The Australian excavations at Pella in Jordan under the guidance of Professor Basil Hennessy (Sydney University, Australia) have over the past 13 years demonstrated the current range of methodologies used in pottery studies in the Levant. One feature of the Australian field team has been the continuing inclusion of this writer from the Archaeology Research Unit, Victoria College, Melbourne (ARU) as a ceramic technologist/potter.
The ARU at Victoria College, which operates together with a practical pottery workshop and an Advanced Ceramic Mlaterials Development Unit, uses a multidisciplinary team approach to look at excavated ancient pottery not primarily as archaeological artefacts but as pottery.
Within the ARU Dr Ralph Segnit handles the mineralogy, Dr John Hamilton the geology, while Robert Hughan, to whom I am indebted for the testing reported here, handles the ceramic chemistry and fracture mechanics aspects. My role as both a ceramic technologist involved in field archaeology and as a trained potter, is to participate in generating the questions which will form the focus of the team's investigations.