Pottery Production in Anglo-Scandinavian Torksey (Lincolnshire): reconstructing and contextualising the chaîne opératoire.

Author(s): Gareth Perry

Year: 2015


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.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.

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)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;