The change in ceramic household utensils during the Scandinavian high middle ages, circa 1150-1250 CE.
Research areas and keywords
UKÄ subject classification
- Pottery, Middle ages, change, Practice Theory, ceramics, baltic ware, redware, greyware, reduced ware, medieval pottery
During the 12th-13th century the household potterychanged. Originally being hand formed with coils of clay or slowly turned on a kavalett (manually rotated disc) pottersbegan to throw vessels on high speed pottery wheels and fire them in kilns . In just a fewgenerations the dominating Baltic ware gave way to wheel thrown reduced (grey)and oxidized (red) pottery. From the beginning, this pottery was imported, or arrived asmerchants’ private possessions, but soon local forms appeared and becameintegrated parts of the households. My aim is to discuss the change from hand formed to thrown pottery, andin so doing create new knowledge about this very dynamic period, from 1150 to 1250.I argue that the archaeological ceramic assemblages reflect the complex societythat was forming during the expansive foreign policy of 12thcentury Denmark, but also the apparent conservative relation to Baltic warethat prevailed during the 13th century. In other words, I argue thata deeper understanding of the process of (ceramic) change can contribute to thediscussion about the complexity of medieval society. I propose that an in-depthanalysis of the thrown pottery can enrich and enlighten the processes of changethat happened during the Scandinavian high middle ages. I want to tie theprocess of change to an archaeological material (i.e. the pottery), and in sodoing show the complexity resulting from non-linear co-dependencies betweenBaltic ware, the potters, the consumers and the thrown pottery.
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