Pottery as a source of structural information

Internal structure and external contacts of Uppåkra 0-400 AD

By Ole Stilborg


The present article deals with the potential of pottery as an archaeological material for elucidating the structure of activities on Iron Age settlement sites as well as with the structural development and contacts of Uppåkra seen from a ceramic viewpoint. Pottery by the vitue of being ubiquituos and richly diverse in making and use, make up important remnants of household and craft activities, and is, furthermore, conditioned as refuse (crushed, removed, reused) by the same activities. An excavated area of the Uppåkra cultural layers is analysed to reveal the nature of the activities that went on and possible changes in the activity pattern. Comparisons are made to earlier analyses in other parts of Uppåkra and to other Iron Age sites in southwest Scania. Changing relations to other sites in the region and to other parts of southern Scandinavia are discussed. The picture emerging is one of the upcomming central place Uppåkra characterised by increased internal structural control and broadening external contacts during the Late Roman Iron Age.

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