On most late prehistoric and early historic settlement sites all over the world, pottery is the most abundant material recovered by archaeologists. Analysis of pottery provides information about the chronological position and cultural affiliation of a site, as well as about techniques of manufacture, organization of production, trade relations, and patterns in the social structure of the community. Here, a new approach is presented that focuses on pottery as a principal factor in the visual world of the people who made and used it. Pottery from the Early Iron Age settlement of Hascherkeller in southern Germany is examined in the context of the physical and social world of which the community was a part. It is argued that the shapes, textures, and decoration of the pottery refer to other elements of the physical world. This approach offers a new way to understand how prehistoric people responded to economic and political changes through the purposeful fashioning of their material culture.