An article written by Billur Tekkok, Sebastian Heath and myself is about to appear in Studia Troica. They have kindly allowed us to host a pre-print version of the article.
The authors present a non-technical overview of the database structures that record information about the Post-Bronze Age ceramic assemblage at ilion. its purpose is not to fully document the system used at troia, but instead to identify practices that can be useful in other contexts. The article particularly stresses that it is important to assign a primary identity to all sherds that will be subject to individual study and that this identity can be re-used in such record keeping processes as drawing and photography. further use of such identities in print and digital publication is likely to make online linking of ceramic data to contextual information easier in the future.
This article describes our method for recording what was a truly staggering amount of pottery, even for an urban site. And this post gives me the opportunity to show one of my favorite pictures of Troy:
This is the area in front of the dig house at Troy. The vertical sidewalk in the photo separates the Bronze Age team ceramic processing tent on the left from the Post Bronze Age team ceramic processing on the right. Keep in mind that this is pottery from the current year only, waiting to be processed. The tent itself is full of tables with pottery spread out for analysis.
The Troy database is probably more similar to data collection schemes found in Greece than the work that I am posting based on the Pompeii data. Since our PARP:PS pottery is not read for publication until after the project is complete, I haven’t had to add tables to find all of the associated drawings of a piece. Another difference is how the individual numbers are assigned. The Troy database would hand out the next unique individual sherd numbers to the scholar. At Pompeii the scholars will come and study the ceramics during the winter when we are not there. So I have to devise a way for someone to assign a number to a ceramic without the possibility of duplication. We have a procedure in place but it is relatively untested.