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Clare is a ceramic specialist focused on the production and consumption of prehistoric pottery from the Balkans and Aegean. She is particularly interested in examining raw material, technological, and consumption choices, and the relationship of these to cultural identity, habits, and spheres of contact.
She received her BSc Archaeology (2004) and MA Professional Archaeological Practice (2005) from the University of Leicester, and her MSc Archaeomaterials (2006) from the University of Sheffield. Following this she spent two years working as a field archaeologist in commercial archaeology, before undertaking a part time PhD at the University of Sheffield (2017). Within her PhD and accompanying research, Clare used macroscopic and stereoscopic analyses, thin section petrography, and SEM-EDS to examine the raw material and crafting practices used to make Early Bronze Age pottery from 12 sites in the NE Peloponnese, mainland Greece.
After completing her PhD Clare became a post-doctoral researcher in Vienna, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology and the Austrian Archaeological Institute (ÖAI). During this time she continued to study pottery from Greece but was given the opportunity to expand her research through participation in a range of projects instigating ceramics from sites in Bulgaria, Croatia, Serbia and Turkey.
Clare’s current project TECUS (UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee Postdoctoral Fellowship, grant EP/Y025113/1), combines raw material, technological, use-wear, organic residue, experimental and mechanical analyses to investigate the production and use of Early Neolithic pottery in North Macedonia. It will use this data to understand the role of pottery in early agricultural communities and the relationship of pottery types to culture identity, migration, and trends from surrounding regions as part of the broader transition to Neolithic ways of life.
Clare’s work uses ceramic analyses to understand the choices and behaviour of potters and consumers within different geographical and cultural contexts. She is particularly interested in identifying spheres of shared learning and action, the transfer of technological and social knowledge, and the daily role of pottery within communities, particularly for periods marked by significant societal changes. She is especially interested in characterising pottery production and use on broad diachronic and/or spatial scales.
Clare has helped to design and write two FWF funded projects including ‘6500 Years of Solitude? A Diachronic Study of Pottery from Pheneos’ which she co-designed with colleagues from the University of Graz and ÖAI (grant P343385. PI Elisabeth Trinkl, University of Graz) and ‘NEOTECH’ (grant P32096, PI Barbara Horejs, ÖAI).
Additionally, she has participated in a number of other projects including ‘The Gold of the Balkans: The goldmine of Ada Tepe’ (FWF grant no. P28451, PI Barbara Horejs, ÖAI), where she also received the Anton Ölzelt-Newin’sche Stiftung to expand her work on the Ada Tepe pottery (‘Filling in the Gaps’, PI Clare Burke). She also undertook analysis within the FWF funded project Midea: A Settlement in the Argolid (grant P 24798, PI Eva Alram-Stern ÖAI).
Additionally, Clare is in the process of finishing analyses and publications for her work on Early-Late Neolithic pottery from Çukuriçi Höyük in Türkiye.
Clare’s current project TECUS (UKRI Horizon Europe Guarantee Postdoctoral Fellowship, grant EP/Y025113/1), combines raw material, technological, use-wear, organic residue, experimental and mechanical analyses to investigate the production and use of Early Neolithic pottery in North Macedonia.