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This article argues that a holistic approach to documenting and understanding the physical evidence for individual cities would enhance our ability to address major questions about urbanisation, urbanism, cultural identities and economic processes. At the same time we suggest that providing more comprehensive data-sets concerning Greek cities would represent an important contribution to cross-cultural studies of urban development and urbanism, which have often overlooked relevant evidence from Classical Greece. As an example of the approach we are advocating, we offer detailed discussion of data from the Archaic and Classical city of Olynthos, in the Halkidiki. Six seasons of fieldwork here by the Olynthos Project, together with legacy data from earlier projects by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and by the Greek Archaeological Service, combine to make this one of the best-documented urban centres surviving from the Greek world. We suggest that the material from the site offers the potential to build up a detailed ‘urban profile’, consisting of an overview of the early development of the community as well as an in-depth picture of the organisation of the Classical settlement. Some aspects of the urban infrastructure can also be quantified, allowing a new assessment of (for example) its demography. This article offers a sample of the kinds of data available and the sorts of questions that can be addressed in constructing such a profile, based on a brief summary of the interim results of fieldwork and data analysis carried out by the Olynthos Project, with a focus on research undertaken during the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons.
A specialized workshop for the manufacture of flint sickle blades has recently been excavated at the site of Titris Hoyuk in southeastern Anatolia . This paper will examine the sequence of production for the blades as well as the social context of this craft within the site. The workshop is the first example found containing evidence of the complete sequence of production for the ‘Canaanean blade,’ a type commonly used across the Near East in this period . Since bronze was still new and relatively expensive, high-quality flint was used to manufacture sickle blades. Tabular flint was imported in the form of large slabs from several sources in the nearby hills. Specialists then prepared the blade cores, removed the blades, and then traded the final products to local farmers. A range of manufacturing debris has been found to illustrate the production sequence, including chunks of raw flint, core-shaping pieces, debitage pits, and stacks of exhausted and used cores. The large sample of over 1000 blade cores collected ensures a sizable data set for statistical analyses. Several types of raw flint were utilized for making the blades and production appears to vary slightly by these material types. The workshop is located within a household setting and is the only area within the excavated site containing debris from this craft. Spatial analyses of the types of flint used within the household workshop reveal its division into largely distinct areas for domestic versus specialist craft activities. The placement of the workshop in the suburbs far from the site's administrative center may indicate that its activities were independent of any elite. An estimate of the volume of blades produced combined with the location of the workshop at a major regional center suggest that it also supplied blades to other sites in the region.
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