Pottery Production in Anglo-Scandinavian Torksey (Lincolnshire): reconstructing and contextualising the chaîne opératoire.
Author(s): Gareth Perry
Ninth-century England witnessed major social upheaval. Viking armies moved throughout
the north and east, towns flourished again for the first time since the Roman period, and land
ownership was fundamentally transformed. Significant in the material record is a veritable
revolution in pottery production; pottery was wheel-thrown, kiln-fired, and made on a near
industrial scale. A number of production centres were established under a Viking elite hailing
from regions characterised by their aceramic nature.
Whilst the decoration and form of this new pottery has attracted attention, there is little
understanding of pottery manufacture itself. Using a range of analytical techniques, including
thin section petrology and SEM, this paper characterises the chaîne opératoire followed
by potters working at Torksey. Its potters made specific raw material choices which
impacted upon the location of their workshops and the success of their industry. Whilst raw
materials remained unchanged over the industry’s life, Torksey’s potters made significant
modifications to their firing regime.
Contextualising these seemingly superficial choices exposes a series of regional potting
traditions. In the light of wider social changes that characterise the period, this window into
the agency of individual potters provides new perspectives upon the mechanisms that enabled
these new technologies to flourish.
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Cite this Record
Pottery Production in Anglo-Scandinavian Torksey (Lincolnshire): reconstructing and contextualising the chaîne opératoire.. Gareth Perry. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397059)
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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;