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Pottery supply and demand in the Lower Rhineland c. 1400-1800: An archaeological study of ceramic production, distribution and use in the city of Duisburg and its hinterland

Gaimster, DRM; (1992) Pottery supply and demand in the Lower Rhineland c. 1400-1800: An archaeological study of ceramic production, distribution and use in the city of Duisburg and its hinterland. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study of post-medieval ceramic production and consumption in the Lower Rhineland is prefaced by a survey of previous work and approaches in the field. With the initiation of large-scale urban excavations in the Lower Rhineland during the 1980s, particularly in the town of Duisburg, an extensive sequence of pottery has been recovered dating from c.1400 to 1800, enabling archaeologists for the first time to re-examine traditional chronologies, attributions and socio-economic interpretations. This survey comprises 95 individual assemblages of pottery from sites excavated in Duisburg and from towns and rural sites in the region. Substantial emphasis is given to the establishment of a regional type-series of post-medieval ceramics. The methods of fabric characterisation are discussed along with the definition of form and functional-type categories used in the quantification of individual assemblages. These are followed by a problem-orientated programme of chemical analyses by Neutron Activation, which is designed to test and refine the archaeological type-series and to help clarify the geographical attribution of wares made in the region. The pottery classification procedure and NAA programme form the basis of the subsequent survey of trends in post-medieval ceramic production and distribution in the Lower Rhineland. The following sections deal with the statistical composition of individual assemblages on an antra-, inter-and multi-site basis. Firstly, a series of representative contexts from Duisburg are investigated in detail. Developments in the regonal consumption of ceramics are reviewed through time with the aid of pie-charts showing the relative variation in ceramic frequencies in the towns of Duisburg and Wesel and at the rural hinterland site of Krefeld-Linn. In identifying the variable composition of ceramic groups in the region a series of conclusions regarding the functional, economic and socio-behavioural role of ceramics are drawn over a 400-year timespan. With the aid of contemporary pictorial sources showing pottery made and imported into the region, it is demonstrated that excavated ceramics may be employed as a prime historical source for the study of European post-medieval society.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Pottery supply and demand in the Lower Rhineland c. 1400-1800: An archaeological study of ceramic production, distribution and use in the city of Duisburg and its hinterland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10117903
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