Supervisor: Dr Fiona Beglane
Funding Body: Part-funded by Mayo Co. Council
Past societies used and produced ceramics in a social context where a system of meaning governed form, technique and use as well as the assignment of value. The study of pottery informs the archaeologist in a variety of ways. As well as reflecting social conditions it contributes to an understanding of trade and cross-cultural connections and can support our knowledge chronologically.
From the Late Bronze Age/Iron Age transition until circa AD1200 Ireland is regarded as ‘aceramic,’ meaning the use and production of pottery ceased for an extended period of time until indigenous pottery began to emerge once more, influenced by the arrival of the Anglo-Normans.
This research will examine the ‘aceramic’ view by compiling data on indigenous and imported pottery in Ireland between 500BC and AD1200. It will use the newly-emerged data from the ‘boom years’ of archaeological excavation to provide a holistic and interdisciplinary study of pottery production, use and consumption in Ireland, from the Late Iron Age to the Middle Ages. This synthesis of indigenous and imported pottery will examine changing patterns and traditions across time. The result will be a reassessment of the term ‘aceramic’ and its relevance to pottery studies in an Irish context.