Institute of Archaeology


Ceramic Technology Network

The Ceramic Technology Network brings together Institute of Archaeology staff and early stage researchers interested in the study of ancient ceramic technology. The purpose of the network is to organise focused group activities that cross-cut the wide chronological and geographic coverage of UCL archaeological ceramics research.

The network's interest covers earthenware pottery and high-fired glazed ceramics, as well as a range of other related material such as architectural ceramics, refractories and plaster-based artefacts. In keeping with the Institute's strong profile in scientific material analysis, the network is particularly interested in archaeometric approaches to archaeological ceramics such ceramic compositional and microstructural analysis. However, traditional macroscopic approaches are also encouraged, as well as experimental and ethnographic perspectives.

Technology is central to the study of archaeological ceramics as well as being a fascinating and very informative enterprise in itself. For example, geological provenance determination via compositional data is strongly affected by the technological choices that can alter the mineralogical and chemical signatures of ceramics. This gives the Ceramic Technology Network a wide remit and a relevance to most Institute of Archaeology staff.

The network makes use of the Institute's well equipped materials science and conservation laboratories, as well as its excellent in-house artefact collections. Its activities also extend beyond UCL in the form of fieldwork, experimental reconstruction and collaboration with other institutions. Network members meet on a termly basis to share their research and engage in theoretical and technical debate.

The research network has signed an MoU with the Competence Center Archeometry-Baden Wuerttemberg (CCA-BW) at the University of Tübingen to encourage academic cooperation through research and teaching in the field of scientific archaeological ceramic analysis.

If you are interested in joining or have an idea for a network event then please get in touch.

Network events

  • Lecture by Enora Gandon (UCL) on Individuals Among the Pots: How Do Traditional Ceramic Shapes Vary Between Potters? - 3 June 2019
  • Workshop on Illustrating Archaeological Ceramics - 1 April 2019
  • Lecture by Ben Stern (University of Bradford) on Organic Residue Analysis - 21 January 2019
  • Research Network Christmas Lecture by Maja Mise (UCL) on Adriatic Connections: Amphorae Production, Distribution and Trade in the Pre-Roman Period - 10 December 2018
  • Lecture by Natalia Lozada Mendieta (UCL) on Geochemical Characterisation of Pre-Colonial Ceramics from the Atures Rapids Middle Orinoco, Venezuela - 7 September 2018
  • Lecture by Ian Freestone (UCL) on A Brief History of Ceramic Glazes, 4000BCE-1800CE - 31 May 2018
  • Lecture by Maria Dikomitou (UCL) on Matching styles and fabrics: Ceramic trends in Early and Middle Bronze Age Cyprus - 23 April 2018
  • Lecture by Vangelio Kiriatzi (Fitch Laboratory, British School at Athens) on Multiscale Analysis of Mediterranean Ceramic Landscapes - 8 February 2018
  • Research Network Christmas Lecture by Ina Berg (University of Manchester) on To Throw or not to Throw: Exploring Pottery Forming Techniques with X-radiography and Computed Tomography - 13 December 2017
  • Lecture by Detlef Wilke (Independent Researcher) on High-throughput, non-destructive pXRF analysis for ceramic provenancing - prerequisites and limits - 16 March 2017
  • Workshop on Statistical Exploration of Ceramic Geochemical Data - 28 April 2016
  • Lecture by Ian Jackson (Upchurch Archaeological Research Group) on Prehistoric to Medieval Intertidal Archaeology of the Medway Estuary, Kent, with Special Reference to Ceramic Finds - 2 March 2016
  • Lecture by Chen Sian Lim (UCL/Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore) on The East is Calling: Trade and Exchange of Ceramics in Southeast Asia (AD 1400s-1800s) - 10 December 2015
  • Lecture by Lisa Peloschek (Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna) on Beyond regionalism. Foreign elements in the ceramic repertoire of Çukuriçi Höyük (Western Anatolia) - 11 November 2015
  • Lecture by Andreas Angourakis (University of Barcelona) on Exploring Pottery Fabrics as Extensive Multivariate Objects. A Comparison of Different Datasets and Ordination Techniques - 24 July 2015
  • Ceramic Technology Research Network Annual Lecture - 10 July 2015
  • Pottery Handling Session - 1 April 2015
  • Christmas Lunch and Network Meeting - 10 December 2014
  • A one day workshop exploring principles and applications of x-ray diffraction of archaeological ceramics and clay - 6 November 2014
  • International Workshop on: Tracing Pottery Making Recipes in the Balkans, 6th - 4th millennium BC. Belgrade, Serbia - 19-20 September 2014