Petrographic analysis of ceramics allows for the high-resolution distinction between locally-produced ceramics and imports and provides a more comprehensive understanding of ancient production and exchange patterns. This paper analyses Cypriot-produced tablewares of the Late Bronze Age at Hala Sultan Tekke, a major trading hub in the eastern Mediterranean, focusing on the transition from Late Cypriot (LC) IIC to LC IIIA (c. 13th to mid-12th century BCE). In this study, a wide range of tablewares were analysed, with a particular focus on Cypriot-produced plain ware (Plain White Hand- and Wheel-Made; PWHM/PWWM) and painted wheel-made fineware (White Painted Wheel-Made Ware; WPWM), using petrography to determine their mineralogical composition, production technique, and provenance. In addition, reference samples were collected and experimentally fired to identify potential raw materials in the Circum-Troodos Sedimentary Succession region, with additional basaltic soil samples collected from the slopes of the Troodos. The results show that there was a local production at Hala Sultan Tekke of Aegean-type painted and unpainted finewares in LC IIC. The adaptation of Aegean technologies, shapes and decoration patterns, sometimes in combination with traditional Cypriot characteristics, became prevalent in the local production of tableware in LC IIIA until the city was abandoned around the mid-12th century BCE. Evidence for coastal imports, e.g. from the wider Larnaca Bay region, the Famagusta Bay and western Cyprus, particularly painted wheel-made fineware bowls from LC IIIA, reveal new economic patterns and supply chains that emerged after the decline of interregional trade in the eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BCE.
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- Hala Sultan Tekke
- Late Cypriot pottery
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