9.5.2 Pottery Industry

Norse and Lordship Areas

Grass-tempered pottery is found in the Norse area of the Highlands, and traditionally is dated to this period (see 9.4). Well-dated examples are scarce, and more dating is needed. No production sites can be identified from the existing evidence, but most is likely to be locally produced (Beverley Ballin Smith pers comm).

Southern Highlands

Local production of redwares appears to date from the 13th to 15th centuries. Samples from Dornoch Portmahomack, and Inverness suggest unidentified production centres somewhere in this area (Coleman and Photos-Jones 2008; Hall 2016; Peteranna and Stirling 2018, 11). Analysis of the Cromarty redwares also shows local production that is different from the redware found in Portmahomack; the final reports should provide more detailed analysis. The Inverness material is interesting, with imported pottery predominates in the early phases, but around the first half of the 14th century, large-scale evidence of local production appears. This is a situation paralleled at other Scottish burghs (MacAskill 1982, 366). Kiln sites are still lacking, though evidence from elsewhere in Scotland suggests archaeologists should be looking towards the outskirts of settlements (Hall 1996).

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