Dating ceramic artifacts
The following is a basic introduction to pottery in archaeology, focusing particularly on the ceramics of the medieval period.The bibliography at the end provides references to more detailed and comprehensive sources.Highly decorated tableware, including fine red and whitewares, were available during the Early Roman period.Imported wares, such as fine red samian from Gaul, were popular, and wheelmade pottery was manufactured in Britain.
But, the date on the Malinese pots are a little suspicious, as they were dated from the sediments, not by thermo-luminesence or carbon dating.
Still, it does seem North Africa/the Saharan people discovered pottery independently.
It seems possible the Europeans picked it up pot making from the East of them and not Africa, as the pottery traditions are quite different to North African ones in the Earliest European sites.
The similarity between Iron Age and Saxon pottery, particularly in East Anglia, can cause problems where no other dating evidence is available.
There is a large amount of archaeological evidence for the pottery industry from the Middle Saxon period onwards, in the form of products and production sites.It was a family industry, continuing through generations.Clay pits were usually dug quite close to the kiln, on the peasant's croft or common.Whilst some areas, such as Cornwall, continued to import fine pottery from the Continent, other areas reverted to handmade vessels in similar forms to those of the pre-Roman Iron Age.