Institute of Archaeology


Ceramic Technology Research Network

The Ceramic Technology Research 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.

Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, network activities for 2021-22 will be held online via a dedicated MSTeams channel. Please contact Patrick Quinn if you are interested in joining the network or have an idea for a network virtual event.

Network events