Integrating the potter’s wheel in narratives of long-term socio-economic change in the western Mediterranean

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


The early Iron Age in the western Mediterranean saw the intensification of long-distance trade stimulated by Phoenician commerce. The potter’s wheel is a technological innovation that is tightly bound to such processes of intensification of production and exchange. Pottery workshops were part of a new landscape of production in which agricultural products, oil, salt and garum were produced alongside the wheel-made containers in which they were transported. Wheel-made pottery is therefore an important class of artifacts that reflects socio-economic change and the context in which this technology was first employed marks a radical shift in how pottery production was organised. Despite the significant transformation the spread of wheel-made pottery might reflect, the impact of this technology on the working lives of people across this region remains rarely addressed in the context of this study.
This presentation will discuss different socio-economic motivations underpinning the adoption and spread of the potter’s wheel in the western Mediterranean and consider its impact on the organisation of ceramic production and social divisions of labour. It will consider how the prevalence of wheel-made pottery reflects regional variation in the response of different groups to the economic opportunities presented by long-distance trade and consider how such responses correspond to social hierarchies.
Period7 Sept 2021
Event titleEAA annual meeting: European Association of Archaeologists
Event typeConference
LocationKielShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational