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Third-party-funded project

Title:
Provenance studies on Medieval Yellow Earthenware from Lübeck (NW Germany)

Project management at the University of Würzburg:

Participating scientists:

Abstract:
Medieval yellow earthenware excavated in Lübeck is characterised by a small number but many dif-ferent functional types and forms that do not occur within other local wares (medieval grey and red earthenware). From both its striking peculiarity and its restricted presence the yellow earthenware was hitherto assumed to be imported.
The mineralogical and geochemical investigation of 32 settlement finds and 8 sherds of red earthen-ware from potteries at the Koberg and Kleine Burgstraße gives evidence, however, that both wares have a similar composition. The significantly higher CaO content in the yellow earthenware indicates a production from marl, which thus allows to discriminate this ware against yellow earthenware of Lower Saxony, the Lower Rhine as well as the regions of Northern France and Flamia (Andenne) that were all produced from CaO-poor clays. Thus the raw material for yellow earthenware is very likely to be the unweathered CaO-rich marls of the glacio-lacustrine sediments of the Lübeck Ice Lake (Upper Ice Lake Clay or Lower Ice Lake Clay), that are outcropping in the eldest part of Lü-beck. In spite of the wide occurrence of glacio-lacustrine sediments in the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, yellow earthenware has not yet been found in Danish production sites so far, so that a local produc-tion of this ware in Lübeck or surroundings appears to be very likely.

Key words:
    Archaeometry
    Lübeck
    Yellow Earthenware
    Thin section investigations
    Geochemistry
    XRF
    Andenne ware

Projekt period: from 01.2002 to 12.2002

Funding institution:
Sonstige öffentliche Mittel

Publications: