitat de Barcelona, Equip de Recerca Arqueològica i Arqueomètrica (ERAAUB), Departament de Prehistòria, Història Antiga i Arqueologia, Facultat de Geografia i Història, c/ Montalegre 6‑8, 08001 Barcelona, Spain, alepecci@gmail.com

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