Conference – Exploring Specialisation through Ceramic Technology and Use – June 2018

Conference – Exploring Specialisation through Ceramic Technology and Use – June 2018

28 June 2018, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge. 

Call for Papers – OPEN: 

Abstracts (250 words) for talks (15 min each) and posters will be accepted until 15 April 2018. Please, get in touch with Dr Vanessa Forte and Alessandro Ceccarelli – Please, download the call for papers HERE

Free registration – OPEN:

We will be able to host a maximum of 60 guests. The event is free, but in order to secure your place, we recommend to register by visiting following link: REGISTRATION. You can also send an email to: Alessandro Ceccarelli – The conference booklet will soon be available here: it includes location, abstracts and conference program.

ACSG Conference June 2018 Specialisation


After the first ACSG Conference “Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ceramic Analysis” organized the 30th of June 2017 by the Ancient Ceramics Studies Group at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, we are pleased to announce a new event dedicated to craft specialisation in prehistoric communities.

Specialisation is a concept often explored in archaeology due to its social inferences. Analysing the organisation of ceramic production can reveal how ancient communities came in contact,  and in which way people perceived themselves within societies. In prehistoric communities, the role of specialists in systems of production is far from being understood, and it largely depends on the various meanings given to the concept of specialisation. The term can be defined in an economic perspective, where specialists are engaged in full-time activities and are dependent to group’s demands; it can refer to individuals able to access to knowledge and ability which sets them apart from the rest of the group; or it can concern exclusive activities, such as the production of objects for specific functions and activities. A discussion about such a concept can benefit from a comparison between prehistoric archaeological case studies from different geographic areas and from a variety of methodological approaches.
The one-day conference will be opened by one keynote lecture introducing the theme and the call for papers welcomes all scholars working on this topic.

The conference will be open (free) to non-speakers, but seats should be booked in advanced (on Eventbrite, online form or email);

Venues will be explored to publish summaries of the presented papers; further details will be provided in April 2018. Speakers will be asked to be video recorded. If willing to give such contribution, their talks will be live broadcasted via Periscope and/or permanently uploaded to the website (likely via SMS Streaming Media Service, University of Cambridge).

More details are also available on the Facebook group of the Ancient Ceramic Studies Group (link here).

Past Meeting – Archaeological Ceramic Materials Beyond Academia – 17 January 2017

Past Meeting – Archaeological Ceramic Materials Beyond Academia – 17 January 2017

Second Meeting: Archaeological Ceramic Materials Beyond Academia

Tuesday 17th January 2017 at 2-3pm, South Lecture Room, Division of Archaeology, Cambridge.

We have great news for you all! The ACSGroup has been awarded a prize from the McDonald Institute and the Division of Archaeology. We submitted a proposal for organising a one-day conference at University of Cambridge and it was successful: “ACSG First Annual Meeting: Multidisciplinary Approaches to Ceramic Analyses”. Congratulations!
Please, get in touch and let us know if you want to help to organise this event, which will happen in June 2017. We will very likely need as much help as possible. There will be plenty of things to do!  

The Second ACSG Meeting (Archaeological ceramic materials beyond academia) was a success. Thank you everybody for joining us and for your contributions. A special thanks goes to Dr Kate Beats, Cambridge Archaeological Unit, who presented her talk ‘Ceramics in Commercial Archaeology’.

The second half of the ACSG Meeting was dedicated to a debate on ‘Standards for Pottery Studies in Archaeology’ – We discussed the PDFs available on the new website (Menu – References) produced by PCRG, SGRP, MPRG and CIfA. Please check the website to read the documents: automatic alt text available.

3. Our new website is online at – ACSG Suggested Bibliography was uploaded to guide people who want to approach this discipline for the first time. New sections include: ´’Drawing Ancient Pottery’, ‘Web Sources’ and ´Standards for Pottery Studies´.  Let us know if you have suggestions or comments to improve the website.

Link to the ACSG Facebook group: 
Link to subscribe to the Mailing List:

Alessandro Ceccarelli, MA, PCIfA, PhD (student)

Past Meeting – A Group for Ceramic Specialists in Cambridge – 7 Dec 2016

Past Meeting – A Group for Ceramic Specialists in Cambridge – 7 Dec 2016

Dear pottery nerds,
It was great to see so many new faces at the first ACS meeting. We are now defining the nature of the group, which seems to have good potential, and we all agree ACS should tend to be a platform for learning and sharing practical skills. It was good to meet representatives from the Division of Archaeology, Faculty of Classics, Cambridge Unit and freelance archaeologists as well. A summary of the first meeting follows:
  1. A weekly bulletin will be sent to notify ACS members about conferences, job opportunities, new papers, events, etc.;
  2. A Dropbox folder has been set up for sharing articles and materials on specific methods and approaches to the study of ceramic artefacts. Please, let us know if you want to help with gathering interesting stuff (we better check regulation about it… we do not want to end up infringing dozens of rules after only one week).
  3. The group will exist beyond formal meetings. Please, do get in touch or send emails anytime you need to talk or ask questions, which will be redirected to the experts of the ACS group;
  4. Meetings will be arranged once a month during academic terms;
  5. ACS group is a training platform. We would like to work mainly on methodologies and theories (technology, craft, creativity, social aspects). More specifically, the following topics have been mentioned: stylistic analysis; petrography; categorising sherds; technology and typology; drawings; figurines vs pots; volumetric analysis; export and sampling strategies; time limits to process your finds; scientific analysis (FTIR, XRD, XRF);
  6. We are currently submitting funding applications for supporting the ACS conference in June 2017. Please, get in touch if you want/ can help. Suggestions for the keynote speaker(s)?
  7. Job and volunteering opportunities will be advertised on the Facebook page and via Mailing List.
  8. Projects: (1) collaboration with Commercial Unit (experimental works; firing pottery; etc.); (2) electric kiln in the Department: do we need it? Where? Space and funding? (3) Pottery wheel: ask Dr John Rob, Dr Cameron Petrie, Dr Simon Stoddart; (4) collaboration with Material Culture lab;
  9. Pottery classes (Danika Parikh): Different potters offer classes in Cambridge. Check details here:… – and also here…
  10. Get in touch with the Fitzwilliam Museum, Museum of Classics, and MAA to collaborate together.
  11. Volunteers? Anyone willing to help the ACS group, please feel free to get in touch.
  12. Next ACS event? First half of January 2017! Stay tuned.

Upcoming Events:

  • UKAS, UK Archaeological Science. 12 July 2016 UCL Institute of Archaeology. Abstract deadline: 31 December 2016.…
  • EMAC2017: European Meeting on Ancient Ceramics – 6-9 Sep 2017 Bordeaux (France). Deadline: 31 January 2017.
  • 17 Feb 2017. Communities of Practice, Communities of Style. Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden, Netherlands.…
  • 23rd EAA Conference 2017 29 August – 3 September 2017, Maastricht. European Association of Archaeologists
  • 24-05-2017, LRCW6 – Sixth International Conference on Late Roman Coarse Wares, Cooking Wares and Amphorae in the Mediterranean: Archaeology and Archaeometry.…
  • British School of Athens: The program of the BSA courses in 2017 is now available. In addition to the regular potterycourse at knossos, the undergraduate summercourse, the epigraphycourse, and the petrology to be announced, the BSA is please to introduce a new intensive two-week course on linearB and Mycenaean Greek. Further information on our website.