The term mattpainted pottery was first used by A. Furtwängler and G. Loeschke in their classification of pottery from Grave Circle A in Mycenae. It quickly gained wide use in research as the designation for a category of pottery with dull, lustreless, that is, ‘matt’ painting. In the course of time different chronological and technological appearances accumulated under this very flexible nomen. The spectrum ranges from the wheel-made and handmade polychrome ware of Middle Helladic southern Greece, to handmade pottery of the Late Bronze Age – with bichrome and monochrome ware in West Macedonia and monochrome ware in Central Macedonia – and the Iron Age phenomenon of mattpainted handmade pottery in Epirus and Albania.
The Lofkënd burial tumulus in the Mallakaster region of Albania, jointly excavated by a team from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and the Albanian Institute of Archaeology in Tiranë over four seasons (2004-2007), revealed 85 ancient and 15 modern burials, containing a total of over 150 individuals. On the basis of the vertical and horizontal stratification of the tombs, together with secure AMS 14C radiocarbon dates from human bone and charcoal, the Lofkënd burials can be dated to the period from the 14th to the 9th centuries B.C.