Details The Achavanich Beaker was discovered during an excavation of a burial cist in 1987. The cist was unusual in that it was dug into the Caithness flagstone bedrock, a process that would have involved moving around 3.4 tones of stone to create a pit.
Within the cist were the remains of a young woman, in recent years nicknamed Ava, as well as this beaker, three flint artefacts and a cattle scapula. Early analysis of the beakers contents led some to believe that it contained a thin alcoholic porridge that had been sweetened with honey and flavoured meadowsweet.
The original beaker itself is coarsely decorated and from my years of experience replicating Bronze Age pottery it appears to have been made in a hurry or by someone more used to making cooking pots rather than a Beaker specialist. I have done my best to be true to the original feel of this pot and have tried not to over sanitise it.
As with the original this replica has quartz incorporated into the clay which is used as a temper in lots of Bronze Age pottery. If a grain is particularly large and close to the surface, the shrinkage of the clay will cause it to be exposed. The original beaker has one of these exposed quartz crystals and, as you can see from the images, so does our replica. We really do take authenticity seriously.
Around 2500 BCE Britain saw the first use of metal in the form of Gold and Copper, and alongside these new materials came pottery beakers. Often considered to mark the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age, it was a time of great change, with some research studies claiming that a vast proportion of Britons were replaced by a wave of migrants from Europe. In terms of pottery this change resulted in a bloom of creativity where potters showed off their skills by creating highly decorated pottery forms.
Smoke fired Terracotta
Height 190mm, diameter 150mm
As with all my Museum Quality Replicas this pot has been made, as the original would have been, entirely by hand from natural clay and using replicas of the types of tool that the Bronze-Age makers would have used. In keeping with the original pot, the decoration has been applied using hand twisted cord made from natural bark fibres, in this case Lime Bark Bast.
It has been fired to emulate the ancient firing conditions. The original pot would have been fired in an open wood fire, in close contact with the fuel, a process that leaves its mark on the clay as variations in the surface colour. However the very low temperatures achieved in open firings, also results in pots that are relatively weak, so this pot has been fired to a somewhat higher temperature to strengthen it, in a special firing process that allows me to achieve an authentic appearance to the pot.
Health & Safety
This is a Museum Quality Replica and is not intended for use as a drinking vessel, if you require replica pots for actual use with food of beverages, please ask before purchasing.
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