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The Development of the Laboratory in Brief

The Laboratory for Ceramic Research was founded in 1972 by Birgitta Hulthén. The start was very modest in a space barely harbouring a furnace, a microscope, some sieves and a balance. The necessary funding for the procurement of this basic equipment was generously granted then and onwards by private foundations, of which the Knut & Alice Wallenbergs foundation ought to be specially mentioned.

Since we followed a new path of research in scandinavian archaeology, new methods and techniques had to be learned. Invaluable help came from Professor Frederick Matson, Penn State University in USA. He demonstrated the basic investigation methods and pointed to fields of particular interest suitable as a beginner's starting point. For several years Dr. Matson unselfishly functioned as our distant mentor and tutor.
Naturally, the laboratory is indebted to a wide range of research colleagues in Sweden and elsewhere for their personal support and continued interest in our activities. In memoriam we would like to mention Professor, Dr. Dagmar Selling, who was an outstanding source of inspiration not least through her pioneering thesis "Wikingerzeitliche und frühmittelalterliche Keramik in Schweden".

On top of our initial basic research we also took on small and mostly unpaid local commissions, which significantly added to our overall experience. Through studying and applying various natural sciences outside the field of archaeology and combining them with practical knowledge in pottery manufacture we gradually widened the scope of our laboratory activities.

In 1977 the laboratory became a sub-unit of the Department of Quaternary Geology.

Today, almost 45 years later, we have at our disposal a spacious up-to-date laboratory with dedicated localities for thermal analysis, microscopy, chemistry and other analytical procedures. We also have workshops for applied experiments.

As part of the "National Research Resources" programme we are now involved in various national and international projects. Our research involve ceramics from any of the periods from the Late Mesolithic up to modern time. Geographically, research materials has come from the northernmost provinces of Norway down to the southern parts of Africa like Zimbabwe, Mozambiqueand and Sout Africa , from the Islands of the Pacific Ocean in the East to the Andes in the west.

For further reference, please follow the links under "Current Projects"

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