Medieval Pottery Research Group

Medieval Ceramics 28, 2004
Contents and Abstracts

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Medieval Ceramics 28

A4, 161 pages, colour and monochrome plates


Contents

Editorial
Derek Hall
vi
Medieval pottery kilns in Denmark, excavation and reconstruction
Jan Kock
3
Study of the Merovingian production centre atMaastricht-Wyck
Line Van Wersch
19
Excavations at the pottery production centre of Coulston, East Lothian 1939, 1969, 1971, 1977 and 1999/2000
Derek Hall
35
Late medieval/early modern pottery from Burslem Market Place, Stoke on Trent
Noel Boothroyd and Paul Courtney
75
Lustreware production in Renaissance Italy and influences from the Mediterranean area
Marta Caroscio
99
Death and desire. Factors affecting the consumption of pottery in medieval Worcestershire
Victoria Bryant
117
Changing rooms. Fixtures, fittings and movable goods in European lifestyles
Maureen Mellor
125
 

Reviews

Graziella Berti Pisa. Le ceramiche ingobbiate 'graffite a stecca'. secc. XV-XVII (Museo Nazionale di San Matteo) (Marta Caroscio)139
Martin Biddle Nonsuch Palace: the material culture of a noble Restoration household (David H Caldwell)139
Andrzej Buko Archaeologia Polski Wczesnosredniowiecznej (Clive Orton)140
Rosa Fiorillo La tavola dei d'Angiò. Analisi archeologica di una spazzatura reale. Castello di Lagopesole (Marta Caroscio)141
Clare McCutcheon Medieval pottery from Wood Quay, Dublin: the 1974-6 waterfront excavations (Charlie Murray)142
Keith Parfitt, Barry Corke and John Cotter Townwall Street, Dover Excavations 1996 (Duncan H Brown)144
Andres Tvauri Eesti Hilisrauaaja Saviniud (II, Sajandist 13, Sajandi Keskpaigani) (Clive Orton)145
Joanita Vroom Byzantine to Modern Pottery in the Aegean - 7th to 20th century, an introduction and field guide (George Haggarty)147
Jane Young and Alan Vince with Victoria Nailor A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon and Medieval Pottery from Lincoln (Duncan H Brown)147
 

News

Obituaries

153

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Abstracts

Medieval pottery kilns in Denmark, excavation and reconstruction

Jan Kock

Until the beginning of the 1980s only two pottery kilns were known from the Middle Ages in the Danish area. Both kilns were found on Zealand at the localities of Farum Lillevang and Faurholm. Not until 1983 did new finds appear. In the course of several months three new pottery kilns were found with accompanying discarded and misfired pottery. The first of these kilns was found on the western edge of the village of Hellum in eastern Himmerland. Only a few months later the remains of another kiln appeared at the village of Kragelund about twenty kilometers north of Silkeborg, and almost at the same time more pottery and kilns came to light near the village of Barmer in Himmerland. The three new kilns were not only widely different in construction but also different from those already known. This gave rise to the establishment of a research and publishing project that included an analysis of the kilns as well as the preserved pottery, the realization of a series of experimental archaeological experiments, and the collection of comparative archaeological material and selected parallel ethnological and ethnographic material.


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Study of the Merovingian production centre at Maastricht-Wyck

Line Van Wersch

The Merovingian pottery workshop that is the subject of this paper was discovered in 1991 and appears to date to the 6th or 7th centuries AD. It was discovered in the quarter of Maastricht-Wyck on the west side of the river, on the site of a 19th-century ceramics factory. The technology of the kilns, the nature of the fabrics and vessel typology are all considered in this paper. This piece of work marks the start of a thesis on Merovingian ceramics in the Mosan valley.


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Excavations at the pottery production centre of Coulston, East Lothian 1939, 1969, 1971, 1977 and 1999/2000

Derek Hall

The site at Colstoun in East Lothian is still the only excavated Scottish White Gritty Ware production site. This paper reviews all of the work that has taken place at this site from the discovery of the first kilns in 1939 through to the most recent work at the site in 2000 which included the first archaeomagnetic date for one of the kilns. Some consideration is given to what historical evidence exists regarding the site and the products and firing technology are discussed. In conclusion Colstoun's place in Scottish ceramic studies is discussed and future research priorities suggested.


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Late medieval/early modern pottery from Burslem Market Place, Stoke on Trent

Noel Boothroyd and Paul Courtney

Excavation in Burslem Market Place, Stoke-on-Trent recovered a sample of late 15th-/early 16th- century pottery from three pits. The pottery is dumped waste from the production process and includes saggars and pieces of baked-clay kiln structure. The material is overwhelmingly Midlands purple, in a restricted number of forms, mainly jars. A smaller amount of Cistercian ware, mainly flared cups, was also recovered. This assemblage provides evidence for commercial production of pottery in Stoke-on-Trent at a much earlier date than previously thought. The assemblage is compared with those from contemporary production centres and the role of pottery as a consumer item at this time (the medieval/early modern transition) is considered.


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Lustreware production in Renaissance Italy and influences from the Mediterranean area

Marta Caroscio

This paper will analyse the major production centres of lustreware in Renaissance Italy. Focus will be on central Italy (Deruta and Cafaggiolo), considering both the development of the production technique and whether it can be proved that potters moved from one productive centre to the other carrying with them the knowledge needed for terzo fuoco. The attempts made in Montelupo and Faenza will be analysed as well.

Primary sources, such as Li tre libri dell'arte del vasaio by Piccolpasso, describe in detail all the processes of lustre-ware making; these 'recipes' are known from other potters' books written in the same period. What is not said, however, is how Renaissance potters came to understand the technique of applying metallic oxides to tin-glazed artefacts in order to obtain golden or silver reflexes. The contacts with Moresque Spain have been constant in the previous centuries and it might be possible that somehow Italian potters learned this technique from Spanish potters. While Italo-Moresque maiolica is the result of imitated models, lustreware production requires technological knowledge that could not have been acquired by chance.

The influence of models circulating within the Mediterranean area will be considered as well, trying to understand how, together with their products, people circulated as well.


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Death and desire. Factors affecting the consumption of pottery in medieval Worcestershire

Victoria Bryant

In this paper I have tried to demonstrate that pottery from consumer assemblages can be used to develop models which attempt to explain the mechanics of change and the cultural and social factors affecting consumption. The paper is in three parts. The first provides a brief overview of the consumption of pottery as observed in assemblages from consumer sites in Worcestershire dating to between c AD900 and AD1600. This is intended to provide a context for the second and third parts which focus on factors which may have affected the development of this pattern of consumption. The first factor is the greatly increased mortality rate of the 14th century, and how this could have affected the economic situation and the aspirations of both producer and consumer. The second factor is how ceramics may, or may not, have been seen as objects of desire by English medieval society.


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Changing rooms. Fixtures, fittings and movable goods in European lifestyles

Maureen Mellor

This paper, delivered at MPRG's conference in Winchester 2004, rapidly surveys the use of the clay industries that may have impacted on the manipulation of private and public space in western Europe. Did these changing rooms influence potters and the social context of pottery utilisation? The paper concludes that assemblages, with people at their core, must embrace all movable goods to revisit some of the earlier excavations of castles, palaces and monastic institutions and using modern methodology explain the differences. The results need to be presented in a more accessible manner.


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