Aspects of Kentish Local History

Finds from the excavation of Eccles Roman Villa, Kent

First-century pottery manufacture at Eccles, Kent by Alec Detsicas
Roman Pottery Studies in Britain and Beyond. BAR S30 Oxford, 19-36


The pottery recovered from this waste layer is divided into various classes of vessels, (i) butt beakers, (ii) native platters, (iii) colour-coated wares, (iv) flagons, (v) jugs, (vi) bowls and cooking-pots, (vii) lids, (viii) cheese presses and (ix) mortaria, and is described below in these separate groups.

i. Butt beakers (Fig. 3.1)
Several sherds
PICTURE conjoining from a butt beaker, with well tooled rouletted decoration around its girth, in a fairly thin buff-pink fabric. It is not certain that this pot was made at the site, nor does it show any obvious signs of distortion; it is not impossible that, if this vessel was not made at Eccles, it was imported from another factory to be used as a prototype for the production of butt beakers. In fabric and finish, this vessel looks and feels unlike any of the wasters found, and it is significant that all the sherds found certainly belong to this one pot.
   Part from the girth
PICTURE of a butt beaker, in coarse pink fabric and much coarser rouletting than no. 1. No sherds from the rim or base of this butt beaker have so far been isolated in the mass of wasters recovered from the site, but it is undoubtedly of local manufacture as part of the roulette used in its decoration has also been found (Detsicas 1974b, fig. 8, no. 3); this fragment of roulette shows the same flaws as repeated on this butt beaker. It is not improbable that this vessel was modelled on no. 1, above.

ii. Native Platters (Fig. 3.1)
Nos. 3-10 illustrate a representative series of many sherds from several related platters made at the site in imitation of Gallo-Belgic terra nigra and terra rubra forms.
   3. A shallow platter
PICTURE in sandy clay, firing pink, possibly overtired, with three concentric circles inside its base, lacking a foot-ring and very coarse in texture.
   4. Fairly smooth grey-brown fabric, its paste virtually free of sand; though there is some pitting on the surface of this platter, it still retains some traces of burnishing.
   5. Fairly smooth light-grey fabric,
PICTURE no sand, with a rudimentary foot-ring; pitted and badly distorted. Inside the base, two concentric circles enclosing a rouletted ring, which contains a potter's stamp; so far this stamp has not been read, but it is complete apart from a small chip at one corner - it may, of course, face in the opposite direction from that shown on Fig. 3.1.
   6. Pink-buff fabric, firing to a deeper red colour in fracture, with a paste free of sand particles.
   7. Grey, smooth fabric, slightly pitted, sand-free clay.
   8. Buff-coloured sandy fabric, from a very shallow platter, with a few traces of red coating present inside the base. Sherds from another very similar vessel show two concentric rings within its base and more extensive remains of red colour-coating.


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