Ceramic Transition and Actor-Network Theory: The Gyllenkrok House, Lund

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During the 12th and 13th centuries the pottery assemblages in
Scandinavia changed from hand-formed into wheel-thrown pottery. This
transition has not caught much interest among scholars and has usually
been explained with economic and functionalistic perspectives. Using
actor-network theory, as applied by Astrid Van Oyen, this paper discusses
the problem of how and why this ceramic transition happened. As a basis
for discussion the case study of a high-status house in Gyllenkrok, Lund,
is used. Here the pottery changed entirely following the construction of
the house. By isolating ancient knowledge systems, i.e. actor-networks,
different processes within this complex transition can be subjected to
discourse. This paper draws from cultural hegemony, emulation and
entanglement theory to open up the black-boxed knowledge systems, and
considering that the household in Gyllenkrok only acquired about two
new vessels each generation, I argue that the household inhabitants were
passive in this process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-39
Number of pages13
JournalLund Archaeological Review
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec 2

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Archaeology


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