Archaeological Pottery Research Workshop

November 2013

At the Bennachie centre, Chapel of Garioch the Bailies of Bennachie room was full to capacity on Sunday.

The event was a potsherd (pottery pieces) analysis workshop and attracted archaeologists, archaeology students and enthusiasts many of whom have been involved in the shovel pitting excavations around the sites of the 19th century colony dwellings on Bennachie during the summer as part of the Bennachie Landscapes Project.
The session was led by Graeme Cruickshank, an expert of some renown in 18th,19th and 20th century pottery.

Aberdeenshire born Graeme now of Edinburgh Historical Enterprises became ever more interested in ancient pottery after he finished his university studies in archaeology and decided he wanted to continue his research.

For Sunday’s workshop he had brought along just some of his own huge collection of interesting 18th and 19th century pottery, in particular the artefacts which he considered to be of particular relevance to the Bennachie colony sites.
The analysis workshop was hosted by Dr Jeff Oliver from the department of archaeology, Aberdeen university who invited Graeme to lead the session having heard of his expertise in the pottery field.Said Graeme: “I think I find old pottery fascinating because it has a social context in that it can tell such a lot about the lives of the people who used it. ”Among the pieces he showed the gathering was a quaint collection of bowls ranging from the humble porridge bowl to larger items such as tureens, the huge redware vessel used for the preserving of eggs and the fancy decorated ashets, probably for special occasions only.

Aberdeen University’s department of archaeology have commissioned Graeme to publish a handbook on his research which will be used as a guide in the task of detailed analysis of the colony assemblage.

After a clearly successful day Jeff Oliver said: "We are certainly hoping to have Graeme back to help us with our on-going research on Bennachie."

The project has funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and has the support of the Bailies of Bennachie.

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