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7.2 Vessel Forms

During the 13th and 14th centuries in Aberdeen, the commonest vessel form was the jug (Figure 16) with variations including a jar, a wide-mouthed jug with no handle. Cooking pots, which are the commonest vessels in 12th-century assemblages were usually sooted, undecorated and handleless. Also associated with cooking were dripping-pans and skillets, chafing dishes (for keeping food warm [789]) and various bowls, often with decorated rims e.g. [815]. One example of a possible crucible [836] may be associated with a small-scale industrial process and a possible curfew or fire pan which would have been used for containing a fire overnight or carrying hot embers around to light portable braziers. Only one lid (for a jug and in post-medieval glazed red earthenware [2075]) was found on this site although lid seatings (a lip on the rim of a vessel where the lid would have sat) were seen on many jugs and other vessels [846]. Leather, wood, skin or stone lids may also have been in use, but none were recovered from this site.

From the mid-14th century, German stonewares began to appear in Scotland and included drinking vessels such as costrels [800], tankards [777] and Jacobakanne (tall slender drinking jugs [766). Prior to that date very few vessels for consumption of liquids have been identified, presumably because before that date they were made in either wood or leather (which have not survived) or in metal (which would have been melted down and reused at the end of the vessel's life). From the Low Countries came jugs [787], skillets (small frying pans [750]), ladles and pipkins (small globular vessels, often with feet, for heating small amounts of liquids). Footed pipkins and skillets appear to be direct copies of metal vessels, and these types of vessels can be seen in manuscript illustrations.


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