The potter

Turned pottery made in Ribe

The professional potter

The potter is not always to be found at the market place, but examples of his work can always be seen, such as hanging pots, jars, cups, whistles, lamps, spindle weights and more.

Lots of pottery shards dating back to Viking times have been found at the market place in Ribe. The ceramics of the Viking Age were coarse, simple and burned black. Something unique to Ribe is pottery turned on a kick wheel. Turned pottery was being produced in Ribe several hundred years earlier than in other areas of Denmark.

A very special characteristic of Ribe is the presence of a professional potter on the market place by the river already from the beginning of the 8th century. In Scandinavia as a whole, mass-produced earthenware does not appear before around year 1200 AD. No one knows why professional pottery took such a comparatively long time to catch on, but the explanation may be that earthenware is fairly simple to produce on one's own. It may be considered that people were more inclined to purchase other necessities or goods with an air of luxury.