Station: [16] Pottery

Up until the 9th century, each household made its own clay pots. The clay was coiled in layers, and laid, shaped and dried. This technique is called layer ceramics.

The pots are then baked in pits at low temperatures. Due to their uneven surface, it is difficult to embellish them. They also fracture very easily.

All other crafts which you can see in the following cabinets also originated from housework.

With the emergence of the town forts in the 10th century, the demand for and trade with durable goods increased. Housework developed into craftsmanship. Specialized craftsmen now made products for external demand and earned their living this way. The splendid Oldenburg ceramics shown in this cabinet, even found by archaeologists in Byzantium, is just one example of this development.

Specializing of pottery craftsmanship began with harder baking of the pots and their shaping on a rotating base, the forerunner of our present-day potter’s wheel. The reset pots were decorated in combed ornament patterns. To do this, the potter used a potter’s comb with prongs. If you turned the potter’s wheel faster, the prongs left a deeper groove in the surface, so-called band chamfers.

Signs of specialization also include the potter’s trade name on the bottom of the pot. You can see some examples of these on the board at the right side of the cabinet.