A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology The Collections:
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum
· Early Europe & Near East
· Classical to Medieval
· Europe from 1500
· Oriental & Islamic



Aims & methodology of this re-assessment


Fig. 3.  The Brill/Boarstall ceramic tradition.  This vessel form, shown here from Well 4, copies a metal prototype




The aim of this reassessment exercise was to determine whether a modern approach to analysis of the assemblages could reveal more useful information -- most specifically regarding social patterning and chronology.  Bruce-Mitford's original work on this site enabled him to establish a datable sequence for medieval pottery for Oxford, the first firm datable pottery sequence for any medieval town (Gerrard 2002, 70) and this still forms the basis for the Oxford vessel form sequence today. The original ceramic research inspired Bruce-Mitford (1964) to set up a National Reference Collection of Dating Medieval Sherds at the British Museum in the 1960s.

This reassessment of the site has enabled the Medieval Fabric Type Series held at the Ashmolean Museum to be expanded further. A well-established recording procedure (see Orton, Tyers & Vince 1993) was used to record fabric, vessel form, size, decoration and glaze -- all of which were entered onto an Access database.  This formed the basic data set from which the tables shown below are drawn.  Each assemblage was then viewed in a wider perspective, incorporating evidence from the documentary record.  The unusually large number of complete vessel profiles present in this assemblage offered the rare opportunity to calculate vessel capacity -- from which we might glean insights into use, diversity of form and individual choice (Fig.3). Thirteen wells were reassessed. Wells 1,2,3,9,10,13 and part of well 12 had been excavated and present the most secure contexts. 

How was the site dug? List of Contents Historical documents
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