An international group of ceramics specialists gathered in Orkney this week as part of the Looking in from the Edge (LIFTE) research project.
They were joined by the UHI Archaeology Institute staff to examine the entire assemblage of imported late medieval and early post medieval pottery from Orkney.
LIFTE is investigating Orkney and Shetland’s place in 15-18th century European trade networks and the imported pottery reveals much about these.
Among the sites covered were Skaill farm, Rousay, several places in Kirkwall, and the Earl’s Palace, Birsay.
The team not only identified pottery from eastern England and mainland Scotland, but from Northern Germany (e.g. the Rhineland area around Frechen and Cologne), Southern Scandinavia and even France (two sherds found at Skaill).
The visitors left for Shetland on Thursday, where they were joined by LIFTE research masters student, Farrah Skimani, to do the same with its material.
The LIFTE team was made up of:
- Dan Lee, Chris Gee, Jenny Murray, Dr Jen Harland, Dr Siobhan Cooke and Dr Sarah Jane Gibbon (UHI Archaeology Institute)
- Natascha Mehler, Karl Linden and Anton Miegel (Tübingen University, Germany)
The international ceramics experts were:
- Michiel Bartels (Netherlands)
- Frauke Witte (Denmark)
- Volker Demuth (Germany and Norway)
- Derek Hall (England, Scotland)
- Torbjörn Brorsson (Sweden)