National Plan. 2016-2018

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National Plan. 2016-2018
Mediaeval ceramic production and technology in Galicia
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  • Project Description

    Project title.

    Mediaeval ceramic production and technology in Galicia


    HAR2015-64441-P - 2015-PN063. Plan Nacional. 2016-2018.


    National Programme for Basic Research Projects, Ministry of the Economy and Competitiveness, Spanish Government.

    Research Group

    Sincrisis. Department of History I. University of Santiago de Compostela

    Head Researcher

    M. Pilar Prieto Martínez


    M. Pilar Prieto Martínez

    Oscar F. Lantes Suárez

    Jose Carlos Sánchez Pardo


    Laboratorio de Patrimonio, Paleoambiente e Paisaxe y Departamento de Historia (USC)

    Unidade de Arqueometría (USC)

    Dpto Edafoloxía e Química Agrícola (USC)

    Estela Arqueoloxía

    Sección de Tomografía De Rayos X

    Plataforma Tecnolóxica Sistema de Información Territorial (SIT), Lugo. USC.


    The aim of this project is to produce a global study of mediaeval ceramics in Galicia, which have only been characterised to a limited extent in the north-west Iberian peninsula. We will examine it from a novel inter-disciplinary approach, analysing the ceramics from a formal and technological perspective using archaeological and archaeometric methods, as well as from a contextual, chronological and territorial perspective. The purpose is to verify if there are any clearly defined ceramic traditions, and if there are, to situate them within the levels studied in order to evaluate their possible social implications.

    A total of 17 sites have been selected for the study, based on the quality of their record, of which 8 will be studied systematically.

    We aim to refute the idea that mediaeval pottery is homogenous at temporal and spatial level, based on the hypothesis that the socio-economic context is what conditioned its production and technology, resulting in diverse formal and technological characteristics. In order to contrast this hypothesis, the following general goals are proposed in this project:

    1-To characterise at morphological and typological level the pottery studied from between the eighth and sixteenth centuries, using different complementary methods.

    2-To study the pottery within the context of the sites where it is found at different levels.

    3-To carry out an archaeometric characterisation of a selection of pottery, in order to complete our knowledge of the technology involved in its production.

    4-To use a Global Information System to study whether there is any production subject to traditions depending on the territory

    5-To make a comprehensive comparison of all of the results obtained

    6-To divulge the results of the research

    In line with these objectives, the tasks to be carried out are organised into 6 blocks: 1) the archaeological study of the pottery, carrying out a detailed process of describing, illustrating and analysing the results; 2) studying the sites, incorporating detailed radiocarbon, stratigraphic and cartographic information in order to better understand the pottery; 3) an archaeometric study of the pottery, selecting 66 representative samples from the regional pottery as a whole and 20 additional glazed luxury items (using TAC, DRX, XRF, C/N and SEM-EDX as analytical techniques); and 4) The territorial study will involve working with information through GIS tools, both the information from the sites and the pottery. The final interpretation, including a comparison of the results obtained with others that already exist in the region and other parts of the Iberian Peninsula, and the divulgation of the results comprise the final stages of the project.

    This project will play a vital role in stimulating archaeological and archaeometric research on mediaeval pottery that is still at an early stage in Galicia, and to continue strengthening the line of research on the archaeometry of prehistoric and historic pottery underway at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

    Project Details
    • Client
    • Date29 Aug 2017
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