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Sharganova O.L., Kurmanovskiy V.S. On the Production Techniques of Early Wheel-made Ceramics in Smolensk

Published in journal "History magazine: researches", 2016-6 in rubric "Historical sources and artifacts", pages 695-702.

Resume: The ceramics from Smolensk dating to the end of the 10th first half of the 12th century have features that approximate them to the early wheel-made ceramics of Gnyozdovo, as well as to the later Ancient Rus ceramics. For the study of ceramic production techniques, a small collection of vessels from the named period found during excavations on the territory of Smolensk in 2013 was presented. A general description of this type of ceramics can be found in pertinent literature, however, the present focused study has helped to identify several more particuliarities of these ceramics production techniques. The technical study of ceramics was conducted according to the method of A. A. Bobrinsky within the framework of a historical-cultural approach. The authors examined the preparatory stage of pottery making, including the selection and preparation of raw materials and preparing of the body. The study has revealed that the predominant tradition was to use white clay that contained little amount of sand as accessory and to make the body according to the recipe: clay + broken stone + organic solution. The rare tradition of preparation of body has also been attested following the recipe: clay + sand + organic solution. The comparison of the discovered findings with the material from Gnyozdovo of the 10th beginning of the 11th century has shown that in Gnyozdovo and Smolensk during certain stages of their history there had inhabited population groups that had similar pottery traditions. The analysis of the ceramics from Gnyozdovo of the 12th beginning of the 13th century has revealed the diffusion of new traditions, above all of new traditions in making body following the recipe: clay + sand + organic solution.

Keywords: Smolensk, Gnyozdovo, Early Medieval ceramics, Ancient Rus ceramics, Ancient pottery, pottery making, historical-cultural approach, pottery making traditions, raw materials, body compositions

DOI: 10.7256/2222-1972.2016.6.19194

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