Shards of Iron Age Communications. A ceramological study of internal structures and external contacts in the Gudme-Lundeborg Area, Funen during the Late Roman Iron Age

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

Abstract

The objective of ceramology is to describe pottery craft traditions; the potters, their production, social organisation and the use of the products. Through this the human actions surrounding the pottery are studied. The objective of the research presented in this thesis is to study patterns of contacts between different, contemporary sites within a limited area through a ceramological analysis of pottery from the said sites. As material for this study the pottery from the Iron Age sites in the Gudme-Lundeborg area on Funen, Denmark proved eminently suitable. The collection of sites, including both settlements and cemeteries within a 10 km radius, were investigated in connection with the Gudme-Lundeborg project. It was initiated in 1982 and the final publications of the results are presently beginning to appear. The chronological scope of the project stretches from the late Pre Roman Iron Age to the Viking Age. The present study of pottery is, however, limited to the period of Late Roman Iron Age (200-400 AD), where all the main sites were in use. The main sites are the settlements of Gudme and Brudager, the large urn grave cemetery of Møllegårdsmarken and the trading site at Lundeborg. The research questions pertinent to the pottery from these sites were : Did residents of the designated centre Gudme bring pottery with them to the trading site and/or did they make pottery there ?; secondly, can the use of Møllegårdsmarken as a burial ground for the same residents be proven by comparing the grave pottery with the settlement pottery? Thirdly, may ceramic evidence be found of contacts between the other sites. The study of the pottery is based on a thorough registration and statistical documentation of the sherd materials. A representative sample was taken for further laboratory analyses. This sample of sherds and samples of clay from the area were submitted to petrographic microscopy on thin sections and to thermal analyses. Together they provide information on most aspects of the craft behind the pottery. In addition the grain size distribution and the clay mineral composition of the clay samples were analysed. XRD-analyses were performed by Fil.Dr. S. Olsson. Diatom analyses on some of the sherds were performed by Dr. hc. H. Håkansson. The results showed that people from Brudager used clay from the vicinity of the trading site Lundeborg for a major part of their pottery production. Probably they were also making pottery on the trading site, possibly for barter. It could also be shown, that in LRIA I they used the large cemetery Møllegårdsmarken as well as their own local cemetery for burying their dead. In the case of the relation between Gudme and the other sites ( incl. Møllegårdsmarken and Lundeborg ) there were no clear ceramic indications of contact except for one ware group datable to the later part of Late Roman Iron Age. Thus the ceramological analysis contributed to the description of a complex Iron Age society where Gudme did not have a prominent position seen from a pottery perspective.

Details

Authors
  • Ole Stilborg
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Archaeology

Keywords

  • local, Funen, Gudme-Lundeborg Area, trading site, cemetery, settlement, Late Roman Iron Age, material systems, Things, communication, Pottery, ceramology, import, center, Archaeology, Arkeologi
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Assistant supervisor
  • [unknown], [unknown], Supervisor, External person
Award date1997 Mar 14
Publisher
  • Keramiska Forskningslaboratoriet, Lunds Universitet,Tornavägen 13, 223 63 Lund, Sweden
Print ISBNs91-973057-0-7
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

Defence details Date: 1997-03-14 Time: 10:15 Place: Carolinasalen,Kungshuset,Lund External reviewer(s) Name: Vince, Alan Title: Dr. Affiliation: Lincoln, England ---