Pottery and emporia : imported pottery in Middle Saxon England with particular reference to Ipswich
This thesis looks at the problems of trade and exchange in the Middle Saxon period (AD 650- 850), using, as a case study, the imported pottery excavated in Ipswich over the past 20 years. Richard Hodges' study of the imported pottery from Hamwic was taken as the starting point, although his work deals almost exclusively with pottery from France. Much more of the Ipswich material originated in the Rhineland, and it is postulated that these two emporia were operating under different trade diasporas. The context of the trade in pottery and other imported goods is discussed with reference to anthropological research into long distance trade and exchange. The social position of the traders and who they were is discussed. Part II deals with the trading settlements themselves. The roles of the four major English emporia of Ipswich, Hamwic, London and York are examined, and their chronology, archaeological evidence and imported ceramics are considered. The relationship between the English emporia and their continental counterparts is discussed, and four of the major continental emporia are described. Part III describes the methodology used for analysing the ceramics, and gives detailed descriptions of the main types recovered at Ipswich. The macroscopic and thin-section analyses are described, and the problems of the various ceramic types, in particular the northern French Black wares and Tating ware, are discussed. The appendices give details of the thin-section analysis undertaken. In Part IV the implications of the sequence and origins of imported pottery are discussed for England in general, and for Ipswich and East Anglia in particular. The changing roles of the emporia within their societies are discussed The problems of coinage, gift-exchange and the development of markets and a monetary economy are examined in Chapter 7, looking at the problems of using ceramics as a means of understanding social and economic development.