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Make it and Break it: the cycle of pottery.

A study of the technology, form, function, and use of pottery from the settlements Uitgeest-Groot Dorregeest and Schagen-Muggenburg 1, Roman Period, North-Holland, the Netherlands

A.A. Abbink
01 January 1999
Make it and break it: the cycles of pottery


In this study, the different aspects of making and using ceramic vessels are examined as mutually related and grounded in cultural practice. In the research model, following structural theory in combination with ethnographic information, the gap between technological and function studies is bridged into an approach based on daily practices of the makers and users, proposing the type of structural connections that can be made between the choices of the pastes, the range of forms and the type of surface finishing with the 'formal' as well as actual uses of the vessels. The development of suitable methods and techniques to study such mutual relationships, at the level of cultural practices, is of one the main purposes and as such, this study has a much wider relevance than the actual data. These data concern material of two roman iron age settlements, one of which includes a clear ritual use of pottery. Several functional categories are determined through formal analyses, while the actual uses were studied independently through residue analyses. The author was also able to make a distinction between pottery made for every-day-use and that for ritual use, which is expressed mainly through differences in technical qualities.

ISBN: 90-76368-05-8

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