Populära kärl och användbara skärvor Spåren av återbrukad keramik i centralplatsen Uppåkras kärna

  • Sophie McAulay


Popular vessels and useful shards. Traces of use and recycling of pottery from the Iron Age site of Uppåkra in south Sweden.  

During the early migration period at the central settlement of Uppåkra, in south Sweden, people reused pottery shards as tools. As this is a fairly uncommon area of study regarding prehistoric Scandinavian pottery, the traces of use and recycling on pottery found in other prehistoric and historic contexts were compared to traces on these shards. This resulted in a discussion on possible areas of use for the reused pottery pieces, and what kind of reuse generates these traces. Several shards were interpreted as having been reused as tools of different kinds, and some types of pottery appear to have been more popular for this purpose, such as thin walled, slightly harder fired vessels. Signs of reuse on shards from pottery vessels include: thin vertical striations perpendicular to the fracture, beveled fracture surface, polish, discoloration, various forms of attrition, and retouching. The shards might have been utilized as scrapers or as a potter’s tool in the production of new vessels. The theory that pottery was seen as a resource even after a pot was broken, is confirmed by some small collections of unused and reused pottery shards that were located within the boundary of house no. 21 at Uppåkra.