Past conferences organised by the MPRG.

2012 Conference: Recent Research and New Discoveries in Glass and Ceramics

Friday 16th November 2012
The Wallace Collection, London

Organised by the Medieval Pottery Research Group & the Association for the History of Glass

The day will start at 10am with registration and coffee, finishing with a wine reception in the evening. Some wonderful speakers from among Sarah’s many friends and colleagues in the worlds of glass and ceramics will be presenting.

Key speakers include:

  • Hugo Blake and Michael Hughes – An early 14th-century tin-glazed earthenware jar from Norwich and other archaic maiolicas excavated in Britain
  • Hilary Cool – Aromatic Assemblages: Exploring the Finds from Pompeii Insula VI.1
  • George Haggarty – The Delftfield Pottery Glasgow 1748 -1826; Demolition and Resurrection
  • Ian Freestone – Red, White and Blue: the Origins of Medieval Window Glass Technology
  • David Whitehouse – Before Venice: The Antecedents of the Venetian Glass Industry

Other confirmed speakers are Katherine Barclay and Frans Verhaeghe. Further details will follow; for updates please see the MPRG and AHG websites.

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2011 Conference: Recent Work and Current Research

Saturday 11 June 2011
Activity Spaces 1 and 2, Museum of London


9.30: Registration and coffee

10.00: Looking Forward: The MPRG Research Framework. Anne Irving

10.30: Beer, Butter and Burial: the pre-burial origins of cremation urns from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery of Cleatham, North Lincolnshire. Gareth Perry

11.00: Anglo Saxon and medieval pottery from Shotton Northumberland: late 15th and 16th century pottery from the production site at Healey and potential associations with Jervaulx. Andrew Sage

11.30: The manufacture of Stamford ware in Pontefract, West Yorkshire Chris Cumberpatch

12.00: Discussion

12.10: MPRG Annual General Meeting followed by lunch

2.00: Why are they doing it like that? Pottery and culinary techniques in medieval Southampton. Ben Jervis

2.30: The late 10th century pottery production sites at Pontefract and later 18th century pottery at Lazencroft Leeds: a potter’s point of view. John Hudson

3.30: Excavations by AOC Archaeology at the site of the Delftfield pottery: a ceramic update. George Haggerty

4.15: Recent excavations at the Stenhouse and North Berwick kiln sites. Derek Hall

4.45: Discussion and close

2009 Conference: Science and Ceramics:Recent developments in analysis and interpretation

6th June 2009
British Geological Survey, Kingsley Dunham Centre, Keyworth, Nottingham

Dedicated to the memory of Alan Vince

The following papers were presented:

Microanalysis of later prehistoric and early medieval granodiorite-tempered pottery from the East Midlands – Edward Faber and David Knight

Recent projects on ICP analysis of medieval and later ceramics – Michael Hughes

Unravelling 17th and 18th century slipwares: a scientific approach – Andrew Watts

Tobacco pipes and pipe clays: a review of 25 years research – Peter Davey

Understanding and interpreting the medieval pottery from Gasir, Northern Iceland – Torbjorn Brorsson

Luminescence dating of bricks – Ian Bailiff

Scientific dating of carbonised residues on ceramics from England, Scotland and Norway – Derek Hall

Reconstructing foodways from ancient residues in Roman pottery – Lucy Cramp

Fragmentation in action – Imogen Wood

2008 Conference: Pottery of the Western Mediterranean:Production, influences, distribution and use AD 900-1600

7th-9th July
University of Siena, Italy

The MPRG is delighted to announce that our 2008 conference will be held in Siena, Italy. The aim is to consider the development of pottery-making, means of distribution, patterns of trade and types of consumer, through archaeological and documentary evidence. This will be an opportunity to compare and contrast pottery traditions of the European Mediterranean states and also, it is hoped, those of North Africa. Many of those products were distributed beyond the Mediterranean, to the east and into northern Europe, and the mechanisms of that trade, and the significance of those pottery types, will also be examined. These themes reach beyond local and national boundaries, and should appeal to anyone interested in what pottery can tell us about economics, politics, culture and meaning.

We are inviting speakers from all over Europe, and western North Africa to address those themes and participate in a wide-ranging and fully representative discussion.

The following papers were presented:

Vessels used for shipping goods in Western Mediterranean during the late Middle Ages and early modern periods – Marta Caroscio

Sistemi di produzione, scambio e consumo di vasellame ceramico in Toscana tra X e XI secolo: citta  e campagna a confronto. – Federico Cantin

Byzantine Fine Wares In Italy (10th to 14th Centuries AD): Social And Economic Contexts In The Mediterranean World – Erica d’Amico

Crossing Borders: Mudajar Ceramics in Medieval Spain – Anna McSweeny

Functional analysis of “unglazed” Tuscan medieval pottery – Alessandra Pecci

The development of the medieval pottery production of Savona (Liguria, NW Italy) seen through archaeometric analyses – Claudio Capelli, Roberto Cabella and Paolo Ramagli

Pottery Production and Distribution in South-Western al-Andalus during the Almohad Period: Results of an Innovative Program of Fabric Analysis – Rebecca Bridgman

A Triaxial Blend: Stylistic Similarities From the Mediterranean – Christopher Robinson

Cobalt blue in medieval ceramic production in Valencian workshops: The cases of Manises, Paterna and Valencia (Spain) – Jaume Coll Conesa

The role of ceramics in late medieval and Renaissance Italy – Hugo Blake

A late 15th century household pottery group from Aveiro (Portugal) – Tania Casimiro

C̩ramiques en usage en France mediterranenne aux 15e et 16e siecles: apports de fouilles urbaines recentes (Perpignan, Nimes, Marseille, Nice, Bastia) РVeronique Abel

Medieval fishing communities in coastal Flanders (Belgium) and their relation to western meditteranean commodities – Marnix Pieters and Frans Verhaeghe

The presence and distribution of Italian maiolica in late medieval Flanders – Koen de Groote

The productions of glazed pottery in Tuscany (13th-15th centuries). The transmission of technical knowledge from al-Andalus to Pisa for producing “maioliche arcaiche – Graziella Berti

La maiolica di Montelupo: un indicatore di status socio-economico ? – Antonio Fornaciari

Una koine: produttiva nella Toscana postmedievale tra archeologia, storia e primi dati archeometrici – M Milanese, E Degl’innocenti, I Trombetta and ABrunetti

Carecterización De La Cerámica Andalusí De Finales De La Edad Media. Las Arcillas Y El Soporte Cerámico – Alberto Garcia Porras

Clay pipes as evidence for Mediterranean trade. Underwater finds from Pomegues, France – Peter Davey

Exotic East London: unravelling the sources of the 17th-century imported pottery at 43-53 Narrow Street, E14 – Chris Jarrett

Mediterranean Pottery in Early Post-Medieval London – Lucy Whittingham

2007 Conference: Pottery on the Move: Method, meaning and the distribution of medieval pottery

Saturday 9th June 2007
The House of Laymen, St William’s College, College Street, YORK YO1 7JF

This meeting aims to widen the debate over the ways in which pottery was moved about in medieval Europe. We will look at the mechanics of distribution, both internal and international, and consider themes of the cultural, economic and social meaning in the movement of pottery. The two are not unconnected; how pottery was distributed, by whom, and with what purpose, is linked to the ways in which imported or non-local pots were understood and consumed.

The following papers were presented:

Peddlars, pilgrims and pirates: Some examples of pottery acquisition and exchange in medieval Kent, John Cotter

Chester’s pottery, who, what, where? Julie Edwards

Tyneside rivalries? Pottery imports in Newcastle and Gateshead during the 17th century, Andrew Sage

What’s The Point? The value of find-spot data to studies of pottery distribution, Anne Boyle

Coastal trade in coarsewares along the east coast, Alan Vince

Ceramic DNA, identifying the origins of Perth’s burgesses, Derek Hall

An overview of imported medieval and post-medieval ceramics in Edinburgh and Leith, George Haggarty and John Lawson

2006 Conference: Ceramics Cloistered and Crenellated: Pottery From Medieval Institutions

12th-14th June 2006
Trafford Hall, Chester

Much of the medieval pottery first published came from early excavations at castles, palaces and monastic institutions. These finds, and the archaeologists who worked with them, were seminal in the development of medieval pottery studies. The Medieval Pottery Research Group is taking the opportunity of our 2006 annual meeting, in Chester to review that early work. We also want to hear about more recent work on pottery from medieval castles, manors, monasteries, hospitals and similar sites. The aim is to consider what, if anything, made these places different to the urban and rural domestic sites that have been the focus of recent discussions and publications. Are there, for instance, peculiarities in the way religious houses acquired, used or disposed of pottery? How did castles affect patterns of industry and commerce? It is hoped that this meeting will show how ceramic analysis can inform our understanding of the role of medieval institutions within medieval society, and conversely, how studying those establishments deepens our knowledge of medieval pottery.

The following papers were presented:

The medieval and early post-medieval pottery of Chester, Julie Edwards

Institutions, households and consumption: their relevance to pottery studies, Chris Dyer

The use of pottery in Richard of Cornwall’s caput at Launceston Castle, Alan Vince

Storage, cooking and display pottery from two fortified settlements in Chianti: Castellaccio di Lucolena (10th-13th cent) and Monte Moggino (14th-15th cent), Marta Caroscio

The ceramics from the palace of Marie de Hongrie (Binche, Belgique), Sophie Challe

From Caliph’s crockery to the people’s pottery: examining ceramic consumption in Almohad Seville, Rebecca Bridgman

Aspects of the production, the use and the consumption of ceramics at Caen in the end of the middle Ages, Anne Bocquet Liénard and D. Dufournier

Is there a specific ceramic for privileged Merovingian sites?, Line Van WerschLocal Flavour: the Bishopstone assemblage in its wider context, Ben Jervis

Rectory, refectory and range: pottery from three moated sites in Norfolk and Suffolk, Sue Anderson

Castles and their friends and relations, Duncan Brown

Cloistered kings, crenellated bishops and courtly abbots: the ceramic assemblages from Peel Castle and Rushen Abbey, Isle of Man, Peter Davey and Claire Corkill

A mid 17th-century finds group from the Inns of Court: a tale of lawyers, buying power, conservatism and possible misbehaviour, Chris Jarrett

The use of wooden vessels in medieval institutions, Robin Wood

Gerald Dunning Memorial Lecture. Crossing cultures and bridging boundaries from the 9th to 12th centuries, Maureen Mellor

Pottery from the fortress Graborg on Aland, western Sweden, Torbjorn Brorsson

Palace and Abbey: Guildford and the crockers of Chertsey, Phil Jones

The use of ceramics in late and post-medieval monasteries: data from three sites in eastern Flanders, Koen De Groote

The material culture of monasteries in Liguria between the medieval period and the modern age and an analysis of archaeological excavation records: data comparison and some lines of research and study, Paolo De Vingo

Wigford Potterys and the Goblet of Friars – monestic consumption of ceramics produced at St Mark’s, Lincoln, Anne Boyle

A world of difference? Form and function in Scotland’s hospitals and religious houses, Derek Hall

French pottery in Scotland – a review, George Haggarty

Mount Grace Priory: pottery and personality, Glyn Coppack

Abbey and Town – pottery procurement in medieval Shrewsbury, Victoria Bryant

2005 Conference: Pottery in Public

Saturday 18th June 2005
Education Rooms, Museum of London

There are now more ways than ever for archaeological objects to reach the widest possible audience. There have always been museum displays, and research collections, but recent initiatives and centrally-driven grant-aided strategies have placed great emphasis on providing access, and creating a learning resource. Curators have responded, and the creation of museum web-sites is one new development, alongside more established practices of exhibition, collection management and documentation – and medieval pottery has figured in all of these. We all recognise the great impact of television in archaeology, and here too our discipline has at times been well represented.

This one-day conference is therefore a timely, if not long overdue, examination of how the study of medieval pottery has been portrayed to various audiences in recent times, and indeed how the pots themselves have been, and could be, represented and understood – there are issues of research and interpretation here as well as presentation. This is a theme that should underpin everything we are trying to achieve in our discipline.

The following papers were presented:

Pottery in Public, Duncan H Brown

‘The efforts of such labour should not be forgotten’ – collecting, museums and enjoyment, David Dawson

Recent work on the Museum of London Ceramic and Glass Collection and archaeological archive, Jacqui Pearce

Pottery and the Public: the National Reference Collection at the British Museum, Beverley Nenk

Exhibition, David Gaimster

Potweb – an update, Carole Wheeler the suck it and see approach to on-line resources, Victoria Bryant

Virtual pottery and illumination, Alan Chalmers

“How can they tell that from one little bit of pot?”: Time Team and Medieval Pottery, Paul Blinkhorn

2004 Conference: Under the Influence: Examinations of change in the ceramic record

28th-30th June 2004
King Alfred’s College, Winchester

The theme of this conference was change, not only how we observe it within the archaeological record, but also how we have tried to explain it, and how our methodologies have developed. The programme brings together papers that consider aspects of ceramic production, distribution and consumption and includes an opportunity to view the medieval pottery assemblages recovered in Winchester. We are also offering walking tours of historic Winchester, and Mr. Hudson’s fabulous medieval cookery class.

The following papers were offered:

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

Session 1 – Methodology

Alan Vince Keynote Lecture: The Systematic Study of Medieval Ceramics: Half a Century of Progress?

Line Van Wersch Study of the Merovingian production centre of Maastricht-Wyck: methods and results (MC28)

Diana Briscoe The Archive of Anglo-Saxon Pottery Stamps

Jacqui Pearce An approach to the analysis of Surrey/Hampshire Border Ware kilns at Farnborough Hill

Session 2 – Pottery Production

John Hudson A Potter’s Practical Approach to Clay Preparation

Barbara Flynn Perspectives of a Production Potter

Penny Copland-Griffiths Social Effects on a Country Pottery Industry at Verwood, Dorset

Session 3 – Influence, Innovation, Distribution

John Allan Some early modern documentation for foreign and coastal trade in England

Chris Cumberpatch Face to face with medieval pottery; some speculations on the significance of face jugs and related vessels in Yorkshire

Philippe Husi Pottery of the Later Middle Ages from Central Western France

Wolfram Giertz New pots for an old town. Immigrant potters in Aachen, c14001600

Cole Henley Patterns generate relationships between people and things: reading the Neolithic pottery decoration of the Outer Hebrides

Gerald Dunning Memorial Lecture

Kenneth Barton Saintonge Polychrome Pottery and its implications

Session 4 – Pottery and the Consumer

Derek Hall Whose pot is it anyway?

John Cotter Strangers on the shore: pottery from an early medieval fishing settlement at Townwall Street, Dover

Lars Pilo The Pottery from Kaupang, Norway – new evidence from an old site

Jesper Hjermind The fingerprint of an English potter. Results from Viborg Snders 2001 an excavation in layers from 1018 to c1030

Victoria Bryant Death and desire: factors effecting the consumption of pottery in medieval Worcestershire (MC28)

Maureen Mellor Changing rooms: Fixtures, Fittings and Movable Goods (MC28)

Paul Blinkhorn Production, Exchange and Consumption in the English south-east Midlands and the Thames Valley

2003 Conference: Mix it, Risk it, Make it, Fake it: The Technology of Medieval Potting

Saturday 14th June 2003
Nottingham Castle Museum, Nottingham

The following papers were presented:

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

Understanding kilns David Dawson and Oliver Kent

Medieval pottery kilns in Denmark Jan Kock (MC28)

A database of medieval pottery production centres in Europe Zsolt Vgner

The Nottingham Knight Jug John Hudson

Don’t stack it there! Derek Hall

The synthesis of imported ceramic technologies and new materials in late 17th century London pottery manufactories and their transfer to Staffordshire and Nottingham Andrew Watts

2001 Conference: Scottish Medieval Ceramic Studies

11th-13th May 2001
Edinburgh City Arts Centre

The following papers were presented:

Historic Scotland and the study of Scottish medieval ceramics? – Olwyn Owen

Scottish fabrics and production centres – Derek Hall

An introduction to the Scottish Redware project – George Haggarty

The Scottish Redware project, phase one results – Dr Simon Chenery

Shell-tempered wares in Scotland – Alan Vince and Lynn Blackmore

An introduction to the Scottish White Gritty Project – George Haggarty

The results of the Scottish White Gritty pilot study – Dr Simon Chenery

The White Gritty project, the archaeological background – Bob Will

The White Gritty project, the chemical analysis – Dr Richard Jones

Medieval Hebridean pottery, current research – Dr Ewan Campbell