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Form, Function And Technology In Pottery Production From Late Antiquity To The Early Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the development of ceramic technology from the 4th to the 8th century A.D., in both the East and West Mediterranean areas. It outlines the competence of Late Roman ceramics, dominated by African producers, with some evidence of innovation in decoration in the West. Change occurs from the 5th century onwards, in different regions at different times, connected to the dislocation of markets and the end of large scale production. Large areas of the North return to the local production of hand-made pottery, whilst in the Mediterranean wheel-thrown pottery also becomes cruder. Continuity is greatest in the Levantine regions under Islam, though not in Africa. However, innovations are still known, including clibani and the use of glazes. Pottery produced in Late Antiquity was, on the whole, of good quality, differing little from that made during the Republic and Early Roman Empire.

Keywords: Africa; ceramic technology; Late Antiquity; Late Roman; Mediterranean areas; pottery production



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