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Archäologisches Keramik-Seminar 26.10.2012 – 28.10.2012


In October 2012, the DEGUWA arranged a seminar on archaeological ceramics in cooperation with the State Office for Archaeology Saxony (Landesamt für Archäologie Sachsen “LfA” and the KI Ceramics Institute GmbH ( 

Twelve voluntary scuba divers and research scuba divers attended the advanced training course in Dresden and Meißen which is approved by the Nautical Archaeology Society as a NAS III module.
The seminar focussed on teaching basic skills in recording and documentation of ceramic findings.
Dr. Stefan Krabath of the LfA hosted the first part of the seminar in the rooms of the LfA institute in Dresden. He gave a theoretical introduction to description and graphical documentation of archaeological findings in general. During a guided tour through the institute in the beginning of this part, Dr. Krabath explained the duties of the authority for archaeological preservation of cultural heritages on the basis of various examples. This included also a demonstration of conservation and restoration methods as well as a 3D-documentation of ceramic findings. At least, the participants visited the library and the magazine.

Afterwards, on the basis of selected findings, methods of cultural-historical categorization of ceramics were demonstrated.
By drawing and/or photographing, the participants carried out registration and documentation of selected ceramics during the practical part of the course.


During the second part of the seminar, Dr. Maren Uebel together with Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Michael Bormann of the KI Ceramics Institute GmbH in Meißen, provided the participants with general knowledge of the making of ancient ceramic vessels.
Dr. Maren Uebel started with a lecture on basic knowledge of ceramics and the secrets of raw materials as well as selected analysis methods.

“… and quickly we were on the molecular basis, where we admired crystal lattices …”
(Harry Meyer)



During a guided tour through the institutes’ production hall and laboratories, Dr. Maren Uebel and Michael Bormann explained techniques of x-ray fluorescence analysis (RFA) and scanning electron microscopes (REM). Unfortunately, taking pictures was strictly forbidden. However, all questions have been answered competently. (Image-Video Keramikinstitut


Demonstrations of how to manufacture ancient ceramic vessels and of experimental archaeology completed this more or less handcraft-oriented part of the seminar.
Finally, after moving to the workshop, each participant received a lump of clay and got the opportunity of forming a vessel by hand and of polishing it properly with a smooth pebble. This practical part of the course closed up the seminar.
Afterwards, Michael Bormann carried out the burning of the vessels and handed them out to the participants.


In the end, there is a cordially THANK YOU to all organizers: DEGUWA, the State Office for Archaeology Saxony and the Ceramics Institute Meißen. It has been an excellent seminar which should be repeated and extended.


Video course von Harry Meyer

Authors: Frank Löhnert, Harry Meyer, (translated by Katharina Meyer-Regenhardt)

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