Thursday, 26 March 2015

Report: Focus on the finds - the pottery

A few pottery highlights from the finds tray!  Dr Paul Bidwell has assessed the ceramics, and most of the Roman pottery is 2nd-3rd century in date.

Though the Samian was generally in rather a poor condition due to the soil conditions on site, we still had a fair amount of interesting sherds.

Fig. 1 Mars?
This fragment of Samian might depict Mars, as the figure appears to be holding a spear.  If it is Mars, it's a great partner to our Venus from last season!  The piece is from a Dragondorff 37 bowl

Figure 2 - Dancing girl?
This sherd may show a dancing girl, or could be a particular goddess. The piece is from a Dragondorff 37 bowl

 Fig. 3 Plain cup
This is a sherd of Samian from a plain cup, Dragondorff form 33.  It would have been used for drinking wine!

Fig. 4 Samian decoration
The Dragondorff 37 form has a bead rim, which means it's small and and rounded.  These joining sherds are a little burnt, but show the decoration often found at the top of Dragondorff 37 bowl.  The fancy decoration is called ovolo, or egg and tongue moulding.

Fig 5. Roman ink well
These Samian inkwell sherds were found on the beach. It has an inner lip to prevent spillage and is possibly Samian form Ritterling 13, similar to this.


Fig. 6 Head pot sherds
These strange looking sherds are fragments of head pots, decorated with bosses and a straited cordon.  They have parallels in York and generally the north-east.

Fig. 7 Pot lids? - two ceramic (top left & bottom right, and two stone (top right & bottom left)
These circular pieces are often identified at pot lids, gaming counters or may be some sort of weights.  Also, recently, there was another theory - that they were Roman toilet 'paper.'   Not totally convincing, especially due to the rather hard nature of the pot and stone!  This clutch all came from the same context - it remains to be seen if they were near a latrine ...

Fig. 8 Moselkeramik beaker
These joining sherds are from a Moselkeramik indented beaker.  The slip is dark, almost metallic.  These pots come from the Trier area, Germania.

Of course we had lots more pottery which will be reported on in due course

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