Archaeometric ceramic analysis has a long tradition. The work presented here by a research group of the Excellence Cluster Topoi focuses on the relationships between project design, methods utilized, and achieved results in focus. The concepts of the described projects were developed together in the group are presented and discussed in a comparative way. Common to all of the projects was the question of economic spaces, which can be determined by means of ceramic analysis. Surprisingly often, the initial hypothesis of centralized production and broad distribution could not be verified – from the Neolithic to the Roman Empire, household production remains a prevalent model. It becomes consistently clearer that further results can only be realized via extensive intra-site analysis. An important methodological focus rests in the verification of the usefulness of portable x-ray fluorescence analysis. This method only makes sense from project to project; an ideal work flow for the application of pXRF technology is provided.