Dating of domestic ceramics

Potters are very rarely mentioned in documentary evidence before the Late Medieval period, and were probably some of the lowest-status craftsmen.There is no direct evidence for type of wheels in use before the 13th century, after which a few illustrations survive.The latter were often used in cremation cemeteries to hold the ashes of the deceased.Urban potteries, for example in Thetford, Norwich and Ipswich, flourished in the Mid-Late Saxon period with most declining afterwards.The study of pottery is an important branch of archaeology.This is because pottery is: Small fragments of pottery, known as sherds or potsherds, are collected on most archaeological sites.Early Saxon pottery (5th to 7th century) was handmade, often locally produced and fired in clamps or bonfires.Forms produced included simple cooking pots and bowls, lamps and highly decorated 'urns' with incised lines and stamps in panels.

There is a large amount of archaeological evidence for the pottery industry from the Middle Saxon period onwards, in the form of products and production sites.Highly decorated tableware, including fine red and whitewares, were available during the Early Roman period.Imported wares, such as fine red samian from Gaul, were popular, and wheelmade pottery was manufactured in Britain.The main requirements of the industry were: This means that production sites were generally situated on clay subsoils near woodland in rural areas.Rural potteries probably only operated part-time and the potters were peasants who spent most of their time farming.

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