Beginnings of potter’s wheel in medieval Czech-Moravian Highlands

Authors

TĚSNOHLÍDKOVÁ Kateřina SLAVÍČEK Karel

Year of publication 2020
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Citation
Description The paper aims to consider adaptation of two new technologies in pottery making which were fast potter’s wheel and pottery kilns in the region of Czech-Moravian highlands. The study is based on archaeological finds of several kilns dated to the end of the 13th and the beginning of the 14th century. The region is situated in the middle of the Czech Republic and was sparsely populated before colonization during the 13th century. The colonization brought these innovations and also social changes which led to transformation of pottery production into a professional craft. The former forming technique – coiling – and firing in an opened or temporary firing devices were still in use during the colonization period. Means of implementing the new technologies have been the main question in the high and late medieval pottery research for decades. Part of the incoming settlers certainly had the knowledge of the wheel throwing, but were probably unable to use it properly since they had to deal with local clay properties first. Lower purity and quality of some clays could have made them inapplicable to be used for wheel throwing. This problem was overcome with implementation wheel forming. With this technique the basic body shape of a pot was built with coils first, then the shape was finished using a rotation kinetic energy. The question of the beginning of kiln using is also discussed here. Archaeological evidence shows the potters were unable to use the full potential of the first kilns. Instead of using the kilns ability of thermal cumulation, the pots were fired probably fast or low temperature.
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