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

 9. Very similar in fabric and paste to no. 5, above, pitted; two concentric rings enclose a smaller one containing the same potter's stamp, from the same die, but no rouletted band around it.

10. Grey, smooth fabric, without sand, pitted.
Though only no. 5 shows obvious distortion in firing, the pitting betrays over-firing and clearly demonstrates that these platters were made at the site, some obviously by a hitherto unidentified potter. It would also seem certain that whereas firing and burnishing were relied upon to produce the appearance of terra nigra, coating with red slip was resorted to in imitation of terra rubra, possibly in order to mask the sandy texture of these platters.

iii. Colour-coated Wares (Fig. 3.1)
Colour-coated cups and bowls, which form a substantial part of the wasters found, were made in the same creamy fabric, with virtually sand-free clay; most of the sherds recovered are wasters, some badly distorted or over-fired, lacking any colour-coating, others still retaining varying parts of their colouring. It would seem that red was the main colour used, though there are some wasters with dark brown-red, rarely dark green, colour-coating. The rims are generally everted, occasionally very slightly beaded; no true cornice rims have been isolated. Many rim-sherds are slightly recessed for lids, three colour-coated sherds of which have so far been identified.
   The colour-coated wares from the Eccles site consist of cups and bowls in plain, rough-cast or rusticated fabrics, though there are also a few rouletted sherds. Most of these wares had been discarded after coating and their wet condition has made it very difficult to wash the soil adhering to them without risking the loss of their colour-coating. Nos. 11-33 illustrate a representative series of the forms concerned; however, it should eventually be possible to arrive at more complete profiles than shown in Fig. 3.1.

   11-14 are rim-sherds from bowls with everted rims, all red colour-coated; nos. 12 and 13 are rough-cast with coarse sand or clay particles.  11  PICTURE   

   15 and 16
PICTURE almost certainly belong to the same bowl, in rusticated fabric and red colour-coating. The rustication was first applied as thin patches of clay, smoothed with a brush, as clearly indicated by marks on some of the sherds from this bowl, and then drawn out from the body of the vessel. Other wasters show that these patches of clay were already colour-coated before their application to pots, which makes it clear that some at least of the colour-coats were brush-applied rather than the result of dipping.

   17 and 18
PICTURE are two of the so-called 'raspberry' cups. No. 17 only has been completely restored, but it is not certain whether it had a second handle; in fairly thin fabric with traces of red colour-coating surviving, this cup has a very slight everted rim. No. 18, again red colour-coated, has a heavier, slightly beaded rim. The 'raspberry' palettes are of identical size in both cases (c. 12 mm dia.), but other sherds have larger palettes (c. 17 mm dia.). There are also fragments of rim-less 'raspberry' cups with a slight cordon below the top of the cup demarcating the zone below which the 'raspberry' palettes have been applied.


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