A Vessel for Building Another Vessel. A Technical Template of the Late 4th Millennium BCE in the Central-Eastern of the Iranian Plateau?

Document Type: Research Paper


Università degli Studi, Padova, Italy


Two vessels from different sites of the Iranian Plateau, dating to the late 4th or early 3rd millennium BCE are presented as
palaeotechnological case studies. In the fractures of the vessels’ walls, interfaces left by added clay parts (enhanced in
the two illustrations) are quite recognizable. It is proposed that in both cases potters, in order to construct the bases, used
to make bowls comparable with two types of finished containers common in their repertories (respectively, a moulded
bevelled rim bowl and a coil-built truncated-cone shaped one with a distinctive pointed rim). As a working hypothesis
it is suggested that making open vessels to build on the rest of the vase was a technical template, possibly shared in the
late 4th millennium across different regions of the Iranian Plateau. Scholars are encouraged to record the sections of their
vessels showing joins among coils and other interfaces, as this palaeotechnological evidence is potentially very useful in
assessing the historical meaning of wide “interaction spheres” traditionally considered only in terms of traditional ceramic
morphological comparisons.