During a pre-construction excavation just off Baxtergate in 2001, an artefact was uncovered which is of true significance to the Borough of Hedon. This was the 12th century Pingsdorf Pot. Named after the village of Pingsdorf in the Rhineland, Germany, this chance discovery has become a perfect example of Hedon’s prosperity and continental trade in the Middle Ages. However, this artefact hasn’t just been exciting for Hedon. It has been described by the British Museum as ‘marvellous and rare’ for its pristine condition, which makes it almost an archaeological miracle.
The pot was found alongside many other interesting finds. Medieval green glazed-ware, a whetstone for sharpening knives and swords etc, a number of animal bones left over from cooking and a quantity of oyster shells, which were food for the common-folk in the Middle Ages, were all found on the same site.
The diagram below shows the sequence of deposits labelled with numbers. The Pingsdorf wine pitcher was discovered in the deposit labelled 2006.
Pingsdorf-ware was produced between the 10th & 12th century in areas of the Rhineland, not exclusively in Pingsdorf. Decoration on all Pingsdorf-ware uses red or brown slip (liquid clay) to create waves, spirals and commas, usually made by the potter dipping his or her fingers in the slip. Pingsdorf-ware appears on excavation sites all down the East coast of England, as shown in the map on the right.