Chronologies of a new mode of ceramic production: the spread of the fast potter’s wheel in Iron Age Iberia (1000 BC – 0 AD).

De Groot, B. (Speaker)

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The fast potter’s wheel was one of the most important innovations of the European Iron Age. Through its connection to mass production, trade and changing consumption practices, it reshaped the continents’ social and material worlds. Its spread, however, is marked by chronological unevenness, with some areas in Europe rapidly adopting the potter’s wheel, whilst others seemingly rejecting this technology. In the Iberian Peninsula the introduction of the fast potter’s wheel is associated with the appearance of Phoenician trade colonies on its Mediterranean and southern Atlantic coastline. The reasons for its uneven adoption in the rest of Iberia however is, as yet, poorly understood.
This presentation addresses the chronology of the spread of the fast potter’s wheel through the Iberian Peninsula during the first millennium BC to gain insights into the spatio-temporal contexts of its adoption. It also examines long-term fluctuations in the coexistence and replacement of different ceramic shaping methods in order to understand regional variation in the level at which the potter’s wheel supplanted existing modes of ceramic production.
The results demonstrate that areas where wheel-thrown pottery became prevalent also underwent transformations in agricultural production and consumption, demonstrating that the fast potter’s wheel was associated with the intensification of production. The regional variation that is observed in the prevalence of wheel-thrown pottery informs a further discussion about the integration of this innovation into regional craft traditions, and the extent to which new modes of pottery production coexisted with- or replaced pre-existing pottery technologies.
Period25 Nov 202028 Nov 2020
Event titleArchaeological Approaches to the Study of the Potter’s Wheel Conference
Event typeConference