Συμβολή στη μελέτη της παραγωγής οικοδομικών κεραμικών προϊόντων στα βυζαντινά και μεταβυζαντινά χρόνιαPart of : Δελτίον της Χριστιανικής Αρχαιολογικής Εταιρείας ; Vol.31, 1988, pages 97-112
A Contribution to the Study of Brick and Tile Production in the Byzantine and Post-byzantine periods
The production of bricks and tiles in the Byzantineperiod has not yet attracted scholarly attention, unlikethat of the Roman world, which has recently beensubjected to systematic study.This paper sets out to examine various technical andlogistical aspects of production such as the manufacturing plants (kilns) and their location, production procedures, variations from place to place and from periodto period, and the different types of manufacturingenterprise involved (privately-owned workshops andfactories, public and monastic enterprises), on theevidence of the very few extant sources.The traditional pre - industrial manufacturing techniqueis described in the paper for the purpose of reconstructing the procedure and methods employedduring the period under consideration.Workshops were usually located by the sea, nearvillages or towns. A closer study in the area ofThessaloniki and Chalkidiki has added several new sitesto those already known in the rest of Greece and theBalkans.As regards their form and construction, the newlydiscovered and still unpublished kilns, whether rectangular or circular, are similar to those already known inother areas.Bricks from the Thessaloniki district and Macedonia ingeneral were made at an early period in wooden ormetal moulds with an incised mark (the brick stamp) atthe bottom of each one. This feature distinguishesMacedonian bricks from those made in Constantinopleand the Pontus, where an impressed stamp of theRoman type was the rule. Tiles, on the other hand, hadsimple finger marks; on the very rare occasions whenthey bear stamps, these are of the impressed type.In the Middle Byzantine period brick moulds had nobottom and bricks were no longer marked with stamps.The same was true in the Late Byzantine and PostByzantine periods.Early sources allow us to assume the existence ofprivately-owned factories and smaller workshops, aswell as individuals engaged in brickmaking on atemporary basis. The existence of public factoriesbelonging to the civic authorities of big cities is aconjecture that remains to be proved. There is evidence,however, that some monasteries owned and ran workshops of this kind.