Medieval Pottery Research Group

Annual Conference May 1997

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Pot in use:
the study of the material culture of consumer sites

12th–14th May 1997
The Star Hotel, Worcester


The following papers were presented:

(MC* denotes published paper in Medieval Ceramics Vol.*)

Opening address

Pots and people: a review of past papers Maureen Mellor, Vice President of MPRG

Session 1: Pottery and the purchaser

Ceramics and the history of consumption: pitfalls and prospects (MC21) Dr Paul Courtney, Freelance Archaeologist

All the fun of the fair...buying pottery in medieval Herefordshire Derek Hurst, Archaeological Service, Hereford and Worcester County Council

From dairy to dining room: evidence for changing ceramic use in the 18th century Dr David Barker, City Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

Session 2: Meaning and milieu

Cheapish and Spanish. Meaning and design on imported Spanish pottery (MC21) Alejandra Gutierrez, King Alfred's College, Winchester

The duality of a commodity: German stoneware as a utilitarian and social medium Dr David Gaimster, British Museum

Session 3: Interrogating assemblages

Misplaced faith? Medieval pottery and fieldwalking (MC21) Dr Christopher Gerrard, King Alfred's College, Winchester

Site formation processes: theory and results Stephanie Rátkai, Archaeological Service, Hereford and Worcester County Council

The Romsey Rubbish Project Dr Kris Lockyear, Institute of Archaeology, University of London

Session 4: Visits to Worcester cathedral, The Museum of Worcester Porcelain, and Royal Worcester

Worcester Cathedral, with its outstanding Norman crypt, stands on the banks of the Severn at the south end of the medieval High Street. The Cathedral Archaeologist, Mr Chris Guy, will be presenting the results of recent excavations within the precinct.

The Museum of Worcester Porcelain houses the world's largest collection of Worcester porcelain including some of the first pieces made by the company, and examples of commissioned and exhibition pieces from the 18th century to the present day. The curator, Mr Harry Frost, will give an introduction to the collection

Royal Worcester is the modern expression of a tradition of pottery production in Worcestershire which stretches back to the Roman period and beyond. A tour of the factory, founded in 1751, will give delegates an opportunity to see behind the scenes as well as to visit the seconds and clearance shops.

Gerald Dunning Memorial Lecture

Medieval Islamic pottery (MC21) Dr David Whitehouse, Director, Corning Museum of Glass, USA

Session 5: Use and disuse

Vessels of other materials: an aceramic view from London (MC21) Dr Geoff Egan, MoLAS

Some considerations of the use of pottery Tristan Bareham, East Sussex Archaeology and Museums Project

"The post-Roman pottery assemblage from West Cotton comprised 107,643 sherds..." Paul Blinkhorn, Oxford Archaeological Unit

Pots in houses (MC21) Duncan Brown, Southampton

Session 6: Pottery viewing at the Archaeology Service, Hereford and Worcester County Council

A chance to look at excavated assemblages from the City and County.


Thank you to our sponsors:

Dean and Chapter of Worcester Cathedral
Mrs Jane Faiers
Friends of Worcester City Museum
Hereford and Worcester County Archaeological Service
The Museum of Worcester Porcelain
Past Times
Royal Worcester
Worcestershire Archaeological Society
Worcester City Council Dept of Leisure Services


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