The laboratory for Ceramic Research (KFL) at Lund University has, since the beginning of the seventies, worked with all kinds of ceramic objects from prehistoric and historic contexts not only from Scandinavian countries, but from several other parts of Europe, Africa and South America as well.
Fundamental to the work at KFL is the description of production and use of the objects analysed, from the viewpoint of producer and consumer. The different methods of analysis we use are chosen and modified to this end, and furthermore applied in relation to type of material and to the specific culture historical research questions. This entails that an analysis may proceed through several levels employing increasingly sophisticated methods depending on the research problem. First the basic data on macroscopical variables such as shape, ware, surface treatment, colour etc. are documented and treated statistically. These results may often answer the research questions and no further analyses are needed. If not, the next level of analysis is employed. Here we use methods, that provide rich results on the ceramic craft as well as geological parameters, which may be interpreted from the viewpoint of the producer and the consumer of the ceramic artefact. In the following level the analyse is aimed at chemical-mineralogical descriptions of the raw materials.
The KFL analysis pyramid
- Starting point.Problem area. Project definition.
- Inspection of the invstigation material
- Planning stage: Time, Economy, Staff etc.
- Training courses for the field archaeologists involved
- Recording, documentation, statistical analysis
- Microscopy of polished surfaces
- Typological studies
- Reconstruction of vessel shapes
- Prospecting of local clays. Clay investigations. Simulating manufacture
- Thin section microscopy
- Thermal analyses
- Proportional analyses
- Chemical analys
- Diatom analysis
- Occasional special analyses e.g. X-ray diff. analysis