Vessel form and paste recipe: ceramics from Castillejo del Bonete, Spain (2800-1800 BCE

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Castillejo del Bonete is a monumental ceremonial site dated between 2800 and 1800 BCE (Copper and Early Bronze Age) in the La Mancha region of central Spain. Archaeological research of this site began in 2003. The full range of activities that took place here is unclear and architecture of Castillejo del Bonete is unique. The burials found at the site indicate that it served as a home for the dead, and the orientation of its monumental corridors aligned to the solstices suggest important ritual practices. However, a wide array of ceramics found at the site, including storage vessels, suggests productive or storage activities may have also taken place. To better understand the nature of the site, characterizations of vessel forms and analyses of paste recipes for a sample of 63 ceramics collected by surface survey were undertaken. Paste recipes and inclusions were studied for variations both within and between identified vessel forms. These variations were used to explore functions, production methods, and possible source areas for the raw materials.