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Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Ceramics in Circulation

Medieval Pottery Research Group  Annual 1st–4th June 2018, University of Brussels

Call for Papers

In June 2018 the Medieval Pottery Research Group will hold its annual conference at the University of Brussels, on the subject of ‘Ceramics in Circulation’.

The examination of patterns of pottery distribution forms a major part of ceramic studies. For the medieval and post-medieval periods, pottery distribution has informed discussion of trade and production, the transmission of cultural influences and technical knowledge, and patterns of discard. 

This conference aims to move beyond dots on maps and the enumeration of imported goods to explore the dynamics behind the movement of pottery. How and why do pots end up where they are found? And what does that tell us about the societies in which they were circulating?

The committee invites 20-minute papers addressing any aspect of the circulation of ceramics in north-west Europe and beyond, in the medieval and post-medieval periods. 

Possible themes include:
  •  The movement of ceramics between Britain and the Continent 
  •  The means of distribution both by sea (ports, emporia, coastal redistribution, marine trading networks, etc) and by land (transport, marketing, etc) 
  •  Non-trade-related means of distribution (gifts, souvenirs, personal possessions, etc) 
  •  The impact of patterns of discard on spatial distribution 
  •  Distribution of ceramic technologies and fashions (e.g the influence of imported ceramics on indigenous wares, and how technology is learnt and passed on) 
  •  The historical evidence for pottery distribution 
  •  The circulation of pottery within and between households, related to behaviour and use

Please submit an abstract of no more than 150 words to Lorraine Mepham, MPRG Meetings Secretary, by 1st February 2018 (

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