The chaîne opératoire of 6th millennium BC pottery making in the Maritsa Valley, Bulgaria: ceramics from Nova Nadezhda
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40 potsherds and five other fired clay fragments from the prehistoric site of Nova Nadezhda in Bulgarian Thrace were analysed by archaeometric techniques. Twenty sherds and a daub fragment were analysed in thin section by optical microscopy; these thin sections, and thick sections of a further 24 sherds were also analysed by SEM-EDX. Results were used to describe the Early Neolithic chaîne opératoire at Nova Nadezhda, which was then compared to pottery production in roughly contemporaneous Starčevo-Criş communities in the central Balkans, to shed light on the Neolithisation process that took place in the 6th millennium BC. A variety of ceramic recipes was used to make different vessel shapes. Analyses of surface coatings were particularly enlightening in terms of provenance and the organisation of pottery production.