Aspects of Kentish Local
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)
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
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.
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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