Ceramics in Archaeology
Dates: 27 July—07 August 2020 (2 weeks)
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SS1110 Ceramics Course 2020 (2 weeks accredited course)
Most ceramics represented in collector’s guides characterize what the elite wealthy classes purchased and used but do not provide information of what the poor and lower classes utilized. This module is focused upon the identification, recording and conservation of ceramics from archaeological sites AD1650-1900. The combination of lectures and practical assignments will illustrate the differences between various types of ceramics. Students will practice drawing ceramics for publication and evaluate how interpretation of a ceramic assemblage is influenced by the depositional processes that led to its inclusion in the archaeological record.
The first part of the course will see students receiving instruction on the correct handling, cleaning, conservation and identification of a variety of ceramics/sherds. Through a combination of lectures, excavations and workshops, the students will gain knowledge of the differences between various types of ceramics, learn how to draw and illustrate ceramics for publication and evaluate how interpretation of a ceramic assemblage is influenced by the depositional processes that led to its inclusion in the archaeological record.
The second part of the course will see students receiving instruction on photographing ceramics, highlighting the problems of taking close-up views of small objects and a variety of solutions that permit good artefact photography using a range of equipment. The students will practice taking photographs of ceramics with a variety of equipment in a variety of configurations. Students will be asked via an essay to access the impact of social and economic changes on the types of ceramics found at a selected number of archaeological sites in Ireland.
1 Identify an assemblage of late and post-medieval ceramics
2 Excavate, record and draw ceramics from archaeological contexts
3 Complete context recording sheets and photograph ceramics using various scales
4 Record artefacts as they are found and package them correctly for later analysis
References for SS1110 Ceramics Course 2020 (2 weeks course)
Callaghan, Claire and Colin Breen. “Investigations on the Taymouth Castle, a 19thCentury Composite Ship Lost off the Coast of Northern Ireland” Centre for Maritime Archaeology, University of Ulster. Unpublished manuscript.
Godden, G. A. 1963. British Pottery and Porcelain 1780-1850. A.S. Barnes and Company
Godden, G.A. 1990. The Handbook of British Pottery and Porcelain Marks. Barrie and Jenkins, London.
Griffiths, Dorothy M. 1978. “Use marks on Historic Ceramics: A Preliminary Study.” Historical Archaeology vol. 12
Hunter, Robert R., Jr. and Miller, George L. 1994. English Shell-Edged Earthenware. Antiques 1994, 432-443.
Kelly, Henry, Arnold Kowalski, Dorothy Kowalski. 2001. Spongeware 1835-1935.
Majewski Teresita and Michael J. O’Brien. 1987. The Use and Misuse of Nineteenth-Century English and American Ceramics in Archaeological Analysis. In Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 11. Edited by Michael Schiffer. Academic Press, New York, 98-209.
McSparron, Cormac. 2012. “The medieval coarse pottery of Ulster”, Journal of Irish Archaeology20, 99-119.
Miller, George L. 1980. Classification and Economic Scaling of 19thCentury Ceramics. Historical Archaeology14:1-40.
Miller, George L. 1991. A Revised Set of CC Index Values for Classification and Economic Scaling of English Ceramics from 1787 to 1880. Historical Archaeology25: 1-25.
Miller, George L. and Robert R. Hunter Jr. 2001. How Creamware got the Blues. In Ceramics in America,edited by Robert R. Hunter. Chipstone Foundation, Milwaukee, 135-161.
Noel-Hume, Ivor. 1978. A Guide to Artefacts of Colonial America. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
White, Fiona, 2006. Post-Medieval Pottery: An assemblage of Post-Medieavl Local wares from Merchants Road, Galway. Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society. Volume 58, 176-184
- Accommodation is available from Saturday to Saturday. Fees include tuition, self-catering accommodation, and transport to and from the site.