Monumental ditches and Bell Beakers are two key phenomena in later prehistoric Europe involved in the study of El Ventorro, near Madrid. In this article, we discuss and develop an analytical protocol for a thorough characterisation of the patterns of breakage, abrasion, and representation of ceramics. The procedure is tested with a large ceramic sample from ‘Pithouse 013’, an unusually rich context which challenges stereotypical accounts of the domestic sphere, feasting, and prestige goods deposition. This sunken feature was filled with a heterogeneous mixture of recently broken remains and secondary residues, and is reinterpreted here as a ditch segment instead of everyday fossilised occupation surfaces. The paper sheds important new light on depositional practices, the social biographies of Beaker pottery, and the infilling of ditched enclosures. It also allows the assessment of the potential of this integrated re-fitting and taphonomic strategy to illuminate poorly understood aspects of pottery in a range of time–place contexts.