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.However, in the Middle and Late Saxon period (mid-7th to 11th centuries), many potteries were based in towns.Kilns are divided into single, double and multi-flue types. Several experimental kiln firings have been carried out.Occasionally whole vessels are found, particularly where they have been used as grave goods or cremation 'urns'.These are important in providing us with a type series of vessel forms, although broken vessels can be just as useful for this. The clay from which it is made often contains pieces of burnt flint or other stone and the pottery appears very coarse.Early Saxon pottery (5th to 7th century) was handmade, often locally produced and fired in clamps or bonfires.Forms produced included simple cooking pots and bowls, lamps and highly decorated 'urns' with incised lines and stamps in panels.
The bibliography at the end provides references to more detailed and comprehensive sources.
The study of pottery is an important branch of archaeology.
This is because pottery is: Small fragments of pottery, known as sherds or potsherds, are collected on most archaeological 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.