Network Analysis of Ancient Pottery. Examples with Hellenistic Pottery from Cilicia

Sophia Marxer (University of Bern & University of Marburg)

Saturday, 7 October 2023 | 9:30–10:00 am


The presented project is part of my PhD thesis «Material Culture on the Move. The Transition from the Late Iron Age to the Hellenistic Period on Basis of the domestic pottery in Cilicia», which I have been writing since October 2021 at the University of Bern (Switzerland) in Near Eastern Archaeology and since October 2022 in the framework of a Cotutelle (binational promotion) at the University of Marburg (Germany) in Classical Archaeology.

The material basis for my project is formed by the finds from the excavations at Sirkeli Höyük. Sirkeli Höyük is one of the largest settlement mounds in Cilicia and is located 40 kilometres east of Adana. Sirkeli Höyük is about 350 meters by 300 meters and consists of an oval main mound and a flat terrace in front to the north, which form an 8 hectares citadel that was located on the north side of the walled city of over 20 hectares. The site was inhabited from the Chalcolithic (about 5000 BC) throughout the Bronze Age (3000-1200 BC) and Iron Age (1200-330 BC) until the Hellenistic Period (330-50 BC) (Novák et al. 2020).

In my PhD project I’m using the program nodegoat ( to run network analysis and visualize data (Knappett 2015; Peeples 2019; Van der Leeuw 2013). In previous studies, I generated a typology of the Hellenistic pottery with the help of network analysis (Marxer 2022a; Marxer 2022b). The next question was: How can I include the stratigraphic information in my network analysis? Stratigraphic information is the connected information between the location as well as the time frame of the find. I’m talking about a time frame here because mostly, like in my case, there are no exact dates but phases with time frames within a pot most likely has been in use. I tried to include this information to my network analysis with the data of my ceramic typology to gain new insights about the chronological use of the different pottery. For my presentation, I try to connect my new knowledge about the typology and stratigraphic information of the Hellenistic pottery from Sirkeli Höyük with other excavations sites. I try to visualize the connections with networks using the program nodegoat and implying the open data from the LCP (Levantine Ceramic Project,


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