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Medieval Ceramics

VOLUME 25, 2001





THIS JOURNAL was conceived to meet the need for an annual
publication devoted to all aspects of pottery studies from the
Early Saxon to the Post-Medieval period, including theoretical,
methodological and analytical aspects of pottery research. An
annual conference is held (usually in May) and meetings of
regional groups take place at more frequent intervals. The
Medieval Pottery Research Group has many Continental members
whose work overlaps with that of British members. Medieval
Ceramics welcomes offers of appropriate articles on all aspects of
ceramic research for publication. Notes for contributors are given
All general correspondence concerned with the Medieval Pottery
Research Group should be sent to The Secretary, MPRG, c/o
Museum of London Specialist Services, Mortimer Wheeler House,
46 Eagle Wharf Road, London N1 7ED
All applications for membership, subscriptions and orders for
Medieval Ceramics should be sent to The Treasurer, MPRG, at the
same address.
Individual 20
Institutional 25
The MPRG is a registered charity, No. 1018513
Copyright Individual authors
ISSN 1358-2496
The MPRG is grateful for financial support for this volume from
Beverley Nenk, Sarah Jennings, Julie Edwards, English Heritage,
GUARD, Historic Scotland, MOLAS, the John Wheelwright Society
and the Marc Fitch Fund
The cover design by Graham Reed shows a Chinese export porcelain
dish, early 17th century, with typical kraak border (Black, this
Published by The Medieval Pottery Research Group
Designed and typeset by Sue Cawood/MOLAS
and printed by Short Run Press Ltd, Exeter.
Jacqueline Pearce and Lucy Whittingham
Museum of London Specialist Services
Jennie Stopford
English Heritage
Medieval Ceramics
VOLUME 25, 2001
Jacqueline Pearce and Lucy Whittingham
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
David Hall 2
Some late 12th or early 13th century great brick at
Farnham Castle, Surrey
Nicholas Riall 22
A medieval pottery kiln-clamp, possible workshop and
settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
Piers Dixon and Amanda Crowdy 27
An evaluation of geochemical fingerprinting for the
provenancing of Scottish red ware pottery
Simon Chenery, Emrys Phillips and George Haggarty 45
Historically visible but archaeologically invisible? The
Huguenots of Spitalfields
Nigel Jeffries 54
From maiolica to delftware: tin-glazed earthenware in
London and the Low Countries, 15701630
John Black 65
Prologues and epilogues in Islamic ceramics: clays,
repairs and secondary use
Marcus Milwright 72
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and
pottery research in Greece
Athanasios K. Vionis 84
PotWeb: museum documentation a world vision
Jeremy Haslam, Maureen Mellor and Jonathan Moffett 99
MPRG Annual Bibliography 2001
collated by L Pieksma, P. Davey and P. Tomlinson 108
Katherine Barclay Scientific Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics:
A Handbook of Resources (Helen Hatcher) 125
Ian M Betts Medieval Westminster Floor Tiles (Paul Drury) 126
John Black British Tin-Glazed Earthenware and Anthony Ray,
English Delftware (Clive Orton) 126
Mark Brisbane and David Gaimster Novgorod: the Archaeology
of a Russian Medieval City and its Hinterland (Alan Vince) 127
Duncan H. Brown Pottery in Medieval Southampton
c.1066-1510 (Lorraine Mepham) 128
Ivor Nol Hume If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000
Years of British Household Pottery (Merry Outlaw) 130
Jean Rosen La Faence en France du XIVe au XIX sicle. Histoire
et Technique (Lyn Blackmore) 131
Medieval Tiles of Wales
John Lewis 134
Obituaries: John Evans 136
Peter Farmer 137
John Hurst 138
List of officers and council of the group 20012002 140
MPRG Accounts 20002001 141
Regional Group Reports 142
Notes for Contributors
Contributions can be submitted at any time, but main papers,
which are subject to peer review, must be received by August 31st
for consideration for the volume to be published the following
Manuscripts should contain a brief summary (100-150
words) for translation into other languages. They should be typed
or printed on good quality A4 paper, double-spaced and with a
good left-hand margin (30mm). Authors are requested to follow
the layout and conventions used in this journal (copies of the full
Notes for Contributors will shortly be available on the website or
on request from the Editors). Three copies of the manuscript with
drafts of all artwork and tables should be sent to:
The Editors, MPRG, c/o Museum of London Specialist
Services, Mortimer Wheeler House, 46 Eagle Wharf Road,
London N1 7ED.
One set of proofs will be sent to all authors for checking (not
re-writing). Failure to return the proofs by the required date will
lead to the editors sending their own corrected proofs to the
printer without further reference to the author. Ten free off-prints
will be supplied to the authors on publication of a paper; two free
off-prints will be sent to authors of shorter contributions.
All statements and views published in Medieval Ceramics are
those of the contributors, and are not the responsibility of the
editors or the MPRG.
With volume 25 of Medieval Ceramics we are moving
towards a new house style. For the first time colour plates
are being included in the papers they illustrate, alongside the
relevant text. Our thanks must go to Tracy Wellman, of the
Museum of London Archaeology Service, for her expertise in
design and her support in seeing these changes through to
This volume is very diverse in its contents, reflecting the
wide interests and experience of MPRG members. We
present papers on ceramics ranging geographically from the
Islamic world and Greece to the Low Countries, Scotland
and various locations in England; and chronologically from
the 11th to the early 18th century. Two papers on post-
medieval pottery serve to emphasise the continuity of
ceramic studies across the so-called period of transition
from the medieval to the early modern world, as represented
by the study of material remains. As the journal of MPRG,
Medieval Ceramics serves the interests of ceramicists,
archaeologists and students of post-Roman Europe and
beyond, and we hope that more papers on later pottery will
be offered for publication in the future.
Analytical scientific techniques that have been newly
applied in Scotland are presented in a paper on Scottish red
wares, while the pioneering work of the Ashmolean Museum
in Oxford in setting up PotWeb online is outlined in a wide-
ranging consideration of the problems of museum
documentation and accessibility. Ceramic building materials
are covered by a paper on the great brick from Farnham
Castle in Surrey, and in a review of Ian Betts publication on
Westminster floor tiles. This appears along with several other
reviews of new and recently published books that have been
sent to the editors over the past year.
The last year has seen a series of heavy blows to the
world of medieval pottery studies with the deaths of three
prominent and much admired members of the profession.
We are very sad to include obituaries in this volume of Peter
Farmer and John Evans. The tragic death of John Hurst is
also marked by a brief obituary. However, in view of Johns
undoubtedly seminal and profoundly influential role in the
establishment of medieval ceramic studies, a full appreciation
of his life and work will follow in volume 26 or 27. Medieval
Ceramics published one of his most recent, if not his last
contribution to pottery studies in volume 24, a survey of
publications on ceramics imported from the Continent. In
the same volume, John is pictured in a group photograph of
past presidents of MPRG at the 25th Anniversary conference
in Oxford in April 2000. Always kind and considerate, his
last communication to us as editors was a letter, typed on his
inimitable typewriter, thanking us for sending offprints.
This is the last year in which the Annual Bibliography
will be published in Medieval Ceramics. This invaluable
research resource is now available online, and Council has
therefore decided that additional printing costs are no longer
justified. The Bibliography can be accessed through the
MPRGs website at We
are, as ever, most grateful for the considerable effort and
unstinting work of the compilers and to all who contribute
regularly to its production.
Finally, we wish to thank Gwladys Monteil and Friederike
Hammer for their translation of the summaries into French
and German. Graham Reed has once again provided us with
superlative cover artwork, and we are most grateful to him.
Medieval Ceramics
Medieval pottery
from Forehill, Ely,
David Hall
Excavations at Forehill, Ely, in 1996, by
Mary Alexander for the Cambridge
Archaeological Unit, produced a range of
pottery used in the City during the 12th to
15th centuries. The main group consisted
of a gritty fabrics identified as products of
the medieval Ely pottery industry. The Ely
forms have been classified and are
illustrated along with other material. The
distribution of Ely pottery has not yet been
fully established, but the fabric has been
recognized by the author in recently
excavated material from Kings Lynn and
at sites in Cambridge and nearby, and by
Hilary Healey in South Lincolnshire and
Andrew Rogerson in West Norfolk.
Evidence for 16th-century pottery production at Ely was
discovered in the 1950s when wasters of a black-glazed red
earthenware, of Cistercian type (Brears 1967), were
discovered at a district called Babylon. This distinctive name
has since been used to differentiate the fabric from authentic
Yorkshire Cistercian ware. More waster sherds, as well as roof
tiles used as kiln spacers were discovered when the marina
near the Maltings, adjacent to Babylon, was developed in
1983 (Hall 1996, 38). More recently, excavations by the
Cambridge Archaeological Unit in 2000 (Alexander et al
forthcoming), have revealed a kiln site that produced
Babylon ware, glazed red earthenwares, and an earthenware
bichrome, as well as fine quality off-white fabrics (described
in Hall 2002).
In spite of watching briefs during the 1980s and various
small commercial excavations beginning in the 1990s
(Holton-Krayenbuhl 1989, Jones 1994; see also notes in
Medieval Archaeology and Proceedings of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society) the location of a medieval pottery
industry was not revealed until 1995 (Robinson 1998). The
site then examined was a waster dump and not a kiln, but
the quantity and nature of the sherds made it certain that
the material was waste from industrial production. The
location laid just above the appropriately named Potters
Lane, recorded as early as 1280 (Reaney 1943, 215). Many
more sherds lie in profusion in the gardens of Cherry Hill,
lying next to Potters Lane.
Since 1995 three large-scale excavations have taken place
at Ely. One at Broad Street in 1996 that revealed mainly
medieval levels; a large site at West Fen Road where Middle,
Late Saxon and early medieval features lay in profusion
(Knight 2000; Regan, 2002), and the site at Broad Street,
already mentioned, that produced medieval features as well
as the 16th-century kiln. Hence, there is now a very large
corpus of pottery made and used at Ely that gives a full view
of the ceramic record.
This report provides an analysis of the material from the
first of the three large excavations, that made at Forehill
during 1996. It gives for the first time a type series for Ely
pottery as well as illustrating the medieval kiln products. A
separate report describes in detail the excavation, the
features discovered and their significance. (Alexander 2003).
Description of the material
The pottery from Forehill came from a site lying within the
medieval city at TL 545 802. There were 8,213 sherds
weighing 162.8kg. The total quantities are listed by fabric in
Table 1, below. Each individual context is detailed in an
archive spreadsheet that provides the number of every fabric
type, an estimate of the context date, and the numbers of
rims, bases, decorated sherds and any other significant item
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
of interest. In all 565 collections were studied, most of them
being individual contexts. Excluding post-1740 wares, the
number of sherds studied was 7,766. Weights of each fabric
are given in the table below; hereafter the analysis will be
quantified by sherd-number only, since the weights only
duplicate the data. EVEs were not calculated for this data
Table 1 Ely Forehill fabric types.
A few residual Roman sherds (five) were recovered,
probably deriving from one of the numerous Roman sites on
the Isle of Ely. There were two abraded Middle Saxon sherds,
likely to be strays from the large Middle Saxon site to the
west of Ely. Saxo-Norman Wares of St Neots, Stamford and
Thetford type were present in the ratio 42: 18: 34. The total
was 94 sherds, representing 0.5%, 0.2% and 0.4%
respectively of all sherds. St Neots shelly wares occur in
lower quantity at Ely than in the south and west of
Cambridgeshire, as would be expected with the nearness of
Ely to Grimston, where a hard, sandy, Thetford-type of
pottery was made.
The main group of sherds dates from the 11th to 16th
centuries. The dominant fabric is material from the nearby
Ely kilns, which were active from the 12th to 15th centuries.
Other identified medieval fabrics come from Grimston,
Norfolk, and from various places in Essex, Lincolnshire and
Yorkshire. There were also northern European imports of
mainly stonewares and a few finewares. The well-stratified
series from Forehill provides a useful sample of the range of
all pottery used in medieval Ely, as well as illustrating the
products of the local kilns.
Late post-medieval wares (after 1740) have had no
further study beyond listing. Context 275, of early 19th-
century date, consists of many nearly complete vessels of all
types then in use, many of them finely decorated. It is,
however, not a significant component of the study group,
but may be useful in the future for comparison with other
similar material from Ely.
The principal sherds were Ely fabrics that dominate the
collection, being 2,555 oxidized sherds (33%) and 1,977
reduced sherds (25%), or 4,532 in all (58%).
There is considerable variation in the fabric, but no
attempt has been made to classify the assemblage into a
range of sub-types that would make the task unnecessarily
complicated. Such a procedure would also be premature
until the other two large excavations have been studied. The
main attribute distinguishing medieval Ely fabrics from
other East Anglian wares is the sand content and the
presence of hard white quatzose grits. Two principal fabrics
were identified visually (with aid of a times-10 hand lens) in
the Forehill collection, one called oxidized and the other
reduced, the difference probably only being the final
oxygenation conditions in the kiln. Both fabrics are hard
with a slight sand component and characteristically contain
white quartzose grits evenly distributed throughout the
fabric and visible on the surface. The grits are usually small,
but can be up to 1.5 mm in diameter. Thin section analysis
(below) has shown that some fabrics have a calcareous
content also, but this is not normally very obvious from
visual observation.
The oxidized sherds have surfaces coloured buff, pink
and occasionally red. The core is usually dark. The reduced
fabric has grey or nearly black surfaces. It is often difficult
to classify into one type or the other, because sherds occur
with, say, a buff or pink surface on one side and grey or
black on the other. Generally such sherds have been
classified as oxidized.
Early Ely fabrics (those occurring at the lowest levels
mixed with Saxo-Norman sherds) are fairly good quality.
They do not have many quartzose grits, and can be rather
similar in appearance to St Neots Ware, except that they feel
rough from the sand content. In levels later than the 12th
century, the fabric has a lighter colour and the coarse
quartzose grits are normally very obvious. A few sherds (51,
0.7%) are well made with few grits and reduced to a grey
colour, very similar to Grimston material, probably
deliberately imitating it. Many of the coarser wares,
especially the bowls, are hand-made with limited wheel
A major difference between Ely and Grimston Wares is
the glazing. Grimston is always clear and green. Ely is almost
always opaque, sometimes green and often has a muddy,
opaque white colour with a rough pimply surface. Ely glaze
is also often very thin and patchy. A sample of 528 sherds
Fabric type Sherd number % of 7766 Sherd weight
St Neots 42 0.5 672
Stamford 18 0.2 329
Thetford 34 0.4 537
Other 12-13th 10 0.1 161
Ely oxidized 2555 33 44304
Ely reduced 1977 25 35309
Grimston 601 8 8618
Ely Grimston 51 0.7 809
Reduced sandy 437 6 7092
Other medieval 324 4 5171
Essex reds 499 6 8662
Lyveden 38 0.5 704
Yorkshire 55 0.7 984
Stonewares 63 0.8 1063
Surrey 25 0.3 453
Red earthenwares 887 11 28987
Babylon 113 1 1736
Bourne D 37 0.5 1131
Post-1740 447 - 16090
Total 8213 162812
Medieval Ceramics 25, 221, 2001
(Table 2) from four contexts contained 109 pieces glazed or
partly glazed (21%).
Probably many vessels were glazed on the upper surfaces
only, so that a higher percentage of whole pots had partial
glazing than is indicated by analysis of individual sherds.
Ely forms are typically thick-sided bowls, and rather
squat jars and jugs. Rims from 165 vessels were studied and
classified, of which 79 (48%) were bowls, 52 (31%) were
jars (cooking pots), and 34 (21%) were jugs. This
proportion is consistent with most of the vessels being
hand-made and receiving only limited wheel finishing
bowls being the easiest to fashion and jugs the most
Of the bowls 30% were decorated, nearly always on the
rim of bowl type B2 (Fig. 4) where it was 39%. The
commonest types of rims were B2 and B3 (Figs 3-4). Jars
seldom had decoration, amounting to only 12%. Jugs, apart
from handles, were rarely decorated (a single vessel).
Handles, mostly from jugs (a few handles were identifiable
as belonging to large jars), were frequently decorated (42%).
The most characteristic forms are single and multiple rows
of slashing made with a knife. Sometimes round holes were
made. Both these decorative elements were used on the
bowls, which additionally often had wavy line motifs on the
body. Wavy lines were also used on the bowl rims instead of
slashes or holes.
Details of Ely pottery forms
Rims were sorted from all medieval levels and then
classified into types, initially without reference to context
or date. The following forms were identified. Some rims
have intermediate forms that make their classification
difficult, but those listed below seem to be the predominant
forms. They are illustrated in Figs 2-9, with more
description of individual pieces given in the catalogue
1. Bowls
Forms vary from hollowed rims to flanged rims (the
commonest), and there are types with thickened and
sometimes everted rims, as well as simple straight-sided
forms with only a slight thickening at the top. They have
been classified into four main types, but there is much
variation in rim forms, sometimes making it difficult to
assign a form to a particular class.
B1 Hollowed rims; 9 plus 2 decorated, Fig. 2.
B2 Flanged; 26 plus 16 decorated, Figs 3-4.
B3 Simple with eversion and sometimes an inner ridge; 14
plus 7 decorated, Fig. 5.
B4 Straight sided with slight bulge at the top; 8 and 0
decorated, Fig. 6.
2. Jars (cooking pots)
Four main forms were identified.
CP1 Flat topped and hollowed, similar to some jug rims;
11, plus 4 decorated all having an applied thumbed strip.
One vessel had additional decoration of impressed
rosettes, Fig. 6.
CP2 Plain flat top, occasionally squared or developed into
a rib; 20, plus 2 decorated, Fig. 6.
CP3 Everted with a hollow on the inner slope 14 (some
may be jugs), Fig. 7.
CP4 Everted or flanged rims; 4, of which 1 is decorated,
Fig. 7.
3. Jugs
Jugs are a less common form at Ely. Most fall into two types.
J1 Simple neck type; 8, only 1 decorated, Fig. 7.
J2 Neck with one horizontal ridge; 14, Fig. 7.
Twelve small fragments were not classified, of them four had
rounded rims, six were flat, and two hollowed.
4. Handles
Eight types of handle were identified, being in four forms
with a variety of decorated strap handles, Fig. 8. Most are
likely to come from jugs, but some large jars also had
H1 Simple rod form; 7.
H2 Rope twist; 2.
H3 Plain strap; 10, 2 had glaze.
H4 Strap handles with knife decoration of single stabs; 4,
all glazed.
H5 Strap decorated with round holes in single row; 2, 1
with additional thumbing.
H6 Strap with multiple stabbing; 6.
H7 Strap with thumbing, no stabbing; 2.
H8 Straight handles; 3, 2 glazed.
5. Other forms
Figure 9. Small quantities of curfews were found. They had
decoration of wavy lines and thumbed-ribs. Holes were 1 cm
wide. There were also ridge tiles with cox-comb decoration
and basting dishes glazed internally. One cistern was
recovered with a large spout 8 cm in length and 2 cm
internal diameter (external 4.5 cm).
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Table 2 Sample sherd numbers of Ely fabric with glaze.
Context Oxidized Reduced
Total Glazed Total Glazed
632 214 42 (20%) 111 19 (17%)
642 30 9 (30%) 26 11 (42%)
650 26 10 (38%) 26 3 (21%)
681 76 8 (11%) 19 7 (37%)
Total 346 69 (20%) 182 40 (22%)
6. Bases
Figure 9. Most bases were plain, but a few had single or
triple finger-impressions at spaced intervals. Occasionally
decoration was made with knife slashes, either continuously
or in intermittent groups of slashes.
Ely fabrics seem to be identical with material previously
known from Kings Lynn and published as Grimston
Software ware (Clarke and Carter 1977, 186-91). It has
subsequently been observed that Grimston is an unlikely
source for this fabric, since it has not been found there in
spite of numerous excavations (Little in Leah 1994, 86). The
published Lynn forms, especially the stabbed handles, and
the fabric descriptions (Clarke and Carter 1977, 197, fig 78),
exactly match material from Ely. The Ely kilns continued
production until the 15th century, but Grimston Software
ware at Lynn was found mainly in Period I (1100-1250),
declining in Period II (1250-1350). This is almost certainly
explained by the rise of the glazed Grimston industry
producing fine wares that would have eclipsed the poorer
quality Ely material. Excavations at the White Hart, Ely in
1992 produced some Ely wares (called fabric B1, Jones 1994,
126-8; fig. 11 nos. 1-13). There was no internal dating
No absolute dating was found with material from
Forehill, so dates have to be deduced from stratified
associations and context. The associated pottery types
suggest that Ely pottery was in use from the 12th to the 15th
century. It occurs in some of the earliest levels of the site,
along with all three standard forms of Saxon-Norman sherds
(but mainly St Neots). These are generally reckoned to cease
by the end of the 12th century. This agrees with the evidence
from Kings Lynn, mentioned above. The date is consistent
with the reference to pottereslane at Ely in 1280, when the
industry was presumably well established. The fabric
continues with very little change until the 15th century. At
the late date it occurs with Surrey Ware (Tudor Green),
Raeren stonewares, and late Grimston wares.
Ely rim forms were examined for chronologically useful
changes. Every rim in each class (Bowls B1-B4 etc.) was
listed on a data-base along with its estimated context date,
and arranged in chronological order. The frequency of each
type per century was examined. The analysis is summarized
in Table 3 in terms of the date range and average date of
each form. The average date is a measure of the validity of
the date range; if the average fell at the higher end of the
range, then more samples were of a later date, and possibly
some of the few early samples have dates that should be
reassessed or have little significance.
It was found that the industry was very conservative and
there were few changes in forms over nearly 400 years. The
only significant changes were in the use of decoration.
Thumbing, especially on applied strips, is early, mostly 13th
century. On bowls, decoration is mainly a 15th century
feature. Decoration occurs primarily as incised motifs, most
notably as patterns on the bowl rims, frequently in some
form of continuous wave or a band of stabbing. Stabbing
also occurs as a decoration on jug handles where it reduces
the likelihood of cracking during the production stages of
drying and firing.
Other fabrics
Figure 10. Sherds from the kilns at Grimston, Norfolk
(Jennings 1981, 50-60; Leah 1994), occur at Ely (51, 0.7%).
Most of them are in the standard fine grey sandy fabric with
highly translucent green glaze often containing flecks of
brown. The fabric occurs less commonly in an oxidized buff
or pink-red colour. Decoration consists of various
arrangements of brown slip bands, some rouletted, as well
as face jugs with very small handles (arms) around the
Some of the material is rather poor quality; Ely is near
enough to Grimston to receive seconds, especially in view of
the rough character of the later material produced at Ely.
Most of the Grimston sherds found at Ely seem to date from
the floruit of production, in the 14th century, but there are
some sherds of the 15th century with a denser glaze and
yellow flower motifs.
Table 3 Date range of Ely pottery forms.
Form Plain Decorated Date range Average Comment
B1 9 12-15 1377 no change
B2 23 13-late15 1328 no change
B2 15 14-late 15 1410 mainly 15th
B3 14 late 13-late 15 1383 no change
B4 8 13-late 15 1429 no change
Pots & jars
CP1 13 13-late 15 1318 no change
CP2 18 13-late 15 1316 no change
CP3 15 13-15 1346 no change
J I 7 late 13-15 1288 no change
J 2 14 late 13-late 15 1373 no change
H1 7 late 13-15 1367 no change
H3 10 late 13-15 1405 no change?
H4-6 12 13-late 15 1375 mainly 14-15
Glazed Grimston ware first occurred at Castle Acre in
the late 12th century (Milligan in Coad and Streeten 1982,
225-6). At Kings Lynn highly decorated Grimston wares
occurred mainly during the 14th and 15th centuries (Clarke
and Carter 1977, 206-8), and late Grimston vessels have
dense glazing. Jars were not glazed until later (Clarke &
Carter 1977, 233-5). The chronology is summarised by Little
showing the change in forms from 1100-1530. Handles with
multiple ridges and twisted rod form are late types. Applied
white slip, often in the form of flowers, giving a yellow
appearance are characteristic of the period after 1400 (Little
in Leah 1994, 87-90). At Norwich, Grimston sherds were
found only in small quantities in levels associated with a fire
of 1507 (Little in Leah 1994, 91).
Reduced sandy wares
Figure 1, 8-12. Reduced sandy wares were fairly common at
Ely (437 sherds, 6 %). The fabric is different from Grimston,
having mainly sand in the ceramic matrix with very few or
no white grits. The colour is frequently a reduced black, but
sometimes brown or grey. It is very thin and hard, and
always much thinner than Grimston. Sherds in this fabric
were assigned a Grimston provenance in the 1977 Kings
Lynn report, being called unglazed Grimston (Clarke and
Carter 1977, 191-6). Excavations at Pot Row, Grimston,
produced a similar material, described as Unglazed
Grimston Ware (Little in Leah 1994, 80, 84). A Grimston
provenance for much of the 1977 Lynn pottery was doubted
by Little (ibid., 87, 89). The fabric is not very similar to the
fine sandy (generally grey) fabric of glazed Grimston vessels,
but more like the reduced sandy material known from
Blackborough End, Middleton (Rogerson and Ashley 1985).
This site is near to Grimston and a north-west Norfolk
source is likely for the Ely material, since coarse wares of this
type are unlikely to travel very far.
The forms at Ely are almost entirely jars, and are closely
paralleled from, Kings Lynn, Norwich and from sites
excavated at Grimston. The fabric occurs in the earliest levels
at Forehill.
Essex red wares
Fine quality red wares (jugs) come from a variety of Essex
sources, most probably Hedingham (Huggins 1972) and
Colchester (Cunningham 1982; Cotter 2000). With sgraffito
and Mill Green Ware (four sherds, (Pearce et al. 1982)), the
total was 499 sherds, or 6 %. Sgraffito ware, commonly
called Cambridge sgraffito from the place of its first
recognition (Bushnell and Hurst 1952) was represented.
There is no evidence that it was made at Cambridge and it
is has the fine Essex-type fabric. It has now been found
throughout Cambridgeshire and north Essex. Many more
decorations are known than those published and the fabric
needs characterization by spectroscopy.
Lyveden ware
The deserted village site of Lyveden, Northants, produced a
pink shelly fabric, often soapy with shells up to 2mm (Steane
1967; Bryant and Steane 1969). Sometimes the shells are
leached out giving a corky surface. A grey reduced form of
the fabric is known. Glazed jugs are decorated with a yellow
slip of stripes and grill-stamped blobs, probably made at
nearby Stanion (Bellamy 1983).
The fabric produced at Stanion is similar to Lyveden, but
with very fine oolitic grits. At Forehill, 38 Lyveden sherds
were identified (0.5%).
Toynton fabrics.
Toynton, on the Lincolnshire northern fen-edge,
produced jugs in a grey fabric with pink surfaces, often
decorated with brown applied strips (Healey 1975;
MacCarthy and Brooks 1988, 261). Only 12 sherds were
Bourne wares
Kilns at Bourne, Lincolnshire, produced a range of fabrics,
the best known, called Bourne D has a pink-orange fabric
with a very smooth finish and small white calcareous
inclusions. Sherds sometimes have a light green to yellow
and brown glaze (Healey 1969; 1975) and sometimes large
thumb presses. The dates of this fabric at Kings Lynn were
15th to 16th century, where it occurs with stonewares
(Clarke and Carter 1977, 237). At Forehill 37 sherds (0.5%)
were identified, also in late levels.
Yorkshire wares
Fine jug-sherds of Scarborough ware from Yorkshire were
found at Ely among the earlier levels (15). Two fabrics are
known, both with a glaze that is normally a dark olive green.
Phase 1, is a fine off-white, slightly pink ware, and Phase 2,
has a silty white fabric. The date range is 13th to early 14th
century (Farmer and Farmer 1982). Most sherds have the
standard dark, olive-green glaze. Variant decorations and
glazes were found in several contexts with a clear orange
glaze over patterns of raised brown iron spots that are often
slightly streaked. Vertical raised ribs of slip are another
decorative feature.
It is known that Scarborough pottery was exported into
ports along all of Eastern England and Scotland from
Aberdeen to Canterbury and farther round the English
Channel, as well as across the North Sea to Norway
(MacCarthy and Brooks 1988, 95). The Ely material would
have come via Kings Lynn.
Continental sherds
Continental fine wares occurred in small quantities only.
Identified sherds came from France (Picardy (1) and North
French micaceous fabrics (1)), Flanders (green glazed over
a slip (3)), and from Haffner, Germany (2). These
compliment the imported sherds recently found at Kings
Lynn, where many more fabrics have been identified. It is
interesting that Flanders and Haffner fabrics found at Ely
were not noticed at Lynn (Hall forthcoming), suggesting
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
that more types of imported sherds are yet to be identified at
both places.
Imported German stonewares, although not found in
large amounts are important dating markers (63 sherds,
0.8%). Most of them are the early types from Siegburg,
Langerwehe and Raeren, dating from the 15th and early 16th
centuries (Hurst et al. 1986).
Late fabrics
Post-medieval sherds (16th and 17th century) consisted
mainly of glazed red earthenwares (GRE), almost certainly
of local origin (887, 11%). Additionally there were a few
(10) of probable Dutch origin. These last are to be
distinguished from local GREs in being slightly better made
and having a lustrous glaze. One sherd of maiolica was
found, a base with horizontal blue bands, possibly of Dutch
There were 25 sherds of green-glazed Surrey ware (Tudor
Green, a white fabric with dense green glaze, 15th to 16th
century). One in context [490] was from a ring-vase that was
probably used for lighting (Fig. 12).
Babylon ware (113 sherds, 1%) is the name given to a
late Ely fabric (16th to 17th century), being named after a
site near the Maltings, as explained above. It is a red
earthenware often with a dark brown or black lustrous
glaze, small cups and multi-handled tygs being a common
The Forehill site produced a large quantity of stratified
sherds, that has enabled a type series to be established. It
forms the first large undisturbed sequence ever excavated
from Ely, dating primarily from the 12th to 16th centuries. It
is dominated by material from the nearby production centre.
Although no pottery kilns were discovered at the site, the
assemblage is likely to represent the full range of material to
have been produced at the Ely pottery kilns, and used by the
nearby community. In this respect the site is more useful
than study on say a single kiln, that would perhaps have
produced only a limited type of pottery for a limited period
and also yield unrepresentative one-off forms and overfired
The medieval kilns began production in the 12th century
and continued until the 15th, when they were superseded by
various types of red earthenware, some made elsewhere in
Ely (at Babylon and near Broad Street). Although the
quality of much of the material was not high, the pottery
had a long life, presumably because of the political and
economic dominance of Ely monastery and bishopric. Ely
owned much of the Fenland and southern Cambridgeshire
and was able to control what products went to its estates. It
also controlled the Ouse, the chief southern Fenland
waterway, and so had influence on what went to Cambridge
from the north. Hence the distribution of Ely wares is
greater than might be expected from the quality of the
The fabric is found on all Fenland sites and at
Cambridge and elsewhere in the south. North of Ely, it
occurs at Kings Lynn, where it was called Grimston
Software ware. Ely wares have been noted in southern
Lincolnshire and west Norfolk (Hilary Healey and Andrew
Rogerson, pers. comm. 1996). Further study will probably
show that they only occur in these regions at the early
dates, being subjected to the same Grimston competition as
Kings Lynn.
The evidence of the fine wares from Ely can be linked
with data from Cambridge and Kings Lynn to study regional
trade routes. The importance of Kings Lynn as a port is well
known and illustrated by the occurrence of fine quality
decorated jugs from Scarborough and northern Europe
(Clarke and Carter 1977, 225-32).
It is possible that fine red wares from Essex arrived at
Lynn by sea via Colchester. However, from the regional
pattern of recovery it can be shown that the route was
landward to Cambridge and then by the Fenland waterways
to Lynn. This is proved from the large quantities of Essex red
wares that occur in Cambridge (36% at Benet Court,
Edwards and Hall 1998, 156), with a smaller amount at Ely
Forehill (6%) and yet smaller quantities at Lynn (1%; Hall
forthcoming). Even allowing for any differences in the date
range of the sites, and that the three sites compared are only
single samples of each town, the differences are striking. Had
the trade route been by sea and via the Fenland to
Cambridge, then the amounts of sherds recovered would be
the other way round, Lynn and Ely keeping more of the fine
wares before the residue reached Cambridge. This assertion
needs analysis of larger number of collections for
The reverse effect can be seen with the fine quality
Scarborough wares. At Lynn they amount to 4%, falling
to 0.7% at Ely, with none so far identified at Cambridge.
Continental sherds found at Ely probably came via
Lynn; they occur in small numbers, apart from
Lincolnshire vessels from Bourne and Toynton
presumably came across the Fenland waterways. Apart from
the few Lyveden sherds, material from the Midlands is
absent, as has been found at other southern Fenland sites.
Lyveden vessels probably came via the hithe at Yaxley, which
traded into the Midlands.
In conclusion, it can be seen that the Forehill site was
occupied from the 12th century to the present, although the
1996 excavations produced only small quantities of post-
medieval material, apart from one context. The medieval
assemblage is dominated by local wares made at Ely, but has
a significant number of imports from Yorkshire and the
Continent that demonstrate the wide trading connections of
Ely by way of the port at Kings Lynn.
Figure 1
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
St Neots Ware
Dark shelly fabric (Hurst 1956).
1. Everted, slightly hollowed jar rim
from early ditch [1837], 12th century,
(Hurst 1956, fig. 4 no. 32; fig. 8 no. 1).
Other similar rims occurred in [632,
abraded] [860], [1263], [1425], [975]; a
simple jar rim [904]; bowls [1832],
[1051]. Late St Neots pink ware bowl
rim [632], and in [770] was a pink
hollowed everted jar rim, slightly
Thetford Ware
Hard sandy fabric, grey and dark
(Hurst 1957).
2. Jug or jar rim in hard grey ware with
three rows of rouletted decoration
from [1414].
3. Rim of small jar, dark grey ware
from [1414].
4. Body sherd of large storage jar with
thumbed lattice rib decoration, [1414].
Grey fabric with a few grits and a dark
surface (Hurst 1957, fig. 8 no. 1).
Stamford Ware
Hard white-cream fabric with clear
yellow-green glaze (Kilmurry 1980).
5-6. Two jug rims with light green
external glazing, from [1832] and
Three sherds of Developed Stamford
ware (13th century) were identified,
having dark green copper gaze, [203],
[890], [1831] a strap handle.
Early medieval wares
7. Bowl rim, thick handmade sherd,
thumbed on upper surface, with large
coarse shells, reduced fabric, from
[1133]; similar sherds came from [681],
[934] and [1051]. Lyveden glazed fine
wares with a pink core, slightly reduced
corky surface and multiple plain yellow
slip strips came from [1051]. Grill-
stamped blobs and stripes were found
in [904], [1051], [1233], [1271]. Plain
sherds were found in [780], [632],
[624], [681], [1051].
Reduced sandy wares
Black and dark grey sandy wares, all
the 17 rims recovered were jars in a
thin hard fabric, cf. Clarke and Carter
(1977), figs. 82-3, called Grimston
ware. The vessels illustrated below are
all jars.
8. Roughly made vessel, dark grey
inside. This is the commonest form,
[268], (Clarke and Carter 1977, fig. 82
no. 4). Similar sherds came from
contexts [217], [218], [234], [755],
[860], [1004], [1051] (2), [1135],
[1177], [1185] (2), [1221], [1279].
9. A similar rim form to no. 8, with
finger tip decoration on the upper
surface, [234], cf Clarke and Carter
(1977), fig. 82 nos. 2 & 11.
10. Dark fabric with a few oxidized
patches, partly green glazed inside and
out [1221].
11. Dark coloured jar, [1454].
12. Jar with rilled decoration, dark grey
outer surface, [743]. Not drawn; two
simple rounded slightly everted rim
forms [1836].
Ely fabric
Dark core with oxidized and dark
surfaces revealing white quartzose grits.
Fig. 1 Saxo-Norman and 13th century wares. Scale 1:4
B1 Plain hollow-rim type (rough hand
13. The earliest form of Ely bowl,
small, dark grey core inside, buff-grey
outside with lightly incised grooves;
coarse gritty fabric, [1414], 12th
century. Occurs with a St Neots base
and Thetford wares (nos. 3 & 4).
14. Buff-pink surfaces & dark core,
outside slightly blackened. Fairly large
white quartzose grits. Thin, patchy
internal green glaze, [632].
15. Very shallow unglazed bowl, less
gritty, buff surfaces, [945]; similar
16. Hollowed internally, but the rim
section is rather square, buff and
darkened, [1270]. Similar forms are
from [632] pink; [1249] pink; [593]
buff and darkened outside.
17. Rough finish, hollowed internally,
but upper rim rather pointed in
section; buff and darkened externally,
[1229]. Similar [1071] outer surface
buff, and pink internally. Note the
forms 15-17 are probably not as
shallow as depicted in the illustrations.
Decorated forms of B1.
18. Square-rim type, with only slight
hollowing; dark buff inner surface and
pink-buff outer surface. Stabbed
decoration on inner flange of rim. On
outside two rows of zig-zag and one
horizontal line below, [992].
19. Rim form as no. 15 pink-buff;
decoration of wavy line on upper rim
surface, [382].
20. Bowl rim with a hole in the side
[made before firing?]. Fig. 2 Ely Ware bowls, form B1. Scale 1:4
B2 Flanged rims. Only a few have
straight-forward nearly horizontal
forms, most flanges being very sloping
and devolved with an internal rib. This
type is the commonest form. A few are
21. Pink, slightly darkened outside,
with a little internal glaze, [674].
Similar but dark grey, [902].
22. Flanged rim with slight hollowing
and pointed top. Pink with dark core,
23. Flanged with square finish. Pink
with dark core, [460].
24. Flanged rim with internal rib; dark
grey core and internal surface, buff
outside, [1059]; similar [946], [632],
[632] buff-pink.
25. Internal rib with raised outer rim;
coarse gritty fabric, pink-buff surfaces
with darkened exterior, [222]; similar
26. Buff inside, darkened outside,
internal green glaze on the base,
[1229]; similar forms were found in
[956], [978] pink buff throughout,
[549], [632] buff.
27, 28. Two rims with a flange of
triangular section, buff inside,
darkened outside, both from [904];
similar [890], [597], [476].
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Fig. 3 Ely Ware bowls, form B2. Scale 1:4
Decorated forms of B2
29. Round stab holes, dark core all
surfaces buff, [1269]. Similar forms but
with squarer rim sections from [632]
(2), [675], slashed holes [1270], plus
[730] that is rounded and decorated
with slashed holes.
30. Pink buff surfaces, small holes,
[755]. Similar decoration was found at
Kings Lynn, called Grimston Software,
mainly in Period I which finished in
1250, cf. Clarke and Carter (1977), fig.
70 no. 22; fig. 90 nos. 7, 8, 10. Variants
of Ely forms came from [1130/2],
[622], [383], [391]; also slashed holes
from [1270], [280] pink surfaces.
31. Buff, [1071]; small hole type as no.
32. Simple everted rim with round
holes, [1464]; similar from [1452].
Wavy lines
33. Flanged rim bowl with wavy line
decoration on upper part of the rim,
hole made after firing [681]; similar
from [534]. Fig. 4 Ely Ware bowls, form B2, decorated. Scale 1:4
B3 Simple bowl forms with slight
thickening inside and out and sometimes
an inner ridge.
34. Rim with lip inside and out; dark
core, buff-pink surfaces, [281].
35. Rim rounded outside with rounded
inner lip. Fairly well made, dark core,
pink inside and darkened outside, [632].
There are many variants, some with rim
forms similar to no. 34, but all inward
sloping. Colours vary from pink to grey
and darkened; another from [632] looks
similar to St Neots Ware until touched or
looked at closely. Other rims from [632]
2, [564], [470], [1135], [549].
36. Rim with a square section, darkened
both sides, [632]. Variants are sometimes
more rounded and have a more
pronounced inner lip, [1270], [632],
Decorated forms of B3.
37. Thumbed decoration on upper
surface; dark core, grey inside, darkened
outside, roughly finished, [1830]. Similar
forms from [1051], [632].
38. Square rim with upper thumbing,
grey surfaces, not very gritty, [1135].
39. Form with rib on the outside and
thumbed inner lip. Buff inside, darkened
outside, [1233].
40. Bowl with squared outside flange and
decorated with an internal wavy line,
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Fig. 5 Ely Ware bowls, form B3. Scale 1:4
B4 Straight sided bowl rims with simple
upper bulge.
41. Simple thickened rim, dark core,
buff with slight darkening on outside,
[428]; similar [720], [428], two.
42. Shallow flat bowl or dish, pink
inside, buff out, with patchy, muddy
light green glaze on the bottom, [319].
Variants [782], [904] with green glaze
outside, unusually transparent.
CP1 Flat topped and hollowed, similar
to jugs
43. Large piece of a large jar with a
strap handle. Flat topped rim with a
hollow except near the handle. One
vertical thumbed applied strip
(presumably there were others) and
three impressed rosettes. Two slight
decorative rills were made before the
strip was applied. Buff surfaces, outer
flaked away on the lower parts. Patchy
light green glaze on top outside and
lower inside, [269]. Similar with
applied strip and glaze [217].
44. Larger version with applied strip
and no glaze, darkened buff, [1114];
another near identical sherd from
45. Small jar rim with slight hollow.
Dark buff inside and dark & sooted
outside, [1004]. Similar variants, 191,
603, 632, 655, 681 (2), 696, 1185, 1221,
1229, 1454, 1629.
CP2 Plain flat top, occasionally squared
or developed into a rib
46. Slightly squared finish, both
surfaces grey-buff, [1627].
47. Internal rib, grey-buff, blackened
outside, [1009], cf. Clarke and Carter
(1977), fig. 79 no. 15, from early Period
II, 1250-1350. Similar rims came from
[467], [632], [904], [1133], [1135] (2),
[904], [1135], [756], [1265];
[1464/1452] has finger presses on top
and on the outer edge.
48. Simple flat top with small
triangular stabbed decoration on the
upper surface, buff-pink inside,
blackened outside [904]. Similar, but
without decoration, 632, 675, 1349,
1454. Fig. 6 Ely Ware bowls and jars, forms B4 (41-2), CP1 (43-5) and CP2 (46-8). Scale 1:4
CP3 Everted rim with a hollow on the
inner slope.
49. Buff, very slight internal hollow,
[681]; variants [1133]; [1134].
50. Hollowed rim, well made on a
wheel, pink surfaces, [881]. Similar
(two may not be Ely fabric) [234],
[881], [300], [355], [600], [645], [730],
[766], [1027].
CP4 Everted or flanged rims
51. Squared flange, irregular external
rilled decoration; buff and darkened,
[904]. Similar in [905] with more
developed flange and part of vertical
applied thumbed strip.
52. Everted rim with finger tipped
decoration on the outer edge, [100],
another, [1138].
52 a. Body and base sherd to illustrate
the squat forms typical of Ely jars.
Greyish fabric with small amount of
green glaze on upper outer surface.
Jugs are less common. Small fragments
(12) were not classified, of them four
had rounded tops [309], [905], [336],
[393] and six flat, [905], [905], [632],
[632], [632], [1132], two hollowed flat
[544], [1146].
J1 Simple neck
53. Well developed rim with small
holes of stabbed decoration on the
upper surface (the only one
decorated), [632]. Variants [607],
54. Slightly-formed rim; others similar,
[1130], [632], [330], [780], [549].
J2 A single horizontal ridge below the
55. Flat topped rim and jug lip, pink-
buff outside, buff inside, patchy green
glaze [1223]; variants, [313], [330],
[1185], [1332], [1229], [602], [632],
[1229], [440], [1350] plus two with flat
tops slightly hollowed, [1185], [600].
56. Slightly formed rim, pink-buff
surfaces, partly leached like Lyveden,
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Fig. 7 Ely Ware jars and jugs, forms CP3 (49-50), CP 4 (51-2), J1 (53-4) and J2 (55-6). Scale 1:4
Compare similar forms and
decorations from Kings Lynn (Clarke
and Carter 1977, fig. 78).
H1 Simple rod
57. Buff surface, [1004]. Similar in pink
and buff colours, [026], [330], [281],
[1234], 1051, [992].
H2 Rope twist
58. Pink-buff surface partly glazed,
[1229]; another in [632].
H3 Plain strap
59. Pink buff surface with partial
glazing [330]; similar in pink, grey
and dark colours [045], [597], [860],
[1113], [470], [905], [995], [255],
H4 Strap with knife single stabbed
60. Pink-buff, partly glazed dull
muddy-green, [946]; similar [330],
[632], [118].
H5 Strap with round holes in single row
61. Thumbing subsequently stabbed, [820].
H6 Strap with multiple stabbing
62. Buff, [234]; additional [632], [234],
63. Pink, partly glazed, two rows of
central slashes with both edges
thumbed, [330].
64. Grey, central row of stabbed holes
and a row of sideways slashes on both
edges, [1831].
H7 Strap with thumbing and no slashes
(none drawn). Dark central thumbing
and two side rows [1830]; double row
of thumbing each side on plain handle,
also [1830].
H8 Straight handles
65. Buff and dark surface, with hooked
end, [1629].
66. Straight handle with one rib, dark
fabric, glazed, [1234]; another in
Fig. 8 Ely Ware handles. Scale 1:4
Other forms and decorations of Ely fabric
67. Ridge tile in coarse grey fabric with
cocks comb decoration, [1135].
68. Basting dish, blackened outside,
glazed inside with thumbed rim, [734];
others with no thumbing were found
in [681], [1195], [682], [632].
69. Band of rouletted decoration
below a cordon, [895].
70. Base decorated with slashes, [1522].
Bases are usually plain; thumbing
decoration is the most common, either
continuously or in spaced groups of
71. Jug base in standard dark fabric,
thick rills inside, dark and buff surfaces,
72. Saggar or ridge tile, buff surfaces, [720].
73. Part of curfew with wavy incised line
decoration and thumbed rib over the
top, blackened inside, buff-pink outside,
[234]. Other similar pieces occurred
in [1629],[755]. Irregular fragments with
a hole 1 cm diameter are
probably from curfews, [1202],
74. Jug fragment with hole near
the rim, [218].
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Fig. 9 Ely Ware miscellaneous forms (75-80) and other. Scale 1:4
75. Parts of face jug with plain strap
handle and large panels of green and
brown tear- drop decoration. The base
is thumbed and the outside where not
glazed is oxidized to a buff and pink-
buff colour; [1629]. Similar to Jennings
(1981), 52-3, figs 18-19. Small handles
(arms) from other face-jugs were
recovered. Another unglazed base with
two isolated thumb-presses on the edge
was found in [709].
76. Part of a jug with vertical brown
stripes with single rows of multiple
green leaves (blobs) between, [632].
Compare Clarke and Carter (1977), fig.
91 no. 19, that has two rows of leaves.
There were several sherds decorated
with multiple brown stripes, as
Jennings (1981), fig. 19 nos. 345, 346.
Rim forms were standard, as published.
77. A handle fashioned like a horse-
head, [1454]. Possibly an Ely copy of
Grimston, since the fabric is rather
gritty and there are no parallels in the
Grimston sherds from Kings Lynn or
78. Bowl with thick yellow internal
glaze, [549]. This type of glaze occurs
in Period III at Kings Lynn, 1350-1500.
79. Yellow flower petal with brown
lines and brown petal edges, [330]. A
late type, cf Clarke and Carter (1977),
fig. 92 no. 2, 1350-1500; Jennings
(1981), fig. 29 no. 360.
80. Part of a jug with scratched
decoration, oxidized inside, [1252].
Other medieval wares
81. Fluted jug handle, complete with
rim. Off white ware with green glaze,
13th-14th century, [1375].
82. Scarborough ware. Off-white with
some pink areas; rim and fluted rod
handle, fairly dense green glaze, [716],
cf. Clarke and Carter (1977), fig. 94
no. 11. Among the other sherds of this
fabric were a chafing dish with internal
green glaze on a pink fabric in [642]. Fig. 10 Grimston Wares (75-80) and other fabrics (81-2). Scale 1:4
Essex red wares
The illustrated sherds are probably all
from the Colchester region.
83. Almost complete large Colchester
jug with groups of triple thumb presses
around the base (four or five sets) and
white-yellow fleur de lys decoration
spaced between two horizontal bands.
Fine orange ware. Patchy clear glaze,
mostly on upper parts with a few tiny
spots on base, [586]; cf. McCarthy and
Brooks (1988), no. 2147, 15th century.
Among other small undrawn sherds
there are four frilly bases and five with
white bands.
84. A complete small jug. Pink-red
coarse fabric with a very few white
grits, possibly from Essex. White slip
on most of the top except under the
handle, covered with a clear very light
green glaze, only over the slip, mostly
appearing yellow, [198].
85. Body sherd of a large jug in fine red
ware with white slip fleur de lys motifs,
86. Coarse plain red-ware jug rim,
[980]. Five other jug rims were
87. Jug rim with patchy exterior glaze,
88. Sgraffito, fine red ware. Two fitting
pieces with curved motifs cut through
slip. This decoration is not noted in
Bushnell and Hurst (1952). Thin clear
glaze with occasional green speckles;
small part of body without slip
exposed, [624].
Not drawn; 12 sherds (two reduced
other fine red wares) of micaceous
Hedingham fabrics with a variety of
green or orange glazes, yellow and
brown slip bands, [217], [756], [995],
[1091], [1027 (2)], [1135], [1223],
[1229], [1375], [1529].
Mill Green fabrics, 5 sherds; red wares
with blue core, all-over slip, strips of
brown decorated with white dots,
[607], [230 (2)], [1053 (2)].
Late sandy wares
89. Bowl in coarse red sandy fabric,
blackened on the outside, [311].
90. Dark grey coarse sandy ware bowl
with everted flanged rim, 15th century,
source unknown [880]. Other 15th-
century flanged type reduced rims
were recovered, all seem to be bowls.
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Fig. 11 Essex red fabrics (8388) and sandy wares (8990). Scale 1:4
91. Jar with cordon and incised line
decorated with a triangle, 15th
century? Sandy fabric with a few grits,
blackened buff surfaces, [736] and fits
92. Fine grey sandy jug sherd with fir-
tree decoration, 15th to 16th century,
93. Fine grey sandy ware indented cup,
15th century, [691], cf. Haslam 1978
fig. 19 no. 25.
Bourne D
94. Large jug rim in standard fabric.
Partly glazed with clear slightly green,
glossy, [880].
95. Jug with upper rim fluted, large
thumb print decoration, [880].
Compare Clarke and Carter (1977), fig.
105 no. 23, 15th to 16th century. Other
rims were found in [709], [650], both
with some glaze; a plain hollowed rim
occurred in [026].
96. Upper half of Langerwehe jug,
[463]. Dark fabric with thin patchy
iron glaze inside and out, dull finish.
The inside is coated with hard water
scale. Compare Hurst et al. (1986), fig.
91 no. 277, 15th century.
97. Rather coarse cream earthenware
base with three horizontal bands of
underglaze blue, [314], cf. Jennings
(1981), fig. 91 nos. 1451, 1454.
Post-medieval wares
98. Handle in glazed red earthenware
with clear glaze and green patches
where handle is fixed, [123].
99. Glazed red earthenware jar, external
brown glaze [123].
Imported wares
None drawn
Flemish (formerly called Aardenburg).
Three sherds with white slip and green
glaze patches; [993] thin grey sandy
ware, [194] red fabric, from [855] a flat
piece of red fabric, cut into shape,
sgraffito decoration, form & purpose
North French micaceous. Fine grey ware
with some mica, similar to Hedingham
fabric, glazed with a red strip, [1153].
Picardy. Fine white ware with very
occasional small red flecks in fabric.
Decoration of light brown slip strips,
light clear green glaze over all, [904].
Haffner, near Cologne. Rather coarse
sandy off-white fabric, glazed green
outside and yellow-green inside.
Outside has incised parallel bands of
decoration, 14th to 15th century. Two
sherds probably from the same vessel,
[440]. Fig. 12 Fifteenth century and later pottery. Scale 1:4
A full report by Alan Vince is held in archive. More
samples have since been analysed (P. Spoerry, pers. comm.)
and further material from other Ely sites is available. The
following is therefore a summary of the first set of
Samples of 21 sherds of medieval Ely fabric were
analysed. The aims of the analysis were to provide an
objective description of the petrological composition of
the fabric, to establish whether or not there were internal
variations in composition, and to test the hypothesis that
these samples are representative of the Ely pottery industry,
known through documentary sources.
The samples were taken from three contexts: [650], 15th
century, and [1830] and [1831], both 12th century. The
pottery in contexts [1830] and [1831] is handmade, from
unglazed jars whereas that from context [650] is glazed and
includes jugs and jars as well as cooking pots. Only one
vessel was definitely wheelthrown.
Thin-section analysis distinguished two major fabrics.
Fabric C (3 sherds), tempered with glauconitic sand (1/3
glauconite, 2/3 quartz). The other fabric was tempered
with a mixed sand containing calcareous and quarztose
inclusions. It was subdivided, mainly on the basis of grain
size, into Fabric A (coarse grain, 10 samples) and Fabric B
(fine grain, 7 samples).
The samples were chemically analysed by spectroscopy
for iron, calcium and minor elements. The three fabrics
fell into clustered groups. The analyses suggested that the
clays used for all three fabrics are Cretaceous. Fabric C clay
is, however, different from that used in Fabrics A and B.
The calcareous component of Fabrics A and B is likely to
derive from Jurassic limestones. Since Ely has a complex
geology, with outcrops of Kimmeridge Clay, and Cretaceous
Greensand together with boulder clay and glacial sand, it
is likely that all the components were locally available. A
further programme of clay and sand sampling should
establish clearly that the sampled groups were made at
I am grateful to Mary Alexander for provision of site data,
Crane Begg and Andy Hall for the drawings, Norma
Challands and assistants for pottery processing and Alan
Vince for identification of imported wares, and for the
spectrographic analyses of the Ely sherds. The Cambridge
Archaeological Unit is grateful to English Heritage for
funding the site analyses and for a grant towards the
publication of this report.
Alexander, M. 2003, A medieval and post-medieval street
frontage: investigations at Forehill Ely, Proc Camb Antiq Soc
92, 135-182.
Alexander, M. et al., forthcoming, Ely Broad Street Excavation
Bellamy, B. 1983, Medieval pottery kilns at Stanion,
Northamptonshire Archaeol 18, 153-61.
Brears, P. C. D. 1967, Excavations at Potovens, near Wakefield,
Post-Medieval Archaeol 1, 3-43.
Bryant, G. F. and Steane J. M. 1969, Excavations at the deserted
medieval settlement at Lyveden J Northampton Mus Art Gall
5, 3-50.
Bushnell, G. H. S. and Hurst, J. G. 1952, Some further examples
of sgraffito ware from Cambridge, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 46,
Clarke, H. and Carter A. 1977, Excavations in Kings Lynn 1963-
1970, Soc Med Archaeol Monogr 7.
Coad J. G. and Streeten, A. D. F. 1982, Excavations at Castle Acre
Castle, Norfolk, 1972-77, Archaeol J 139, 199-227.
Cotter, J. P. 2000, Post-Roman Pottery from Excavations in
Colchester 1971-85. Colchester Archaeol Rep 7.
Cunningham, C. M. 1982, The medieval and post-medieval
pottery in P. J. Drury, Aspects of the origins and development
of Colchester Castle, Archaeol J 139, 358-80.
Edwards, D and Hall, D. 1997, Medieval pottery from
Cambridge Proc Camb Anti. Soc, 86, 153-168.
Farmer, P. G. and Farmer, N. C. 1982, The dating of the
Scarborough ware pottery industry, Medieval Ceram 6, 66-86.
Hall, D. 1996, The Fenland Project 10: The Isle of Ely and Wisbech,
East Anglian Archaeol 79.
Hall, D. in Hall, A. 2002, A late 16th Century Pit Group from
Pembroke College, Cambridge, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 91, 89-102.
Hall, D. forthcoming, The pottery from Raynham House, Kings
Lynn; report by P. Cope-Faulkner for Archaeological Project
Services, Heckington, Lincs.
Haslam, J. 1978, Medieval Pottery (Shire Publications).
Healey, R. H. 1969, Bourne Ware Lincolnshire Hist Archaeol 4,
Healey, R. H. 1975, Medieval and Sub-Medieval Pottery in
Lincolnshire, unpubl. M. Phil. thesis, University of
Holton-Krayenbuhl, A. 1989,Excavations on the Paddock, Ely,
Cambs, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 77, 120-3.
Huggins, R. M. 1972, Monastic Grange and outer close
excavations, Waltham Abbey, Essex, 1970-72, Essex Archaeol
Hist 4, 30-127.
Hurst, J. G. 1956, Saxo-Norman pottery in East Anglia: Part I St
Neots Ware, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 49, 43-70.
Hurst, J. G. 1957, Saxo-Norman pottery in East Anglia: Part II
Thetford Ware, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 50, 29-60.
Hurst, J. G., Neal, D. S. and van Beuningen, H. J. E. 1986, Pottery
produced and traded in north-west Europe 1350-1650.
Medieval pottery from Forehill, Ely, Cambridgeshire
Rotterdam Papers VI.
Jennings, S. 1981, Eighteen centuries of pottery from Norwich, East
Anglian Archaeol 13.
Jones, A. 1994, Archaeological Excavations at the White Hart, Ely
1991-2, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 82, 113-37.
Kilmurry, K. 1980, The pottery industry of Stamford, Lincs. c.
AD850-1250, British Archaeol. Rep 84.
Knight, M. 2000, Ely, West Fen Road, Proc Camb Antiq Soc 89, 93.
Leah, M. 1994, The Late Saxon and Medieval Pottery Industry of
Grimston, Norfolk: Excavations 1962-92, East Anglian Archaeol
MacCarthy, M. R. and Brooks, C. M. 1988, Medieval Pottery in
Britain AD 900-1600 (Leicester UP).
Pearce, J., Vince, A. G., and White, R., with Cunningham, C. M.
1982, A dated type series of London medieval pottery, Part I:
Mill green ware, Trans London Middlesex Archaeol Soc 33,
Reaney, P. H. 1943, The Place-Names of Cambridgeshire and the
Isle of Ely.
Regan, R. 2002, Note in Proc Camb Antiq Soc 91, 143.
Robinson, B. 1998, Note in Medieval Archaeol 42, 119.
Rogerson, A. and Ashley, S. J. 1985, A medieval pottery
production site at Blackborough End, Middleton, Norfolk
Archaeol 39.2, 181-9.
Steane, J. M. 1967, Excavations at Lyveden J Northampton Mus
Art Gall 2, 1-37.
David Hall, The Pinfold, Raunds Road, Hargrave, Wellingborough
Une srie de fouilles conduites par Mary Alexander pour
Cambridge Archaeological Unit Forehill, Ely en 1996, a rvl
un groupe de poteries utilises dans la ville du 12me au 15 me
sicle. Cest la premire fois quun tel groupe de rfrence,
originaire de la ville,est notre disposition. Le groupe majoritaire
est constitu de ptes grossires, identifies comme provenant de
lindustrie mdivale dEly. Les formes ont t catalogues et sont
illustres. Ltendue de la distribution de la poterie dEly na pas
encore t dtermine avec prcision, cependant la pte a t
identifie dans du matriel fouill rcemment a Kings Lynn et sur
des sites de Cambridge et ses environs. La pte a galement t
reconnue par Hilary Healey dans le sud du Lincolnshire et par
Andrew Rogerson dans louest du Norfolk.
Ausgrabungen von Mary Alexander, Cambridge Archaeological
Unit, im Jahre 1996 in Forehill, Ely, brachten eine Reihe
Tpferwaren zutage, die in der Stadt vom 12. bis zum 15.
Jahrhundert benutzt worden war. Dieses ist die erste fr
verschiedene Tpfereiprodukte prototypische Sammlung von
Scherben fr diese Stadt. Die Hauptgruppe besteht aus grobem
Material und wurde als Produkt der mittelalterlichen
Tpferindustrie in Ely identifiziert. Die Ely-Formen wurden
bestimmt und zusammen mit anderem Material illustriert. Die
Ware ist in Cambridgeshire, dem westlichen Norfolk und dem
sdlichen Lincolnshire weit verbreitet.
Some late 12th- or
early 13th-century
great brick
at Farnham Castle,
Nicholas Riall
The discovery of great bricks in the fabric
of Farnham Castle, and dateable to before
1208, represents its first known use as a
building material outside East Anglia in
a context other than a tile kiln.
The use of great brick as a building material is most often
recognised as a feature of ecclesiastical buildings in Essex,
with Coggeshall and Bradwell-juxta-Coggeshall amongst the
best known (Drury 1981, 126; Ryan 1996, 22-9; Rodwell
1998, 59-114). Outside Essex, great brick is virtually
unknown though this may have much to do with the
similarity of this building material to Romano-British brick
types and thus the potential for confusing the two materials.
A further problem in Essex is that the rapid introduction of
so-called Flemish bricks, manufactured either in Flanders
or locally in East Anglia, has tended to obscure the part
played by great brick in the early medieval use of ceramic
building materials (Drury 1977, 83-86). The presence of
great brick in ecclesiastical settings in Essex is generally dated
to the second half of the 12th century although its use may
Some late 12th- or early 13th-century great brick at Farnham Castle, Surrey
Fig. 1 Map of south east England and of Farnham, Surrey, showing
the tile kilns and principal features of the medieval town.
well have continued as late as c.1220 in the construction of the
chapel of St Nicholas outside Coggeshall Abbey. Great brick
is now also known to have been used in the construction of
three roof tile kilns in West Surrey: the Borelli Yard and
Farnham Park kilns at Farnham (Riall 1997 and Riall 2003
b) and the kiln at Guildford Castle-Palace (Riall
forthcoming). Following the excavation of the Borelli Yard
kiln it became possible to identify examples of great brick
and roof tile used at Farnham Castle as products of that kiln.
Farnham Castle was one of the principal manors of the
bishops of Winchester throughout the medieval period. Here
they built and maintained a substantial if relatively modest
castle-cum-country house. The site has a number of
interesting features including a motte surrounding a square
keep which was demolished in c.1155. The earlier motte and
keep were encased by a polygonal, five-towered, shell keep
before the start of the 13th century (Thompson 1960a; Riall
2003a). It is from contexts within this shell keep that pieces
of early brick and tile have been identified.
Studies of the castle benefit from the survival of the
manorial accounts, the pipe rolls of the bishops of Winchester.
These documents, which survive with the occasional gap from
the accounting year 1208/09 until late in the post-medieval
period, record in detail the expenditure by the bishops and
their servants on the castle and manor alongside the manorial
income from agricultural produce, rents, fines and so on. From
the first of these pipe rolls it is clear that ceramic roof tiles were
in use on the castle roofs, although wooden shingles, thatch
and lead, were also employed.
Fragments of Borelli-type roof tile and great brick is to be
found scattered throughout the fabric of the towers of the
shell-keep. The majority is in the internal walls of the East
tower and they were also used in a hearth in the West Tower.
These roof tiles were not, however, used as a roofing material
on the shell keep. During the medieval period, these towers
(more correctly termed turrets) seem always to have been
roofed with shingles as shown by the following extracts from
the pipe rolls,
1264/5 Wage of a mason working for two days (6d) and his
helper (3d). Wage of a man cleaning the house(s) in the
tower and a place where shall be put the new house for
eleven and a half days by piece work (1s 8d). Nails for the
gate of the tower (2d). Nails for repairs to the steps inside
the tower, the boards bought for the room........ in the tower
total (3 15s 5d), Wage of a carpenter making a room in
the tower with beams and new repairs to the towers
(turrets) by piece work (2 10s 3d). 4,250 shingles made for
the work (12s 9d). Hooks and hinges (9d) for plastering the
walls (6d).
A century later shingles were still in use,
1355/6 2 towers (turrets) roofed with shingles (1s 6d).
There was clearly a strong tradition for the production of
shingles at Farnham. Details in the pipe rolls for 1208/9,
1209/10 and 1210/11 show quantities of timber and shingles
being taken from Farnham to Winchester for the making of
an inclaustrum (cloister). This may have been for the
Cathedral but is as likely to refer to works at the nearby
bishops palace at Wolvesey. By contrast, there were a
number of buildings within the shell keep (these structures
were always referred to in the pipe rolls as the houses of the
castle) which were roofed with ceramic tiles,
1220 carriage of tiles for the repairs to the houses of the
castle, 2d.
The earliest reference to roof tiles occurs in the 1210/11 pipe
roll when the expense of 8s 9d was recorded for the repair of
the stables with tiles. Thereafter roof tiles, or the work of the
tiler himself, are mentioned in most years. It is possible that
an entry in the 1223/4 pipe roll for a John the Tiler, who
Fig 2. Plan of the keep at Farnham Castle showing site of hearth in the
West Turret.
Medieval Ceramics 25, 2226, 2001
paid a fine of 6d for a piece of land, may be the tiler who
operated the Borelli Yard tile kiln and carried out roofing
work in the castle (Riall 1995a; Riall 2003b). He may have
been a floor tiler but, at this period, there seems no reason to
suppose this craft was being plied at Farnham as there is no
documentary reference to clay floor tiles being laid at this
date and certainly nothing in the archaeological record to
suggest that they were being manufactured in the Farnham
area. Earlier pipe rolls record, in 1215/16, the payment of
a fine of 2s for land by the daughter of the tiler and, in
1216/17, a payment of 12d for the same reason by the son of
the tiler. These may all relate to the same family and it may
well be that by this date John the Tiler had been in business
producing tiles and, perhaps occasionally, bricks from before
1208/9 (the date of the first episcopal pipe roll) and,
furthermore, that this same man ran his business from the
tilery at Borelli Yard. The original grant of land for the tilery
is not recorded in the pipe rolls and it is presumed that this
occurred before 1208.
We may note, finally, a tantalising reference in the
1225/26 pipe roll to a chimney being made in the tower,
that is within the shell keep, but we are offered no clue as to
where this was located.
Borelli Yard-type great bricks and tiles occur in four of the
five shell keep turrets and in the rear-ward extension to the
west turret where it was used in a fireplace. There does not
seem to be any particular pattern to the use of this ceramic
building material in the turrets other than as a leveling
material within individual sections of the structure. One
complete and one incomplete great brick occur in the entry
tower in the north-west corner, beside a disused spiral stair.
A further 45 pieces of brick and tile are to be found
elsewhere in the shell keep apart from the material used in
the fireplace. The East Turret has two forms of great brick
and also flat roof tiles and ridge tiles incorporated into three
internal wall faces along with pieces of great bricks used to
form the draw-bar slot for the door. Great bricks and tiles
again occur in the doorway and in the internal faces of the
North Turret, with more in the internal face of the shell keep
wall just to the west of the North Turret.
The fireplace in the West Turret was set into the north wall
and originally had coursed brick and tile on three sides. The
hearth measures some 1.20 by 0.75 metres with the remaining
fireback standing 0.40 metres high and up to 0.20 metres
thick. The base of the fireplace was defined by stonework with
a roll-moulding along the edge into which tile on-edge had
been laid. Much of this hearth has now been lost and the
principal remnant is the hearthback (Fig. 3). This consists of
three courses of great brick with some tile and, above, eleven
courses of roof tile. The tiles and great bricks used in this
fireplace match those produced in the Borelli Yard kiln.
Samples of both great bricks and tiles from Farnham Castle
were examined microscopically and by disaggregation
alongside material from the Borelli Yard kiln by the late
Robert Foot, then with the Winchester Museums Service
(Riall 2003b). He concluded that the fabric of the two sets of
material were indistinguishable. The great bricks and tiles also
physically match the material produced in the Borelli Yard
kiln, a key feature being the treatment of the side faces of the
great bricks. These were scored, or combed, with a toothed
tool of some type - possibly a simple wooden comb - around
all four faces producing a grooved appearance (Fig. 4). The
grooves vary from 0.1 to 0.5mm in depth and sometimes
show quite fine lines, 0.2-0.3mm wide, but can also be wider
and coarser, up to 0.7mm wide.
This is a characteristic feature of all the Borelli Yard great
bricks and also of the voussoirs used in the kiln arches. The
combing also occurs on some of the great bricks used in the
Farnham Park kiln (Riall 1997) and on all the great bricks
and voussoirs used in the kiln at Guildford castle royal
Some late 12th- or early 13th-century great brick at Farnham Castle, Surrey
Fig. 3 Farnham Castle great bricks and tiles in the West Turret
hearth. Scale 50cm.
Fig. 4 Farnham Castle great brick detail of a combed face.
palace (Riall forthcoming). The Essex material does not
exhibit this combing. The need to apply this texturing to the
faces of the great brick remains unknown. It may have been
intended to provide a key to facilitate the application of
plaster or rendering. There is some evidence to suggest that
in their primary stages the oven structures of both the
Borelli Yard and Guildford tile kilns were extensively
rendered with a thin layer of clay. By the time of the final
firings of the Borelli Yard kiln this practice had certainly
ceased and the materials used in the oven structure were
subjected to the full thermal blast of the kiln fires. The
Surrey great bricks are a long and thin rectangular brick,
that were made in a mould. The struck face is always slightly
concave, or dished, while the lower face usually has a coarse
texture resulting from sand derived from the moulding table
being left on the bottom of the brick. The concave
characteristic of the struck face appears to have been a
deliberate design feature that allowed the kiln builders to
bond bricks together using a clay mortar and leaving a joint
no more than 3mm thick. The voussoirs in the Borelli Yard
kiln were frequently so tightly bonded together that the joint
was no more than paper-thick. In the hearth at Farnham
Castle a lime mortar seems to have been used throughout.
Two forms of great brick have been identified in the Borelli
Yard assemblage: FBY-GB1 measuring 308-315mm long by
135-145 wide and 47-55mm thick and, FBY-GB2 which
measure 320-330mm long by 140-145mm wide and 50-
55mm thick, based on a sample of more than 100 individual
Table 1 Comparison of great bricks from sites in East Anglia and from
the three Surrey kilns.
type length mm width thickness
East Anglian sites:
Bradwell-juxta-Coggeshall most 330 160 50
some 360 190 60
Coggeshall 320-30 150-60 45-55
Pleshey Castle A 305 130 75
B c265 130-35 45-50
Rivenhall Church B 320 145 50
Shouldham Abbey 6 300 150 45
Surrey sites:
Farnham - Borelli Yard GB-1 308-15 135-145 50-55
GB-2 320-30 140-45 50-55
Farnham - New Park GB 305-14 145-51 48-52
GB-V 320-40 195-205 49-54 (30-33)
Guildford Castle Palace GB 340-50 170-75 52-58
A second type of great brick was also encountered in the
Borelli Yard assemblage. This has been classified as large
great brick (FBY-LGB). No complete examples were found at
Borelli Yard. It was made of the same fabric as the other
ceramic building materials and, like the great brick and
voussoirs, had combing along the side faces. This form of
brick, perhaps more accurately described as a ceramic slab,
was at least 300mm long by 265-270mm wide and 38-45mm
thick. Brick of this type was used in the East turret and in
the wall alongside the North West turret. Brick of the FBY-
LGB type are known only from Borelli Yard, none occur in
the Farnham Park or Guildford assemblages.
The tiles employed in the Farnham Castle hearth appears
to match the dimensions of the Borelli Yard type 2 tiles
(FBY-T2). The hearth is built up of tiles cut down their
length or, possibly, of tiles that were actually manufactured
as half-width tiles. The excavation of the Borelli Yard kiln
produced peg tile (FBY-T3) that was manufactured as a half-
width of the standard full sized FBY-T2 tiles. Both tile types
were part-glazed and traces of this glaze appear on tiles in
the hearth. FBY-T2 tiles were rectangular with two peg holes;
the bottom third or so of the mould face was glazed, and
they measured c.340 x c.205 x 14-16mm. Peg-and-nib tiles
also occur in the Borelli Yard assemblage but are not thought
to be represented in the hearth. It may be noted here that
some FBY-T2 tiles were re-used on the roof of the brick
entry tower, Foxs Tower, on the south front of the castle.
This was built in 1470-75 by Bishop William Waynflete
(Thompson 1960b) and may have been altered by Bishop
Richard Fox in the early 16th century at the same time as the
entry tower into the shell keep was remodelled.
Whilst some 16th and 17th-century brick is present in
the East Turret and the entry tower, there is good reason to
suppose that most, if not all, the brick and tile built into
the shell keep turrets belongs to the original construction
phases of this structure. Although the precise date of the
construction of the shell keep remains unknown it is
generally thought to be between 1190 and 1208, the date of
the first episcopal pipe roll. We may with some confidence
suggest that the ceramic building materials in the turrets
belong to the main construction phase of the shell keep but
dating the brick- and tile-built hearth is more problematic.
Between 1208 and c.1280-1320 the space between the shell
keep wall with its turrets and the earlier motte remained
unfilled. The pipe rolls do not offer a dating for the leveling
up of the keep interior but pottery and roof tile indicate a
date of c.1280-1320 (Thompson 1960a, 86). Thompson
suggests that the West Turret was extended at the same time
as the keep interior was filled. All the brick and tile used in
the hearth can have been produced only in the Borelli Yard
kiln; there is nothing in the hearth that can be dated to the
period when the keep interior was filled in. It is clearly
possible for this material to be used and reused long after
the date of its original manufacture but the absence of any
later material should perhaps be taken to indicate an earlier
date for the hearth and, therefore, for the construction of
this part of the keep.
The presence of great bricks and early tiles in the structure
of Farnham Castle represents, in Surrey at least, their only
known use outside of a tile kiln context. A date of 1235 +/- 15
years was obtained through the measurement of thermo-
remnant magnetism of fourteen samples from various parts
of the Borelli Yard kiln; this is supported by pottery spot-
dating which suggests a date bracket of 1200-1230 (Riall
2003b). The presence of great bricks in contexts in the castle
earlier than 1208/9 carries with it the implication that the
Borelli Yard kiln was operating before this date which, prior to
this discovery, it had not been possible to establish. The
presence of great bricks in the castle also makes it clear that
there was a strong relationship between the masons involved
in the construction of the shell keep walls and the roof tilers
and the tilery. This relationship is further emphasised by the
use of much fine quality dressed stone in construction of the
kiln walls of the Borelli Yard tile kiln. Fine quality stone was
also employed in the construction of the Farnham Park kiln
which is seen as the local successor to the Borelli Yard site. We
may therefore conclude from this that the masons, roof tilers
and tile kiln operators working on the castle, and perhaps also
on the nearby parish church, were closely involved with one
Drury, P. J. 1977, Brick and tile, in F Williams, Excavations at
Pleshey Castle, BAR 42, 82-91.
Drury, P. J. 1981, The production of brick and tile in medieval
England in D W Crossley, (ed), Medieval Industry. CBA Res
Rep 40,126-142
Riall, N. 1995a, Tilers, tile kilns and roof tile: Exploring a
medieval industry in and around Farnham (Surrey),
Farnham and Dist Museum Soc News 10.11, 214-22.
Riall, N. 1997, A medieval tile kiln in Farnham Park, Surrey
Archaeol Collect 84, 143-168.
Riall, N. 2003a, The New Castles of Henry de Blois as Bishop of
Winchester: the case against Farnham, Surrey, Med Archaeol
47, 115-129
Riall, N. 2003b, Excavations at Borelli Yard, Farnham: the tile
kiln, Surrey Archaeol Collect. 90, 295-336
Riall, N. forthcoming, The tile kiln and The ceramic building
materials in, R Poulton, ed, Guildford Castle and royal palace:
archaeological investigations, Surrey Archaeol Soc Monogr.
Ryan, P. 1996, Brick in Essex from the Roman Conquest to the
Reformation. Chelmsford.
Rodwell, W. 1998, Holy Trinity Church, Bradwell-juxta-
Coggeshall: A survey of the fabric and an appraisal of the
Norman brickwork, Essex Archaeol & History 29, 59-114.
Thompson, M. W. 1960a, Recent excavations in the keep of
Farnham Castle, Surrey, Med Archaeol 4, 81-94
Thompson, M. W. 1960b, The date of Foxs Tower, Farnham
Castle, Surrey, in Surrey Archaeol Collect 57, 85-92
Nicholas Riall, Rock Cottage, High Street, Glynneath, Neath, West
Glamorgan SA11 5AP. (01639-721699). (
La dcouverte de grandes briques de type Farnham Castle date
davant 1208, reprsente leur premire utilisation connue en tant
que matriau de construction dans un autre contexte quun four
tuiles et en dehors de lEast Anglia.
Die Entdeckung groer Ziegel im Mauerwerk von Farnham
Castle, das frher als 1208 datiert, bezeugt den erstbekannten
Gebrauch dieser Ziegelart als Baumaterial auerhalb East Anglias
in anderem Zusammenhang als dem Bau von Brennfen.
A medieval pottery
clamp kiln, possible
workshop and
settlement at Eshott,
Piers Dixon and Amanda Crowdy
Emergency excavation and fieldwork in
advance of the North Sea Gas Pipeline
through Northumberland revealed a mid-
to late 12th-century pottery kiln, a possible
workshop and settlement. Rural medieval
pottery kilns in north-east England are
rare. The kiln is a clamp-kiln and its
products include both glazed and unglazed
vessels. The distribution of the products is
local, but they are paralleled by types
found elsewhere in north-east England.
During the construction of the 1.05 m North Sea Gas
pipeline through north Northumberland, a dense scatter
of 12th to 14th-century pottery and fragments of fired clay
were recovered from the ground surface after soil stripping
at Eshott (NGR NZ 195 981 and Figs. 1 and 2). This proved
to be part of an extensive scatter of pottery, which stretched
right across the field from east to west. The scatter
extended along a low east-west ridge to the south of the
Longdyke Burn, which marks the northern boundary of the
medieval township of Eshott. At the eastern end of the
ridge, some 600m from the area with the burnt clay
fragments, lies the moated manor of Eshott, which was
fortified in the 14th century (NGR NZ 200 986; NCH VII,
327ff). It was suspected that a pottery kiln and village
settlement had been discovered, and an emergency
excavation was carried out by members of the British Gas
Archaeological Survey on the strip due to be used for the
burial of the pipeline.
The township of Eshott lies in the south-east of Felton
parish and was originally held from the barony of Mitford by
the lord of Whalton, but came into the hands of the
Mauduit family at the turn of the 13th century. An entry in
the Brinkburn Cartulary, dated 1209 (Page 1893, 57-9),
describes a carucate of land in Eshott, Bokenfield and Over
Felton, including 6 acres to the west of the mansion and
south of the warren (vivaria), land in a cultivated field called
the Toftes, and a toft in Eshott measuring three and a half
perches in breadth and in length as far as the ditch. This
would suggest a toft 70 feet across if a perch of 20 feet was in
use, as recorded in a charter concerning land at Evenwood
which was also in the barony of Felton (ibid., 24).
This description bears some comparison with the
topography revealed in fieldwork. The warren presumably
lay south of the Longdyke Burn to the west of the moated
manor, the very area in which the site was found (see Fig 2).
Although the location of the field called Toftes is not
stipulated, its very appellation suggests that it was an area
of cultivated land that had previously been settled, then
cleared, perhaps, to make way for the warren referred to in
the earlier part of the charter. Whilst this suggestion cannot
be proven, it is notable that the toft in the village of Eshott
is described as defined by a ditch at the end, which did
indeed prove to be the case. However, the breadth of the toft Medieval Ceramics 25, 2744, 2001
28 29
could not be determined in the narrow strip excavated and it
is by no means certain that the toft described lay anywhere
near that which was excavated.
A strip measuring about 25 m by 10 m was cleared of
disturbed topsoil, mostly by bulldozer. The site was very wet
from recently melted snow, despite being criss-crossed by
modern drains, and was cut by an engineers test-pit full of
water. Outside the stripped area, some additional features
were located using a proton-magnetometer, which picked up
the presence of potsherds. Hoes were used to scrape the site
and reveal the features, which, apart from the kiln features,
were sampled to save time. Standard methods of recording
were followed, with records of each context, a site-plan,
sections of each feature sampled, and a colour photographic
record. All pottery and fired clay were retained and charcoal
for radiocarbon samples. No other artefacts were present.
The site has been divided into three main phases: the kiln
and its associated pits (Phase 1); the subsoil-cut features
relating to the adjacent medieval settlement (Phase 2); and
the post-occupation medieval plough-soil (Phase 3).
The settlement area, or toft, was defined by ditches about
30m apart at the north and south ends of the site (Fig. 2);
these were parallel to one another on the same alignment as
that of the low ridge that crosses the site from east to west. It
was noted that many of the features on the site obeyed this
axis and may therefore be considered to belong to the same
period of occupation. The kiln and its associated pits lay at
the south end of the toft. Immediately to the north was a
group of intersecting gullies and some evidence for a
building, whilst at the north end of the toft there were
features indicative of another building, or possibly a
workshop. There were no other archaeological features on
the site apart from the ridge and furrow, which had
truncated the subsoil-cut features and had removed any
trace of a contemporary ground surface.
Phase 1, the kiln and kiln waste pits (Figs 2 and 3)
This phase (Fig. 3) comprised the kiln hearth [3] and two
nearby waste pits [2] and [14]. Clay samples were taken
from the kiln and waste pit [2] for firing experiments and X-
Fig. 2 Site plan and topographical map.
Fig. 1 Eshott: Location map.
MEDIEVAL CERAMICS A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
Ray Diffraction.
The kiln [3] was a shallow pit cut into the clay subsoil,
less than 100mm in depth, with an upturned lip around the
north and east arcs and a very slightly dished base. It was
ovoid in plan and measured 1.20m by 0.85m; originally it
may have been more elliptical, since it had been cut on its
south-west side, probably by a plough furrow. An area of
clay on this side appeared to be a truncated relic of the
hearth-base (hached area on Fig. 3). If a stoke hole existed,
no trace remained, but it is possible that an opening had
once lain on the disturbed south-west side. The clay surface
of the hearth had been burnt red and black by firing, but the
pit was filled with a relatively clean grey sand, including
fragments of daub and charcoal, which suggests that the kiln
had been cleared out after firing.
The two neighbouring pits had been filled with firing
waste, but were probably dug to provide clay for the kiln
structure. The pit to the east of the kiln was kidney- shaped
on plan, 2.5 m in length, 0.70 m in breadth and up to 0.25 m
in depth, with a U-shaped profile, and a base that sloped
gently down from the north-east end. It was filled with daub
(lumps of fired clay with grass impressions), wasters and
charcoal in a varying matrix of brown or grey sandy-clay
[10]. The pit to the south of the kiln was oblong in plan
with a U-shaped profile up to 0.75 m in breadth and 0.3 m
in depth, and it sloped down to the east from a butt-end on
the west. The pit extended beyond the site at the east end,
but at least 3 m of it was revealed. It was filled with grey
sandy-clay containing some coal fragments and heat-
reddened stones, but with a large concentration of charcoal,
daub, and broken pottery at its shallow west end [14]. The
pit was stratigraphically earlier than the south ditch of the
toft [5], which cut into its south side, displacing some of the
fill (Fig. 3). It was here that the only joins between sherds
from different contexts were encountered, with sherds from
two jugs spread between both the pit fills [7 and 8] and the
infill of the toft ditch [6].
Fig. 4 Kiln-hearth [3] and waste-filled pit [2] in the background.
The hearth is best interpreted as the remains of a clamp kiln
(Musty 1974), in which the pots and fuel were fired
together, as suggested by the intermixed fill of the waste
pits. Clamp kilns of this type were excavated at Donyatt in
Somerset (Coleman-Smith and Pearson 1988), and
Potovens (Bartlett 1972, 13-18), Staxton and Potter
Brampton in Yorkshire (Brewster 1958), with dates ranging
from the 12th to the mid-17th century. With the damage to
the south and west sides of the hearth, it is possible that an
opening for a vent lay in this arc, but it does not appear
likely that there were two opposing vents, as at Donyatt. The
walls of the kiln were presumably built from clay dug from
the waste-filled pits and may account for some of the fired
clay detritus found in them. The grass-impressed clay
fragments, or daub, may have formed a covering for the
clamp in conjunction with turves, presumably to retain the
heat that was generated by the charcoal, which was also
found in the waste pits. However, the limited amount of
waste material on the site, both daub and wasters, does not
suggest that there were many firings (see below, Ceramic
The waste pits are of different forms, although both
have similarities in their fills. The pit to the south [14]
looks as if it was designed as a drain, with its sloping
bottom, and would have had a necessary function in taking
ground water away from the kiln during firing. The pit to
the east [2] has a curious kidney shape that echoes that of
the kiln-hearth and presumably the walls of the kiln. Its
primary function in this position would be to provide clay
for the kiln and only subsequently to take waste from the
Fig. 3 Detail of site plan showing the kiln hearth [3] and waste-filled
pits [2] and [14] with a section across kiln-hearth [3]. Note the concave
cut of the SW side.
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
Phase 2, a possible pottery workshop and
All the remaining subsoil-cut features on the site have been
treated as one general phase. Although there is clear evidence
for a recutting of the north toft ditch, it is not certain that
this post-dates the settlement. Some support for this comes
from the south toft boundary [5], which post-dates one of
the kiln-waste pits, and may indicate a later enclosure of the
toft by ditches. Only more extensive excavation could
determine if the settlement features also display more than
one phase.
THE TOFT (Fig. 2)
A series of shallow gullies, all but one on the same alignment
occupied the area immediately north of the kiln features.
The largest of these was a shallow ditch [4], 0.15 min depth
and 0.5 m in breadth, about 1.5 m north of the kiln, which
was aligned on the main site axis, from east to west, and
turned a right-angle to the north at its west end. Three other
shallow ditches [17, 19 and 20] ran up to meet it from the
west, two of which post-dated the kiln [19 and 20].
North-east of these gullies, two parallel gullies may mark
the traces of a small building. The first of these lay about 1
m north of the right-angled gully [4], and was contained
within it. The gully [15] measured 5 m in length and 0.5 m
in breadth, with a maximum depth of 0.11 m. It was
matched by a second gully [22], parallel to it, of similar size
about 5 m to the north. They both obeyed the dominant
east-west axis of the site.
Finally there was a single gully at right angles to the rest
[34]. This lay to the north of the modern test-pit and hints
at the presence of an additional structure to the west of the
excavated strip.
The gullies may be indirect evidence for structural activity,
serving as eaves-drip gullies for an east-west building
constructed either with clay walls, or a timber frame set on
ground sills. The two parallel gullies [15 and 22] define an
area, measuring about 5 m square, which may have
contained a building. The closeness of the building to the
kiln might suggest a drying-shed, although at some risk of
fire damage if not closely watched. The sequence of the
gullies to the west suggests that there may have been more
than one phase of building.
THE TOFT (Fig. 2)
This part of the site, immediately south of the north ditch of
the toft [24/43], was only partially examined. The following
features were uncovered. A beam slot [31], 0.20 m wide and
up to 0.12 m deep, lay about 4.5 m south of the ditch on the
same axis. Unfortunately, only a metre of its length came
within the area of the excavation, but about 1m west of its
butt end was a post hole [30], which held a post about 0.15
m in diameter in a hole, 0.16 m deep and 0.25 m across,
with a packing stone in its north side. To the west of this
there was a round pit [28], 0.8 m in diameter and 0.16 m in
depth, with a flat bottom, in the centre of which was a flat
stone. The pit was filled with a grey clay, a few medium-sized
stones and some broken pottery, and exuded an odour from
the lens of grey clay at its base, suggestive of decayed
vegetable matter. A broad shallow gully of unknown
function [35], 1 m in breadth and 0.1 m in depth, and filled
with a dark grey sandy clay, lay parallel to the beam-slot a
short distance to the south of the building.
This area may have housed the pottery workshops. The
beam-slot and post-hole indicate the wall of a timber-
framed building, the full extent of which can only be guessed
at. There is just room for a building between this wall and
the edge of the ditch, especially in the primary phase when
the ditch was narrower (see below).
The flat-bottomed pit was initially thought to be a
latrine, but it is too shallow for that purpose and it is more
likely that the flat stone was a pivot for a throwing-wheel, as
suggested by Richard Coleman-Smith (pers. comm.). A third
possibility is that it was a clay storage pit.
The ditch at the north end of the site [24] was a shallow
recut of an earlier, narrower ditch [43], which had been
truncated in the recutting. The earlier ditch measured 0.5 m
in breadth as it survived, but, assuming a rough V-shape for
its sides, must have been originally about 1 m across at
subsoil level and 0.55 m in depth. The recut was shallower
and broader, at 2.3 m in breadth and 0.35 m in depth. The
ditch at the south end of the site [5]) was c. 0.75m in
breadth and up to 0.35m in depth, being slightly deeper at
the west end of the excavated area. This compares rather
better with the primary cut of the north ditch than the
secondary cut. It is therefore tentatively suggested that the
recut ditch at the north end post-dates the original enclosure
of the settlement.
If, as suggested by the form of the ditches, the recutting
of the north ditch post-dated the layout of the toft, it may
post-date the settlement altogether. However, it is not
possible to say which of the structures within the toft are
contemporaneous with each other or the kiln. However it
was noted that there were no joins between any of the sherds
in the kiln waste pits and the settlement features in the toft,
nor any wasters, which may suggest that the kiln was not
fired while the settlement was occupied. If so, the suggested
interpretation of the buildings as workshops and the flat-
bottomed pit as either a clay-pit or a pivot for a throwing-
wheel, may need to be reconsidered. On balance, the
interpretation of the buildings as workshops is preferred.
There cannot have been many firings, because of the limited
quantity of waste, unless it was dumped further away. In any
case, the settlement may have been abandoned soon
afterwards, limiting the opportunities for spreading wasters
across the site. Another possible explanation for the paucity
of wasters is firing efficiency as suggested at Rattray in
Aberdeenshire (Murray and Murray 1993).
Phase 3, post-occupation activity
Overlying and sealing the occupation remains and the kiln
was an extensive spread of grey soil [27], containing much
medieval pottery, but no significantly later material. This
layer appears to be the base of a cultivation-ridge. It was
spread between the furrows, which cut diagonally across the
site from north to south, between 6m and 8m apart. The
furrows [39, 40, and 42]) cut through several features,
including the kiln-hearth.
It appears that the site was abandoned shortly after the kiln
was fired and never reoccupied. The grey soil contained
pottery, which at its latest was 14th-century in date (see
below). The grey soil is probably formed as a result of the
build-up of a plough ridge in a poorly draining clay soil,
leaving the core of the ridge untouched by the plough, and
less well aerated, once the ridge had become sufficiently
Fieldwalking evidence
A further 1543 sherds of medieval pottery were collected
from field-walking around the site, the extent of which is
mapped on the topographical map (Fig. 2). To the east, the
scatter ran north-east in the direction of the moated site and
to the west, roughly west-south-west, parallel to the field-
boundary and the axis of the toft boundaries. This suggests
that the toft alignment is retained in the plough ridges that
replaced it and latterly were used to define the line of the
field-boundary at enclosure. The pottery recovered in this
way was analysed and compared with that retrieved during
the excavation (see Unstratified Material, below).
Scientific dating determinations
Three methods of scientific dating were used on the site. The
thermoluminescence survey from the kiln-waste pit [2] gave
a date of AD 1220+150 (DurTL 15-4AS). Charcoal from the
other waste pit [14] produced a radiocarbon date of AD
1130 (820+70 bp, HAR-4463). The archaeomagnetic dating
from the kiln-hearth [3] was mid to late 12th century
(Hammo Yassi 1981). Since none of these dates are mutually
exclusive, a date in the mid- to late 12th century would
appear to be most appropriate.
GEOLOGY by Amanda Crowdy
The site of the Eshott kiln lies to the east of the Longdike
burn, a post-glacial feature composed of glacial drainage
channels and alluvium. The solid geology of this area is
Millstone Grit and Coal Measures, there being a progressive
rise in the sequence from the earliest Cementstone and Fell
Sandstone groups in the north-west to the Coal Measures
along the coastal belt (HMSO 1936).
Eshott lies on the Millstone Grit, a predominantly
coarse-grained sediment, but the surrounding area bears
little relation to its geological structure, as most of the
topography is of glacial origin: alluvium and boulder clay.
The boulder clay when fully developed is in two divisions,
parted by sand and gravel. The upper clay, representing
glacial detritus melted out in situ, is occasionally reddish,
but often brownish and prismatic, generally free from all but
small stones, and has been used in the locality for roofing
and drainage tiles. The most extensive spread of sand and
gravel lies in the general area around Felton,
north of Eshott, where it appears to lie between the boulder
clay levels, as interbedded deposits.
The resources needed for the production of pottery: clay,
temper, water and fuel are all available locally, making it an
economically viable operation. Lead ore for galena glazing
is also found in several localities amongst the Lower
Carboniferous rocks within the Rothbury area; strings of
lead ore have also been found along the faults in the local
Coal Measures.
THE POTTERY by Amanda Crowdy
In all, 1016 sherds (6809 g) of pottery were recovered
from the excavations. The fabric groupings were organised
macroscopically and with the aid of thin section analysis.
Recording was carried out on pottery analysis sheets, each
context was recorded separately. Quantification was by sherd
count, weight, to the nearest gram, and the minimum
number of vessels, which were counted by using rim, base
and handle sherds, and only in their absence, body sherds.
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
Joins were sought between all layers, and all the rims were
drawn to show the range within the assemblage. Sherds
recovered by field-walking were sorted by fabric, and form
characteristics were also noted, but generally in less detail
than the kiln material. All daub and wasters recovered from
the site were also recorded separately and are discussed later
in this paper.
The pottery was sorted into four fabrics. As each was
recognised it was assigned a fabric number. The numeration
system, therefore, has no significance beyond this. The
inclusions were identified using the Key to Identification
of Common Inclusions in Pottery (Blake and Davey 1983).
Inclusion size is as follows, very fine, 0.1 mm; fine, 0.1-0.25
mm; medium, 0.25-0.5 mm; coarse, 0.51-1.0 mm; very coarse,
1.0 mm. The method of describing the fabrics is based on that
used in the Museum of London (Orton 1978). Colour is
described by using the Munsell system (Munsell 1975), but
this is no more than a general guide since it only refers to the
colours which predominate in each fabric type. The fabrics
are unglazed unless stated otherwise.
All fabrics have a similar matrix, despite enormous
variation in the frequency of inclusions. After microscopic
examination (x20) and thin-sectioning, the provenance of
the clay source was taken to be boulder clay, indicated by the
mixture of metamorphic and sedimentary rock, and the
wide range of mineral and rock fragment sizes. Variation in
the clay can be considerable, even from one deposit (pers.
comm.: T Flintham, Engineering Dept, Leics. University)
and caution was taken not to subdivide the pottery into
meaningless topological classes. Indeed, the use of thin-
sectioning and other scientific analyses on pottery
assemblages on both sides of the border have showed a
similar variability in the characteristics of the boulder clay
used to make the pottery, e.g. West Whelpington,
Northumberland (Evans and Jarrett 1987, 263-269 and
fiche), Colstoun, East Lothian (Brooks 1980, 394-401),
Eyemouth, Berwickshire (Crowdy 1986), and Kelso Abbey,
Roxburghsire (Cox et al. 1984, 386-395).
All the thin-sections were taken from the vessel rims
(total 24). In addition to the inclusions mentioned above,
the following minerals were noted in all sections: Muscovite
mica, very fine - moderate; plagioclase feldspar, very fine -
sparse. The presence of these types is a further indication
that the clay source is boulder clay. The thin-section
examination emphasised the wide range of quartz size and
the varying concentration. The shape of the quartz shows
variation, some is rounded, while others still retain their
angular appearance - this is a characteristic of boulder clay;
the angularity appears to be more common in the medium
to coarse sizes. While it is probable that the quartz occurs
naturally in the clay, the possibility of added filler in Fabric 2
(see below) is suggested, as at Colstoun (Brooks 1980, 366).
Quartz is more frequent in the larger size in this fabric,
suggesting that quartz sand had been added to temper the
clay, originally low in quartz.
Eshott fabric descriptions
The assemblage was divided into three broad categories: 1,
standard; 2, coarse; 3, fine.
Fabric 1 (757 sherds, 5420g, 75%), which is the standard
fabric, is by far the most frequent fabric on the site. It is
wheel thrown, 5-10mm thick, and has a fairly hard to hard
texture with a rough feel and a finely irregular to irregular
fracture. The inclusions are abundant sub-angular to sub-
rounded, very fine to coarse quartz; with occasional very
coarse fragments of quartz; moderate amounts of rounded,
very fine to fine red iron oxide; sparse, very fine mica; and
occasional fragments of very coarse quartz sandstone (3mm).
There are white clay streaks evident on the pink surfaces
(5YR 7/6 RY to 7.5YR 7/4) and occasional glaze spots.
Although it is an oxidised fabric, its core ranges from a grey
(5YR 5/1), with insufficient oxidation, to a reddish yellow
(7.5YR 6/8).
Fabric 1 predominates in all forms by sherd count (Table
2). Two main forms have been identified, cooking pot or
storage jars and jugs. The former had been divided into two
sub-groups, clubbed rim forms and everted or flanged rim
forms. Although most forms suggest a rounded profile to the
body, some are straight-sided or at least approximately so,
especially amongst the everted rim forms (e.g. Cat. nos. 1, 3,
7, 24). Fabric 1 has all but one of the full range of cooking
pot or storage jar forms, as follows:
A A variant of the clubbed rim form with lid-seating. An
upright box profile, and a sharp angle, giving the pot its
rounded shape. Diameter 300mm. Cat. nos. 27, 31.
B Similar to type A, but with upper and lower cordon on the
rim. Diameters 180mm and 280mm. Cat. nos. 28, 29.
C Crescent shaped variant of the clubbed rim form, but the
rounded appearance and body angle are similar to type
A. Diameter 280mm. Cat. nos. 30, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44.
D An umbrella group for a class of small cooking
pot/storage jar with everted rims. Glaze spots on the rim.
Only a small amount of the rim sections were found and
little could be discerned as to their full shape and
function. Diameters 100mm and 140mm. Cat. nos. 15,
16, 17, 18, 46, 47.
E An upright, flanged rim with characteristic thumbing
gives this rim a thicker width in profile, which can be
misleading when comparing its shape to type F. Diameter
200mm to 280mm. Cat. nos. 1, 2, 3.
F Everted flange with an indented profile produced by a
groove. The body angle is less acute that the clubbed-rim
forms. This is recorded under Laings Scottish Medieval
Cooking Pot form as number 18 (Laing 1973). Diameters
180mm to 280mm. Cat. nos. 7, 9, 10.
G Everted, lid-seated, crescent rim profile. Diameters
200mm to 240mm. Cat. nos. 8, 21.
H Simple, everted rim with lid seating. Diameter 200mm.
Cat. nos. 11, 12, 13, 14.
J A small everted rim, round in profile with thin walls.
Diameter 140mm. Cat. no. 20.
K A very coarse, upright flange. Diameter indeterminate.
Cat. no. 23.
L Upright, simple flanged rim and straight side. Diameter
240mm. Cat. no. 24.
M Rounded, everted rim. Diameter 160mm. Cat. no. 51.
N Upright, lid-seated rim with clubbed shape. Similar to
type B, but narrower. Diameter 100mm. Cat. no. 49.
Due to the accidents of survival, the only two cooking pot
bases found in the assemblage of cooking pot or storage jars
were both Fabric 1. Both are sagging bases with diameters of
160mm and 180mm respectively. Both show evidence of
knife-trimming just above the basal angle, and one has been
finished upside down on a wheel from the circular
orientation of the drag marks (Cat. no. 4). One has internal
glaze drips (Cat. no. 5), suggesting intentional glazing, while
the other shows internal sooting (Cat. no. 4). These bases are
suggestive of the rounded shape of body common to the
cooking pots found in this region.
It was difficult to build up an informative typology of the
jug forms, due to the lack of diagnostic sherds. Fabric 1 has
the majority of the jug forms and there is a possible example
of kiln furniture amongst the type E jug forms. Most of the
handles recovered in the excavation are in Fabric 1 and
include both strap and rod types. Handles appear to have
been attached to the neck of the jug, although the absence of
the rim of many of the rod handles makes this difficult to
ascertain. Thumb pressing has been used to attach the
handle to the body, upper and lower. Both types of handle
show similar decorative techniques; characteristic are the
grooves, starting with a rounded, thumb like impression at
the end, forming long, vertical incised lines. There is far less
complexity shown in the strap-handle type. A section of a
small jug handle from the fill of one of the kiln-waste pits
[2] is the only variant on the rod and strap handled jug
types (not illustrated). Glaze is of a light green colour,
indicative of the earlier Medieval Period. Decoration
includes horizontal rouletting and incised lines, incised dots
on a jug neck, a wheat-ear motif, which only appears on a
sherd from unstratified material, and most unusually an
impressed lion-like motif between two cordons (type D jug
form, Cat. no. 64).
Jug forms:
A Jug rim with rod handles. Diameter 140mm. Cat. no. 62.
D Jug with unique impressed lion-motif between two
cordons. No handle present. Diameter 140mm. Cat. no.
E Jug rim. However, Cat. no. 68 is thick walled vessel,
c.10mm, with no trace of any handle scar, and may have
been a kiln stand. Diameters 80mm and 100mm. Cat.
nos. 54, 68.
F Decorated with horizontal rouletting. Diameter 100mm.
Cat. no. 70.
G Slightly interned rim with handle scar. Diameter 100mm.
Cat. no. 66.
Strapped handles. Cat. nos. 57, 58, 63, 82.
Rod handles. Cat. nos. 56, 62, 79, 80, 81.
One type of jug base which was found in one of the waste
pits [2] shows crude construction techniques and internal
thumbing on the body angle of the base (Cat. no. 59).
The other shows a finer finish and more efficient
construction and is externally thumbed for decorative effect
(Cat. no. 60).
Fabric 2 (157 sherds, 871g, 15%), which is coarser than
Fabric 1, is also wheel thrown, measuring 5-8mm in
thickness. It has a fairly hard to hard texture and a harsh to
rough feel, with an irregular to hackly fracture. While
moderate amounts of sub-rounded to sub-angular, very fine
quartz are present; there is abundant coarse quartz, which, it
is suggested, may be the result of the addition of a sand filler.
Moderate amounts of rounded, fine to medium sized red
iron oxide are also evident, and occasional very fine mica.
The surfaces are an oxidised reddish yellow (5YR 6/6 YR),
but there is insufficient carbonisation in the core which is
grey (5YR 5/1).
Fabric 2 has a larger number of rounded as opposed to
other cooking pot or storage jar forms, although one form
(type O, Cat. no. 36), at least, has straight sides. Surface
abrasion makes it impossible to determine if the pots were
slipped. Fabric 2 has only one everted rim form; the
majority is clubbed.
A Variant of the clubbed rim form with lid-seating. An
upright box profile, and a sharp angle, giving the pot its
rounded shape. Diameters 280mm to 300mm. Cat. nos.
26, 32, 34.
B Similar to type A, but with upper and lower cordon on
the rim. Diameters 280mm to 320mm. Cat. nos. 25, 35.
C Crescent shaped variant of the clubbed rim form, but the
rounded appearance and body angle are similar to type
A. Diameters 160mm to 320mm. Cat. nos. 33, 38, 50.
H Simple everted rim with lid seating. Cat. no. 19 shows a
thinner wall than Cat. no. 22. Diameters 160mm and
O A clubbed rim form variant with straight sides. Diameter
260mm. Cat. no. 36.
Two jug forms in this fabric were recorded, and strapped
and rod handles similar in style to those in Fabric 1, but the
jug form assemblage is very small in quantity and range in
Fabric 2. The jug forms comprise the following:
B Jug form with strap handles. Diameter 80mm. Cat. no. 63.
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
H Jug form with slightly everted rim, no handles evident.
Diameter 120mm. Cat. no. 45.
Strapped handle. Cat. no. 82.
Rod handle. Cat. no. 62.
Fabric 3 (92 sherds, 454g, 9%) is a much finer fabric than
the other two; it is 5-8mm thick, wheel thrown and has a
fairly hard texture with a smooth feel and fracture. The
inclusions are moderate to abundant amounts of sub-
angular to sub-rounded, very fine to fine quartz; moderate
amounts of medium quartz; occasional coarse fragments of
quartz; moderate amounts of fine to medium iron oxide;
and occasional very fine mica.
Fabric 3 is notable for its lack of coarse temper, and
most of the forms are jugs. This suggests that the amount
of temper in the clay may have been a factor in the selection
of forms. Fabric 3 shows more diversity in the jug forms
and finer technological detail; the forms are slipped and
glazed and of a smoother fabric. Bearing in mind the
concentration of Fabric 3 in Phases 2 (the site occupation)
and 3 (post-occupation), it is feasible that this fabric is also
later than the kiln material. In the sorting of the unstratified
material, a high percentage of Fabric 3 was also noted.
Only one club-rimmed and two everted forms were
present amongst the cooking pot or storage jars in Fabric 3,
but this includes one well-finished, everted form with
pastry-style thumbed decoration to the rim. Three cooking
pot or storage jars forms are represented here as follows:
C Crescent shaped variant of the clubbed rim form, but
the rounded appearance and body angle are similar to type
A. Diameters 200m to 280mm. Cat. nos. 37, 42.
D Cooking pot/storage jar with everted rim. Diameter
100mm. Cat. no. 48.
E An upright, flanged rim with characteristic thumbing
gives this rim a thicker width in profile. Diameter
240mm. Cat. no. 6.
Most of the Fabric 3 forms are jugs, but they include one
thick-walled vessel, which may have been a kiln stand (type
E below). One of the jug bases with external decorative
thumbing shows Scarborough ware type 1 affinities,
including glazing technique, which would support a later
date (Cat. no. 61). One jug form with a pinched spout in
this fabric was found in the overlying medieval plough-soil
[27]. The jug forms are as follows:
C. Jug with a pinched spout. Diameter 120mm. Cat. no.
E. This sherd is from a thick walled vessel, c.10mm, with no
trace of any handle scar, and may have been a kiln stand
rather than a jug. Diameter 100mm. Cat. no. 65.
F. Simple upright rim. Diameter 100mm. Cat. no. 69.
Sherd decorated with horizontal rouletting. Cat. no. 74.
Flat base, thumbed externally. Cat. no. 61.
Simple, straight base. Not illustrated.
This creamy fabric was identified as Newcastle Buff White
Ware (Ellison 1981, 102-7), dating to the 13th and 14th
centuries. The 10 sherds of Buff White ware (64g, 1%), likely
to be from Newcastle upon Tyne (pers. comm. S. Mills), are
dated to the 13th to 14th centuries. The impressed
decoration is unique (Cat. nos. 76 and 77), but the fabric is
very similar to Newcastle Buff White ware, and no other
regional fabric could be paralleled with it. It was only found
in Phase 3 within the medieval plough-soil [27] so it may
have arrived on the site after its abandonment.
Table 1 Total Pottery in all Contexts by Sherd Count, Weight and
Minimum Number of Vessels.
Fabric Count % Weight % MNV %
1 757 75 5420 80 81 64
2 157 15 871 13 23 18
3 92 9 454 6 21 17
NBW 10 1 64 1 1 1
Totals 1016 6809 126
Table 2 Relationship between Fabric and Form (CP = Cooking Pot).
Form Fabric 1 Fabric 2 Fabric 3 Total
Club-rimmed CP 13 6 1 20
Everted CPs 26 4 2 32
Other CPs 12 5 0 17
CP Totals 51 (74%) 15 (22%) 3 (4%) 69
Jug rims 7 2 4 13
Other Jugs 6 4 2 12
Handles 11 2 0 13
Bases 3 0 4 7
Jug Totals 27 (60%) 8 (18%) 10 (22%) 45
Unidentified 3 0 8 11
Grand Totals 81 23 21 12
Table 3 Decorated Sherds (CP/SJ = Cooking Pot/Storage Jar).
Fabric Form Decoration Count Phase Cat. no.
NBW Jug Impressed motif 7 3 76,77
1 CP/SJ type E Thumbed rim 3 1 1,2,3
3 CP/SJ type E Thumbed rim 1 2 6
1 Jug type D Impressed motif 1 1 64
1 Jug Thumbed base, external 1 2 60
3 Jug Thumbed base, external 1 3 61
1 Jug Incised lines, horizontal 1 1 78
1 Jug type F Horizontal rouletting 5 2, 3, US 70,71,73,
1 Jug Wheat ear 1 US 72
1 Jug Incised dots on jug neck 1 3 Not
The kiln products are typically everted or flanged rim
cooking pots and storage jars of rounded form, and glazed
jugs. Only one clubbed rim form was recovered from the
kiln phase (Cat. no. 39, Fabric 1, Type C). However, the
frequency of the clubbed rims elsewhere on the site (Phases
2, 3 and U/S) suggests that they were probably
contemporary with the everted forms produced here. Indeed
jars with both everted and clubbed rims were contemporary
products of the Dog Bank kiln in Newcastle-upon-Tyne,
which also dates to the second half of the 12th century
(Bown 1989). There are also strong similarities in the
everted-rim cooking pots with these forms from West
Whelpington and Shillmoor (Jarrett and Edwards 1963 and
1970), although their fabrics are dissimilar.
The club rimmed cooking pot/storage jar is widespread
in the north of England and southern Scotland and has long
been a recognised form in this area. The ubiquity of this
form has not led to an accurate picture of its dating or
regional distribution. Until the Eshott and Dog Bank kiln
excavations, the only sealed and dated context was at
Knaresborough (Waterman 1953) which was dated to the
12th to 13th centuries (a 12th-century occupation layer
sealed by a 13th-century layer). Many of the early reports
have paid scant attention to the fabric description and a
rather limited coarse gritty ware label was applied. The
Carlisle report (Jope and Hodges 1953) was one of the
earliest reports to correlate the information on the clubbed
rim form; the form was divided into three types showing the
range of variation, while a cursory attempt was made to plot
their regional distribution. The club rimmed form is
undeniably widespread, but it does however show notable
variation in fabric; it seems likely that the club rimmed form
is a widespread 12th to 13th-century phenomenon with
local potters copying the form and technological details in
their local clays.
Two of the jug forms (type A, Fabric 1, and type B,
Fabric 2) compare with regional types known at West
Whelpington and Finchale Priory and are dated to the 12th
to 13th centuries (Jarrett and Edwards 1961, 1963, 1970).
The light green glazing, indicative of this period, is
common on the jug forms. The Scarborough type glaze and
base (Fabric 3, Cat. no. 61) differs from the rest of the
assemblage in having a dark green glaze, but this sherd
comes from the medieval plough-soil (Phase 3) and might
not be a kiln product. The possible use of local clays to make
this copy may still place it in the 13th century, as early
Scarborough-type Ware dates as late as AD 1225 (Farmer
Rim thumbing appears as a regional characteristic at
Colstoun, West Whelpington and Shillmoor (Brooks 1980,
Jarrett and Edwards 1963 and 1970). The most common
form of jug decoration, horizontal rouletting, also shows
strong regional affinities, for example, at Finchale Priory,
Shillmoor and West Whelpington (Jarrett and Edwards 1961,
1963 and 1970), as do the thumbed bases on the jugs, as at
Eyemouth, Colstoun and West Whelpington (Crowdy 1986,
Brooks 1980, Jarrett and Edwards 1970). The wheat-ear
decoration is also seen regionally at Colstoun and West
Whelpington (Brooks ibid., Jarrett and Edwards 1970).
However, the impressed lion-like motif between two cordons
(type D jug form, Cat. no. 64) has not been paralleled, as yet,
elsewhere in the region, nor has the impressed motif on the
Newcastle Buff Ware.
Ceramic technology
The availability of oxygen within a clamp kiln would have
been uneven and the high ratio of blackened cores in the
assemblage suggests insufficient carbonisation of the organic
material, indicative of a clamp kiln (A Woods, pers. comm.).
Firing experiments were undertaken with clay samples from
the site, and although the evidence was inconclusive, the
firing range was likely to be between 450
and 900
Fabrics 1 and 2 are coarse sand-tempered wares,
designed for domestic use. A number of techniques are
common to both. A high proportion of the rims show the
use of a wet slip, or more probably, a wet slurry of clay and
water, applied before firing. During re-firing experiments,
sherds of pottery were re-fired at 800
C and body sherds
showed traces of a white slip, which is common to all
forms in Fabric 1 and 2. The clubbed rim forms are all
slipped with the exception of two, which are of Fabric 2,
but it is possible that these may have undergone post-
depositional erosion. Similar white slips were applied to the
Red Wares from Perth in the 13th and 14th centuries (D.
Hall, pers. comm.). However, it should be noted that pink
and red slips were occasionally visible (e.g. Cat. nos. 5, 7
and 16).
Clamp kilns have not always been thought likely to fire
glazed pots, but experimental firing at Leicester University
has disproved this opinion, showing that temperatures below
C and open firing may be considered as a feasible
medium for glazing (A Woods, Experimental Kiln Firing
Group, Leics. Univ.).
Fabrics 1 and 2 have coarser fabrics well equipped to
withstand thermal shock, either in cooking or during clamp
firing. A rounded pot with a sagging base, which is
characteristic of the Eshott assemblage, complements the use
of coarser fabrics, affording maximum resistance to thermal
shock. This suggests that the type and degree of temper
were related to the size, form and function of the vessel. The
cooking pots and storage jars like other pots would have
suffered from shrinkage during drying and firing, and the
addition of a filler should help to control this, by opening
up the body of the vessel, increasing porosity and reducing
the effects of thermal shock. The walls of the cooking
pot/storage jars, which are relatively thin (less than 10
mm), would also have reduced the likelihood of thermal
Two of the forms with everted rims (Cat. nos. 6 and 24)
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
show the glaze running down the interior from the rim.
It has been suggested that this would have been as a result of
glaze application by dripping at West Whelpington, and,
while not resulting in complete coverage, would often
result in it running down to the base (Evans and Jarrett
1987, fiche). The galena pitting observed here, has been
attributed to the application of galena by dusting Hodges
(1976), but this may be due to the glaze suffering from
shrinkage and pitting during firing (Evans and Jarrett 1987,
fiche). It is also feasible that some of the pots were splashed
as a result of being stacked under glaze-covered vessels
during firing (e.g. type D everted rims, Cat. nos. 16 and 18).
A waster is here defined as a sherd that is either grossly
mis-shapen, fired on the break, or has blown. The latter
have large cavities as a result of badly wedged clay, or the
generation of steam in the body (Hodges 1976, 41). Two
hundred and forty seven sherds were found in one of the
kiln waste pits [2] from a jug, which most likely blew in
firing. It is obviously important that wasters are noted and
furthermore that they are found in all fabric types. Apart
from the fill of the waste pit, the other wasters were found in
the mixed layers. However, most wasters belonged to Fabric
1, one to Fabric 2 and none in Fabric 3. This casts doubt on
Fabric 3 originating from this kiln.
Table 4 Presence of Wasters.
Fabric Phase Count Form Description
1 1 1 CP/SJ type E Body sherd glazed over break
1 1 247 Jug Blown body sherd/glaze vitrified
1 3 1 CP/SJ Base, glaze over edge
2 3 1 CP/SJ Unclassified body sherd
1 3 1 Jug type C Spawl, Cat. no. 67
Kiln Furniture by Piers Dixon
Although examples of kiln furniture were not identified
initially, it is possible that some of the jug rim forms (see
type E below) are in fact kiln stands, for example, Catalogue
nos. 65 and 68 (Fig. 9). Both of these vessels have thick-
walled sides (c.10 mm) and have everted angles that would
be likely to lead to spillage in a storage vessel, but could,
however, provide a stable base. A similar process of the
initial identification of kiln stands as rim forms was
observed by Derek Hall (pers. comm.) in his secondary
analysis of the pottery assemblages from the kiln-sites at
Colstoun and Stenhouse in Stirlingshire (Brooks 1980, Laing
and Robertson 1973).
The presence of daub strongly suggests that this was used in
the construction of the kiln. A total of 299 g of separate
daub fragments was recovered from the site, while fired clay
deposits were also found in the kiln waste pits (Phase 1,
contexts [2] and [14]).
Table 5 Presence of Daub.
Phase Context Weight (g) Count
1 waste pit 22 1
1 kiln 9 1
2 south end 109 9
2 north end 6 1
3 43 7
US 110
Total 299
Unstratified Material
Limited analysis was undertaken on the unstratified
material. The total amount was weighed and counted, while
no further fabric division appeared necessary. The rims were
separated into the three main divisions of club rimmed
forms (types A, B, C) and any others were collectively
grouped together. As in the stratified material there was a
noticeably better finish on the club-rimmed form: the type A
forms were few in number but more developed in form than
the stratified examples. Overall, 57% of the cooking-
pot/storage jar forms, by sherd count, were club-rimmed
forms in the unstratified material compared to 43% in the
stratified. The handles were also counted to see if the ratio
between strapped and rod were noticeably different but it
again showed the high frequency of rod handles. Some
pinched spouts were also noted.
Table 6 Quantification for Unstratified Material.
Form 1 2 3 Total Weight (kg) %
Club-rimmed CPs 126 10 - 136 2030
Other CP/SJ 98 7 - 105 997
Total 224 17 - 241 3027 23%
Strap 8 1 9 1119
Rod 32 2 1 35 155
Total 40 2 2 44 1274 10%
Sherds 1256 71 25 1352 8369 65%
Daub 110 1%
Total 1520 90 27 1637 12760
1. Fabric 1, type E. Soot deposit on
interior. Uniform wheel marks present
on top surface of rim, thumbing marks
most probably made when clay still
wet, slip traces. Kiln waste, Context
[10], Phase 1.
2. Fabric 1, type E. Two glaze spots
on the rim. Wheel throwing marks
shown on top surface, thumbing
similar to no. 1. Kiln waste, Context
[10], Phase 1.
3. Fabric 1, type E. Wet slip probably
applied during final stages of pot
construction and thumbing made
when rim still wet. Wheel throwing
marks on interior and exterior. Two
rows of stronger lines noted as
decoration. Kiln waste, Context [10],
Phase 1.
4. Fabric 1, sagging base. Calcium
deposit interior and evidence of
smoothing. Base shows broadly
circular orientation of grits, drag
marks and voids up to 12mm as body
has been revolved. At base body angle,
evidence of surface trimming. Glaze
drips on base. Kiln waste, Context [10],
Phase 1.
5. Fabric 1, sagging base. Grit drag
marks and voids. Red slip traces on
base. Glaze drips on interior and
exterior. Kiln waste, Context [10],
Phase 1.
6. Fabric 3, type E. Wet slip applied,
smooth finish, glaze drips running
down interior. Wheel throwing marks
visible on both interior and exterior.
Ditch fill, Context [6], Phase 2.
7. Fabric 1, type F. Quite badly eroded.
Trace of red slip on rim. Grass voids.
Large quartz inclusion, 6mm width in
rim. Kiln waste, Context [8], Phase 1.
8. Fabric 1, type G. Badly eroded.
Context [29], Phase 2.
9. Fabric 1, type F. Slipped interior.
Kiln waste, Context [10], Phase 1.
10. Fabric 1, type F. Kiln waste, Context
[8], Phase 1.
The pottery is catalogued by form. The catalogue number is followed by the fabric type, the form type, further information,
context and phase number.
Fig. 5 Cooking Pot/Storage Jars with Everted or Flanged Rims and Sagging Bases.
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
11. Fabric 1, type H. Wheel throwing
marks on interior and exterior.
Probably wet slip. Kiln waste, Context
[10], Phase 1.
12. Fabric 1, type H. Badly eroded. Kiln
waste, Context [8], Phase 1.
13. Fabric 1, type H. Badly eroded.
Unidentifiable deposit under rim.
Context [29], Phase 2.
14. Fabric 1, type H. Slip applied, well
finished. One glaze spot. Context [25],
Phase 2.
15. Fabric 1, type D. Badly eroded.
Ditch fill, Context [25], Phase 2.
16. Fabric 1, type D. Light red slip
evident on exterior. One glaze spot.
Kiln waste, Context [10], Phase 1.
17. Fabric 1, type D. Badly eroded. Kiln
waste, Context [10], Phase 1.
18. Fabric 1, type D. Wheel marks
evident. Traces of slip. Glaze spots. Kiln
waste, Context [10], Phase 1.
19. Fabric 2, type H. Slip well covered.
Sooting on rim. Ditch fill, Context [6],
Phase 2.
20. Fabric 1, type J. Wet slip applied,
wheel throwing marks well defined.
Context [13], Phase 2.
21. Fabric 1, type G. Wet slip. Context
[29], Phase 2.
22. Fabric 2, type H. Badly eroded.
Context [18], Phase 2.
23. Fabric 1, type K. Kiln waste,
Context [10], Phase 1.
24. Fabric 1, type L. Glaze and slip on
interior. Wheel throwing marks
apparent on interior and exterior. Rim
eroded. Quartzite inclusion 10 mm
width exterior. Kiln waste,
Context[[10], Phase 1.
Fig. 6 Cooking Pots/Storage Jars with Everted Rims.
25. Fabric 2, type B. Badly eroded.
Ditch fill, Context [25], Phase 2.
26. Fabric 2, type A. Slip finish and glaze
spots on rim. Context [29], Phase 2.
27. Fabric 1, type A. Badly eroded.
28. Fabric 1, type B. Slip finish.
29. Fabric 1, type C. Slip, well finished.
30. Fabric 1, type C. Slip finish. Ditch
fill, Context [25], Phase 2.
31. Fabric 1, type A. Slip finish.
Context [29], Phase 2.
32. Fabric 2, type A. Badly eroded.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
33. Fabric 2, type C. Eroded. Unstratified.
34. Fabric 2, type A. Hard fired. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
35. Fabric 2, type B. Eroded. Void
16mm width. Context [18], Phase 2.
36. Fabric 2, type O. Concretion under
rim. Slip on rim and interior. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
37. Fabric 3, type C. Slip finish.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
38. Fabric 2, type C. Badly eroded.
Ditch fill, Context [6], Phase 2.
39. Fabric 1, type C. Slip, well finished.
Kiln waste, Context [8], Phase 1.
Fig. 7 Cooking Pot/Storage Jars with Clubbed Rims.
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
40. Fabric 1, type C. Slip. Well finished.
Ditch fill, Context [6], Phase 2.
41. Fabric 1, type C. Context [29],
Phase 2.
42. Fabric 3, type C. Slip. Well finished.
43. Fabric 1, type C. Slip. Well finished.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
44. Fabric 1, type C. Badly eroded.
45. Fabric 2, Jug Type H. Context [38],
Phase 2.
46. Fabric 1, Cooking pot/Storage jar
type D. Exterior slip. Ditch fill, Context
[6], Phase 2.
47. Fabric 1, Cooking pot/Storage jar
type D. Slip. Ditch fill, Context [25],
Phase 2.
48. Fabric 3, Cooking pot/Storage jar
type D. Slip over exterior and interior.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
49. Fabric 1, Clubbed rim, Cooking
pot/Storage jar type N. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
50. Fabric 2, Clubbed rim, Cooking
pot/Storage jar type C. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
51. Fabric 1, Cooking pot/Storage jar
with everted rim type M. Eroded.
Ditch fill, Context [6], Phase 2.
52. Fabric 1, Clubbed rim, Cooking
pot/Storage jar type C. Waster.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
53. Fabric 1, Cooking pot/Storage jar
type D. Eroded. Ditch fill, Context [6],
Phase 2.
54. Fabric 1, Jug type E. Slip. Well fired.
Ditch fill, Context [6], Phase 2.
55. Fabric 3, Unclassified. Badly
eroded. Dark green glaze. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
Fig. 8 Cooking Pot/Storage Jars with Clubbed and Other Rim Forms, and Jug Forms.
56. Fabric 1, Rod. Green glaze. Wet slip.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
57. Fabric 1, Strap. Slip and thumbed
at lower end. Kiln waste, Context [10],
Phase 1.
58. Fabric 1, Strap. Light green glaze.
Slip. Disturbed topsoil, Context [1].
59. Fabric 1, flat base type 1. Base body
angle thumbed. Slipped interior. Base
very rough and eroded.
Kiln waste, Context [10], Phase 1.
60. Fabric 1, flat base type 2. Thumbed
on base and body angle. Context [13],
Phase 2.
61. Fabric 3, flat base type 2. Slip and
traces of dark green glaze. Thumbed
on body at base. Medieval plough-soil,
Context [27], Phase 3.
62. Fabric 1, type A with rod handle.
Slip. Glazed on handle. Thumbed at
join. Ditch fill, Context [6], Phase 2.
63. Fabric 2, type B with strap handle.
Badly eroded. Thumbed at join.
Context [29], Phase 2.
64. Fabric 1, type D. Decoration
between two cordons. Kiln waste,
Context [8], Phase 1.
65. Fabric 3, type E. Possible kiln
furniture. Eroded. Medieval plough-
soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
66. Fabric 1, type G. Trace of glaze.
Thumbed section. Kiln waste, Context
[10], Phase 1.
67. Fabric 3, type C. Pinched spout.
Splashed green glaze on exterior.
Wet slip on interior and exterior.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
68. Fabric 1, type E. Possible kiln
furniture. Eroded. Context [29],
Phase 2.
69. Fabric 3, type F. Context [35],
Phase 2.
Fig. 9 Jug Forms: Handles, Bases and Rims.
A medieval pottery clamp kiln, possible workshop and settlement at Eshott, Northumberland
70. Fabric 1, Jug type F. Slip and
rectangular rouletted decoration. Light
green glaze on decoration. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
71. Fabric 1, Jug (body). Slip.
Rectangular rouletting. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
72. Fabric 1, Jug (body). Wheatear
decoration. Light green decoration
externally. Unstratified.
73. Fabric 1, Jug (body). Rectangular
rouletting. Medieval plough-soil,
Context [27], Phase 3.
74. Fabric 3, Jug (body). Rectangular
rouletting. Light green glaze.
75. Fabric 1, Jug (body). Rectangular
rouletting. Light orange glaze. Eroded.
Context [35], Phase 2.
76. Newcastle Buff White ware, Jug
(body). Interior slip. Well glazed.
Medieval plough-soil, Context [27],
Phase 3.
77. Newcastle Buff White ware, Jug
(body). Probably same vessel as no. 76.
Wet slip. Thumb prints present. Medieval
plough-soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
78. Fabric 1, Jug (body). Slip, light
reddish brown, visible on exterior and
traces of it on interior. Internal olive
green glaze, and incised horizontal
decoration. Kiln waste, Context [10],
Phase 1.
79. Fabric 1, Rod. Slip and dark olive
green glaze. Medieval plough-soil,
Context [27], Phase 3.
80. Fabric 1, Rod. Slip, light olive green
glaze. Well defined ribs. Context [29],
Phase 2.
81. Fabric 1, Rod. Slip and light green
glaze but vitrified. Kiln waste, Context
[10], Phase 1.
82. Fabric 2, Strap. Very badly eroded,
burnt, light olive green patches of
glaze, vitrified. Context [38], Phase 2.
83. Fabric 1, Rod. Slipped, light olive
green glaze patches. Medieval plough-
soil, Context [27], Phase 3.
84. Fabric unknown, Rod. Ribbed, dark
olive green glaze. Unstratified.
85. Fabric 1, Rod. Slip. Light olive
green glaze. Medieval plough-soil,
Context [27], Phase 3.
86. Fabric 1, Rod. Light green glaze
patches. Eroded. Kiln waste, Context
[8], Phase 1.
Fig. 10 Jug Forms: Decoration and Handles.
The Eshott site is the first example of a medieval pottery kiln
to be found in a rural context in the north-east of England
and is therefore sufficient to demand attention. The site
appears to demonstrate a local production of pottery, the
form and fabric of which both show similarity to the
regional types of the 12th to 13th centuries, although this
one appears to belong firmly to the mid-to-late 12th century.
The kiln-hearth bears comparison with the kiln-hearths at
Donyatt in Somerset, which were clamp-fired, except that no
opening for a vent was apparent here. The use of a clamp
firing to produce glazed vessels is rare and indicates the
technical possibilities of such a method. The Eshott pottery
may be one of many small rural kilns that have yet to be
discovered, which met local needs.
The other features on the site suggest this may be a
pottery workshop. These include the adjacent waste-filled
pits, one of which may have served as a drain [14] and the
other as a source of clay for the kiln [2], the nearby building,
which may have been a drying shed, and the flat-bottomed
pit [28], which was either a clay storage pit, or a base for a
throwing-wheel. These meet some of Moorhouses
requirements for a pottery workshop (Moorhouse 1981,
100-5), although a note of caution should be registered
because of the limited extent of the excavation.
The nearby moated manor of Eshott, the alignment of
the settlement boundaries, the documentation and the
dating of the site suggest the lay-out of a planned village to
serve the new Anglo-Norman masters of Eshott, but one that
was just as readily removed. The pottery and kiln is one
example of the spread of new technologies both rural and
industrial that followed in the wake of the Norman
aristocracy. Whilst, the date of the desertion makes this a
rare example of an early medieval abandonment. The
Brinkburn charter hints at hunting as the possible reason for
its desertion, the settlement having been displaced to make
room for a park or warren to serve the hunting interests of
the lords of the manor.
The abandonment of the site and its use for agriculture
since the 13th to 14th centuries has caused considerable
disruption to the site, imposing a lot of difficulties in its
interpretation. The pottery, in consequence, shows quite
considerable fragmentation, making reconstruction difficult.
With no complete profile recovered, forms are sometimes
difficult to reconstruct; not helped by the post-depositional
erosion of the surfaces of many of the sherds. Thus the
present appearance of the pots may be misleading as
suggested by the firing experiments which revealed traces of
a white slip. This suggests that the intention was to produce
a white coloured product, not unlike the ubiquitous East
Coast White Gritty Wares of Scotland, and similar, it would
seem, to the white-slipped Red Wares at Perth (Derek Hall,
pers. comm.).
This excavation was funded by British Gas and the author
wishes to thank Phil Catherall and all those members of the
British Gas Archaeological Survey who took part in the
excavation. The pottery report is an edited version of
Amanda Crowdys dissertation for her Postgraduate
Diploma in Post Excavation Studies awarded by the
Department of Archaeology of Leicester University under
the supervision of Deirdre OSullivan. The author also
wishes to thank Colm OBrien for providing space in the
offices of the North East Archaeology Unit to allow me to
carry out the preliminary analysis of the pottery, Terry
Pearson, Richard Colman-Smith and Derek Hall for their
helpful comments on the interpretation of the site, and the
Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical
Monuments of Scotland for preparing some of the images
for publication. The excavation archives, the pottery and
thin-sections have been deposited with the Museum of
Antiquities at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
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Piers Dixon, Leithen Mill Lodge, Leithen Crescent, Innerleithen,
Peeblesshire EH44 6JL
Amanda Crowdy, 46 Hutton Road, Ash Vale, Surrey
GU12 5HA
Les fouilles de sauvetage et les sondages organiss en aval de la
construction du pipeline North Sea Gas travers le
Northumberland ont mis jour un four de potier, dat entre le
milieu et la fin du 12 me sicle, un ventuel atelier ainsi que des
habitations. Les fours de potiers en milieu rural sont rares dans le
nord-est de lAngleterre. Le four est du type ciel ouvert et les
productions incluent de la vaisselle vernie et non-vernie. La
distribution du matriel est locale, mais ces produits sont proches
de types trouvs ailleurs dans le nord-est de lAngleterre.
Rettungsgrabungen und Ausgrabungen vor dem Bau der Nordsee
Gas Pipeline durch Northumberland brachten einen Tpferofen,
mglicherweise eine Werkstatt und eine Siedlung aus dem
mittleren bis spten 12. Jahrhundert zutage. Lndliche
mittelalterliche Tpferfen sind selten im Nordosten von
England. Dieser Ofen ist ein clamp-kiln, in dem sowohl glasierte
wie unglasierte Gefe gebrannt wurden. Die Verbreitung der
Produkte beschrnkt sich auf die nhere Umgebung, obwohl
hnliche Typen auch anderswo im Nordosten Englands gefunden
An evaluation of
fingerprinting for the
provenancing of
Scottish red ware
Simon Chenery, Emrys Phillips
and George Haggarty
A geochemical study was undertaken to
evaluate whether it was possible to accurately
fingerprint Scottish, Post-Medieval and
later red ware pottery sherds. The primary
objective was to establish a set of criteria to
distinguish between the pottery sherds, on
both a site and regional basis, as an aid to
provenancing. These preliminary
investigations also utilised the British
Geological Surveys national geochemical
database of stream sediment analyses as an
aid to predicting the potential clay source
regions. The results of this study clearly
demonstrate the potential power of this
combined geochemical and statistical
approach, and its application to archaeological
site investigations.
Establishing the provenance or source of clay for pottery
manufacture is a recurrent problem for many archaeological
studies. Over the last few decades a number of observational
techniques, i.e. thin section optical microscopy and
instrumental techniques, including the geochemical
characterisation of pottery sherds, have been applied to this
problem. Previously, one of the most common and
techniques was instrumental neutron activation analysis
(INAA), in studies such as that on Tating Ware (Stilke et al.
1996) or Inscker and Tate, 1991 on Scottish medieval
pottery. However, during the 1990s, the closure of many
nuclear reactor facilities necessary for INAA has led to the
use of other analytical techniques with some success, for
example inductively coupled plasma atomic emission
spectrometry (ICP-AES) (Bruno et al. 2000).
This paper describes the results of a geochemical study of
Scottish Post Medieval red ware pottery, which was
undertaken to evaluate whether it was possible to accurately
fingerprint pottery sherds as an aid to provenancing. The
study utilised ICP-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) which is a
highly sensitive modern analytical technique and is
compatible with the earlier used INAA. For a more detailed
comparison between INAA and ICP-MS analytical
techniques the reader is referred to Holmes (1997).
The suite of pottery sherds provided for analysis were
selected from eleven archaeological sites, located within five
geographical regions across Scotland (Fig. 1). These samples
were divided into two groups. The first provided a training
Fig. 1 Location maps of red ware pottery sites sampled or discussed in
this study. Medieval Ceramics 25, 4553, 2001
46 47
An evaluation of geochemical fingerprinting for the provenancing of Scottish red ware pottery
set which were used to establish a set of criteria for the
fingerprinting of each site and/or region. These
characteristics could then be used to provenance the second
test group, which were initially supplied blind without any
site specific or regional location details.
A number of statistical and graphical approaches have
been applied to group the sherds on, in this case, the basis of
their geochemical composition. To fully utilise the large
amount of information generated by ICP-MS, emphasis has
been placed on multi-variate techniques, such as factor
analysis and discriminant analysis (Davis 1973; Adams
1995). The success of these statistical techniques for
discriminating between pottery sherds from different
localities was evaluated by applying them to the test samples.
The degree of success could then be ascertained by the
number of samples correctly assigned to a provenance or
The data were also compared with the British Geological
Surveys national geochemical database to ascertain whether
pottery production was from local or imported source
This multidisciplinary project involved Scottish Medieval
archaeologists and ceramic historians (Medieval
Archaeological Research Group), and analytical scientists at
the British Geological Survey. The primary archaeological
objectives of the project were: (a) to see if it were possible to
differentiate between the iron-rich clays sourced from
different major river systems in Scotland; and (b) to
discriminate between a number of individual production
sites within a single area. If the results of the pilot study were
found to be favourable, MARG intended to design a much
larger project on Scottish red ware pottery.
The pottery sherds were selected from five principal
Group 1, Forth Basin - In the 17th and 18th centuries the
Forth basin was the location of a number of large industrial
potteries, brick and tile works. These industries started to
utilise, on a large-scale, the abundant carseland clays present
within the basin. Prior to this, pottery production was
limited to a few small-scale potters working the local clay.
During this period, the potters began to move from the
vicinity of the larger towns, such as Stirling and Edinburgh,
which were rapidly expanding beyond their medieval
boundaries. For example, marriage documents from the first
half of the 17th century give us the names of at least seven
potters working in Potterrow just outside Edinburghs city
walls. However, by 1660 only a few clay pipe makers were
still working in this area.
The Forth basin satisfies one of the main objectives of
the collaborative project, as it contains a number of
individual ceramic production sites including West Pans
[NT 371 736], Throsk [NS 903 868], Stenhouse [NS 880
824] and Fife Sinclairtown [NT 304 931]. These sites have
been the subject of a number of recent archaeological
excavations, as well as an ongoing documentary research
program being undertaken by G. Haggarty (unpublished
West Pans (WP - six training and three test samples) is a very
complex and long lived ceramic manufacturing site.
Production commenced in c. 1738 when an Edinburgh
potter called Robert Pate petitioned the Council of
Musselburgh for 20 guineas (which he received) prior to
moving into the area. Slip decorated-type wares were being
made using the local clay from at least c. 1748. West Pans
was also the site of an 18th-century porcelain factory, as well
as a number of 18th and 19th-century industrial pottery
manufacturers which used both imported white and the
local red clay.
Throsk (Th - six training and three test samples) is a very
important 17th and 18th-century Scottish pottery
production site. The potteries utilised the local estuarine
clays and may have distributed their wares across Scotland.
Substantial archaeological and documentary research on this
ceramic industry has been published Caldwell & Dean
(1992) and Harrison (2002).
Stenhouse (St - six training and three test samples) is an
extensive pottery production site, containing evidence for
large number of kilns that were excavated by the late Miss D
Hunter (Hall & Hunter 2001). These authors concluded that
the site is 15th or early 16th century in date and used the
local red firing clay. The distribution area of Stenhouse
pottery is unknown. However, one sherd with a distinctive
Stenhouse-type facemask was recovered at Ravenscraig
Castle in a post-1562 context (Laing & Robertson 1970).
Fife Sinclairtown (Fi - two training samples) is a small,
recently excavated 19th and early 20th century pottery
production site owned by J Buist & Sons. This site appears to
have specialised in the production of Rockingham glazed
teapots using both imported white Devon and local red clay
(James et al. 1991). The source of the local clay was a
number of pits located to the east of the pottery.
Group 2, Moray Firth Two sites from the Moray Firth (Fig.
1), Elgin [NJ 2161 6289] and Spynie Palace [NJ 203 658],
have been included in the present study.
At Elgin (El - three training and three test samples) there is
very good evidence, as yet unpublished, for post-medieval
pottery production within the town. This includes a few
wasters as well as a good assemblage of post-medieval kiln
furniture (B Lindsay pers. comm.). All the pottery used in
this present study was excavated from features in the general
area and believed to be post-medieval in date.
The pottery samples from Spynie Palace (Sp - three
training samples) are all from stratified levels of a major
archaeological excavation of an apparently high status palace
(Lewis & Pringle 2002). However, examination of the
pottery showed it to be extremely crude and lacking in the
relative sophistication of the nearby Elgin material. This
suggests that the pottery was locally produced. Although few
red ware kiln sites have been found in Scotland, it is possible
that the pottery was not being transported far and there may
be many more production sites to be discovered.
Group 3, Tweed Basin All the pottery sherds (Be - five
training and three test samples) included within this group
are from Berwick-upon-Tweed [NU 995 526]. The
production site was located at Tweedmouth (now in the
grounds of the Tower craft pottery) and used local clay. No
detailed archaeological or documentary investigation has
taken place. However the current owners have presented
surface finds to English Heritage. These sherds (178 in total)
indicate a post-medieval to early industrial date, with at least
some being possible late 17th- century slip decorated ware.
The latter were excavated by the Borders Burgh
Archaeological Project from the Kelso area and may have
originated from this site. Cruickshank et al. (in press)
concluded that the slipwares from Kelso are distinct from
those found at other production sites, both in Scotland and
Group 4, Tay Basin Pottery from two sites from the Tay
basin (Fig., 1), Dundee [NO 404 306] and Perth [NO 120
231], have been examined during the present study.
The pottery sherds from the Dundee site (Du - five
training and three test samples) are probably late medieval
and were taken from an archaeological excavation within the
town. Laing (1974) interpreted the sherds as wasters and
concluded that they provide proof of medieval ceramic
production in Dundee town. However, the medieval
ceramics held in the Dundee museum store have recently
been reassessed and are now considered to be fragments of
pipes associated with late industrial salt glazing (D Hall & G
Haggarty pers. comm.).
At Perth (Pe - three training and three test samples), the
large amounts of kiln furniture recovered from an
archaeological excavation around Canal Street provide clear
evidence for the local production of late red ware pottery
(Blanchard 1979). Subsequently a medieval red ware kiln
stand has been found in a excavation on the north side of
town (D Hall pers. comm.).
Group 5, Clyde Basin Archaeological evidence suggests
that there was a post medieval pottery industry in the area of
the old Calton in Glasgow which utilised the same clay
source as the later industrial potters (Fleming 1923).
Unfortunately, none of this material could be obtained for
use in the present study. The sample sherds used came from
excavations at Glasgow Govan [NS 553 659] and Glasgow
Cathedral [NS 603 656] (Fig. 1).
The samples from Govan (GG - two training and two test
samples) are from an archaeological excavation carried out
on the site of the Moot Hill; a possible late prehistoric or
early medieval meeting point. This artificial mound survived
until the early 19th century when it was flattened to make
way for a shipyard. The pottery (probably late-medieval) was
recovered from the fill of the ditch circling the base of the
The red ware sherds from Glasgow Cathedral (GC - two
training samples) were recovered during an archaeological
excavation within the nave and crypt of the cathedral
(Driscoll in press). The present cathedral dates to the 13th
century but the sherds are probably late medieval in age.
The initial stages of the sample preparation involved
cutting a 5-10 mm strip out of the centre of a sherd. This
was used to make a thin section for petrographical analysis
(Phillips 1998). The remaining material (up to 5 g in weight)
was prepared for geochemical analysis using ICP-mass
spectrometry. To avoid problems with the variable
concentration of trace elements within the glaze, the latter
was carefully removed by paring off using a stainless steel
chisel (the glaze was retained for use in a possible future
study). The whole surface of the remaining sample was
lightly ground with a pure alumina grinding head to remove
any surface contamination or alteration. The sherd was then
crushed, ground to less than 30 mm and homogenised in an
agate mill.
The solid pottery powder was accurately weighed into
a PTFE test-tube and dissolved using a mixture of
hydrofluoric, perchloric and nitric acids. The tube was
heated until the sample was decomposed and the acids
evaporated off. The dried material was then re-dissolved in
a small amount of nitric acid and stored in a clean plastic
bottle until required for analysis using ICP-mass
spectrometry. For a more detailed account of the sample
preparation methods for ICP analysis the reader is referred
to Cook et al. (1997).
The samples were analysed for 45 elements: Lithium (Li);
Beryllium (Be); Scandium (Sc); Titanium (Ti); Vanadium
(V); Chromium (Cr); Cobalt (Co); Nickel (Ni); Copper
(Cu); Zinc (Zn); Gallium (Ga); Arsenic (As); Rubidium
(Rb); Strontium (Sr); Yttrium (Y); Zirconium (Zr); Niobium
(Nb); Molybdenum (Mo); Silver (Ag); Cadmium (Cd); Tin
(Sn); Antimony (Sb); Caesium (Cs); Barium (Ba);
Lanthanum (La); Cerium (Ce); Praseodymium (Pr);
An evaluation of geochemical fingerprinting for the provenancing of Scottish red ware pottery
Neodymium (Nd); Samarium (Sm); Europium (Eu);
Gadolinium (Gd); Terbium (Tb); Dysprosium (Dy);
Holmium (Ho); Erbium (Er); Thulium (Tm); Ytterbium
(Yb); Lutetium (Lu); Hafnium (Hf); Tantalum (Ta);
Tungsten (W); Thallium (Tl); Lead (Pb); Thorium (Th) and
Uranium (U) using a VG Elemental Plasma Quad 2+ ICP-
mass spectrometer. A complete list of the data obtained is
available from the lead author on request. The instrument
was calibrated with solutions traceable to internationally
recognised chemical standards. The data was validated with
an extensive range of quality control samples. Quality
control (QC) samples (reference materials, duplicate
analyses and blanks) were also analysed, providing statistical
information on the analytical quality and batch rejection
criteria. No pottery reference materials were available;
consequently the internationally recognised SCo-1 (Shale-
Cody) and SDO-1 (Shale - Devonian Ohio) reference
materials were used, with compiled concentrations taken
from Potts et al. (1992).
All data-processing, graphical and statistical analysis were
performed using commercial computer software packages
(Excel, Microsoft; Unistat for Windows 3, Unistat, Ltd;
Minitab 13, Minitab Inc).
The geochemical data obtained for the Scottish red ware
pottery sherds have been analysed using a number of
statistical and graphical techniques, ranging from the simple
methods to sophisticated multivariate analysis. Each
technique was evaluated to determine whether it provided
new or corroborative information, allowing discrimination
between sherds from the different archaeological sites.
Graphical analysis
The simplest interpretative method used was the bivariate
(x-y) plot, with the plots of barium (Ba) versus strontium
(Sr) (Fig 2) and barium (Ba) versus rubidium (Rb)
providing the best discrimination between site groups. For
example the sherds from Berwick-upon-Tweed (Be) are
clearly distinguished by their low Ba and Sr concentrations
from the Elgin pottery (El), which have much higher
concentrations of these elements (Fig. 2). The more
sophisticated log-element ratio plots (Fig. 3) are also
extremely useful as geochemical data is not normally
distributed and such diagrams expand the lower data values.
Using these graphical methods a clear discrimination is
achieved between the geographical groups of the training
samples (see Figs 2 and 3). These plots also allow provisional
assignment of the test samples to a particular region. The
samples BS1, BS2 and BS3 possess Ba and Rb concentrations
(Ba > 1000 g g
, Rb > 160 g g
) comparable to the
known Elgin pottery sherds. The test samples BS7, BS8 and
BS9 have Sr/Cr (log Sr/Cr -0.35) and Ba/Cr ratios (log
Ba/Cr < 0.60) consistent with them forming part of the
Berwick-upon-Tweed suite of pottery. However, samples
BS16 to BS21 are more difficult to assign using these
methods and may be derived from either the Dundee or
Perth sites (see Fig. 2).
Multivariate statistical analysis
When performing multivariate statistics it is usual to
normalise the data to ensure that elements with high
concentrations and/or a large absolute variation, do not
dominate the statistical processes. The conventional
normalisation process of normal scoring
= (a
Fig. 2 Plot of Ba versus Sr concentration determined
in Scottish red ware pottery coded for each of the
eleven sites and the blind samples (BS). For full site
codes see archaeological context. Plot demonstrates
the discrimination, in particular, of samples from
Berwick (Be) because of their low concentrations of
these elements.
has been used in this study, where z
= normal-score, a
concentration for element i, x
= the mean of concentrations
for training set and
= the standard deviation for the
training set. Before conducting multivariate analysis the size
of the data set (number of elements) was reduced to assist
interpretation. Most multivariate methods aim to re-cast the
data to maximise differences in order to highlight the
underlying processes. Therefore, if variables (in this case the
elements) are highly correlated in their statistical behaviour
they will not aid in data processing. After inspection of a
correlation matrix, one element (in bold):
La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Lu and Y;
Nb, Ti, Ta; Co, Ni; Rb, Cs; and Zr, Hf.
was chosen to represent each group of highly correlated
elements identified during the first stage of the multivariate
statistical analysis. The rare earth elements (La-Y) are
commonly used in geochemical interpretation of geological
materials. However, in the present study these elements did
not provide any useful discrimination. Some of the other
elements were also discounted: Cd, because of its poor
precision in the quality control; Ga due to Ba interference;
As due to a possible Cl interference and Pb because of
possible glaze contamination. These problems may have
been specific to the pottery samples analysed during this
study and should not be considered generic.
The elements Li, Be, V, Cr, Co, Cu, Zn, Rb, Sr, Zr, Nb, Mo,
Ag, Sn, Sb, Ba, La, W, Tl, Th and U were found to be the
most robust and, therefore, used as normal-scored data in
the multivariate statistical analysis.
Cluster analysis - There are many forms of cluster analysis,
most of which fall into the category of unsupervised pattern
recognition (i.e. no prior assumptions are made about
grouping) and make use of the degree of similarity between
objects. When using geochemical data this similarity is
usually quantified as some measure of the distance between
samples in multivariate space. The different forms of cluster
analysis may produce different results. Therefore, there is no
single correct result, with the success of the clustering
process being dependent upon the information being sought
(Adams 1995). Consequently, a number of forms of this type
of analysis were tried. Hierarchical clustering, using the
single linkage method and the Euclid distance as a measure
of similarity proved to be the most successful, the graphical
results are shown in Fig. 4. From this dendrogram it was
possible to provisionally assign some of the test samples to
Fig. 4 A dendrogram resulting from cluster analysis of Scottish redware
pottery coded for each of the eleven sites and the blind samples (BS). For
full site codes see archaeological context. The cluster analysis was
performed using hierarchical clustering, the single linkage method and
the Euclid distance as a measure of similarity.
Fig. 3 Log plot of Ba/Cr versus Sr/Cr
concentration ratios determined in Scottish red
ware pottery, coded for each of the eleven sites and
the blind samples (BS). For full site codes see
archaeological context. This demonstrates the extra
discrimination possible by this type of plot
compared to simple two element concentration
plots, in particular by region i.e. Berwick (Be);
Spynie (Sp) and Elgin (El); Perth (Pe) and
Dundee (Du).
An evaluation of geochemical fingerprinting for the provenancing of Scottish red ware pottery
particular regional groups, in particular: samples BS11 and
BS12 to West Pans; samples BS13, BS14 and BS15 to
Stenhouse; samples BS7 and BS8 to Berwick; and samples
BS2 and BS3 to either Elgin or Spynie.
The K-means algorithm was another cluster method
used to analyse the data. In this technique, a certain amount
of predefined information is given, including how many
clusters are required (in this case the eleven sites), with
one training sample being used to seed each cluster. This
technique is, therefore, a form of supervised pattern
recognition. The results of K-means clustering were, however,
disappointing and led to significant mis-assignment, even of
the samples belonging to the training set. Consequently, no
useful information was obtained using the K-means cluster
technique. A possible reason for the failure is the production
of more clusters than sites due to chemical composition
differences within sherds from a single site. This seems highly
likely if pottery was produced over a period of time and from
different batches of raw clay even from a single source.
Factor analysis This method of data analysis is a form of
unsupervised pattern recognition. The first stage in factor
analysis is to decide how many factors are required to
describe the data. The number of factors should not be
confused with the number of sites, as the factors will reflect
underlying causes of variation in the data. For example, the
variation in the data may be caused by elements being
absorbed onto the surface of clay minerals, or the presence
of an accessory mineral phase which contains a large
concentration of otherwise exotic element. The number of
factors may be chosen by first performing a principal
components analysis (PCA). This manipulates the data in
such a way that a new series of variables (factors) are
produced. The first will account for the maximum amount
of variance in the data, the second the next most significant
and so on. Using a scree plot (Adams 1995), five factors were
found to be significant, with the amount of variance
explained by the model being shown in Table 1. In
particular, the percentage of the total explained by each
factor and the cumulative total as each factor is added.
The next stage of the factor analysis is the application
of a Varimax rotation. This process aids meaningful
interpretation as the new axes are rotated relative to the
sample space. This is not the only form of rotation that
might be considered, but is applied here as it frequently
produces good results with geochemical data. The simplest
way to represent the results of the factor analysis is to plot
the factor scores against each other, as shown in Fig 5.
The application of factor analysis to the Scottish red ware
data allowed test samples BS1, BS2 and BS3 to be assigned to
Elgin, samples BS20 and BS17 to Dundee, BS16, BS 18, BS19,
BS20 to Perth and sample BS9 to the Berwick-upon-Tweed
site. More importantly, the factor matrix also provides an
indication of which elements are related to which factors; for
example, Factor 1 was dominated by a positive correlation
with Cr and strong negative correlations with Ba, Rb and Sr.
These correlations indicate why these elements provided a
clear discrimination between the Scottish red ware pottery
sites on the bi-variate plots.
Canonical Discriminant Analysis (CDA) - is probably the
most powerful multivariate statistical technique for the
assignment of test samples to known sites. This is primarily
because the technique is a form of supervised pattern
recognition using the a priori knowledge of all the training
data set. Elements used in this modelling were the same as
those used for the previous analytical methods. However, Ag
and Sb were eliminated as factor analysis had shown that
these elements did not significantly contribute to modelling.
CDA is similar to factor analysis in that it relies on an
underlying principle components analysis to create a new set
of multivariate axes from normalised data. However, the aim
of CDA is to maximise the separation between known
groups and CDA was first performed on the training data
set. The result was complete separation between the regional
sites, with 93% of variance accounted for in the first 3
factors. The CDA coefficients were then applied to both the
normalised training set and the normalised test data set to
produce a set of scores.
An example of a plot of CDA factors 1 versus 2 is shown
in Fig 6. Factor 1 provided the best separation between the
Table 1 The amount of variance explained by the factor analysis model.
Specifically, the percentage of the total explained by each factor and the
cumulative total as each factor is added.
Fig. 5 A plot of Factor 1 versus Factor 2 sample scores from a five factor
analysis using Varimax rotation, an unsupervised pattern recognition
method. These factors demonstrated best discrimination between the
Forth basin geographical group and the other regional groups.
Elgin/Spynie and Glasgow sites. In contrast, Factor 2 clearly
separated pottery sherds from the Berwick and
Perth/Dundee sites. Both factors 1 and 2 proved to be
successful in separating the Fife samples from the other
regional sites. Factors 3 and 4 were useful in distinguishing
between the Forth sites of Stenhouse, Throsk and West Pans.
CDA was also applied to the test samples and resulted in the
following assignments: BS1, BS2 and BS3 to Elgin; BS4, BS5,
BS6 and BS11 to Throsk; BS7, BS8 and BS9 to Berwick-
upon-Tweed; BS10 and BS12 to West Pans; BS13, BS14,
BS15, BS22 and BS23 to Stenhouse; BS16, BS17, BS18 and
BS20 to Dundee; and finally samples BS19 and BS21 to the
Perth site.
Although CDA is a powerful a priori statistical
technique it is limited by the quality of the training data set.
In the current study although the training set used well
researched material, the sample size for each site was
typically small (five) and in some cases extremely small
(two). This small sample size may give rise to problems with
the CDA statistical analysis and distort results (Baxter 1994
and Hope 1968). To minimise this possibility five samples
per site should be considered the minimum in future studies
and ten or more preferred if possible.
To make the final assignment of the test samples to
individual archaeological sites and geographical regions the
results of all of the statistical techniques were collated into a
single table (Table 2). The most weight was given to the
results of Canonical Discriminant Analysis as this was a
supervised pattern recognition technique, making full use of
the multi-element data set by manipulating that data set to
maximise the differences between sites. This process resulted
in the correct assignment of nineteen out of twenty-three
pottery samples to their true site of origin, with a further
two more sherds being assigned to the correct geographical
group. Only two samples were assigned to both the wrong
site and regional group, having erroneously been assigned to
Stenhouse (Forth) rather than Govan (Glasgow). This error
may, at least in part, be due to the very small size of the
Table 2 Summary of sites assigned to blind test samples (BS) by different
statistical and graphical methods in comparison with actual site.
Sample Bivariate Hierarchical K-means Factor Canonical Actual
graphs cluster cluster analysis discriminant
analysis analysis analysis
BS1 Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin
BS2 Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin
or Spynie
BS3 Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin Elgin
or Spynie
BS4 Throsk Throsk
BS5 Throsk Throsk Throsk
BS6 Throsk Throsk Throsk
BS7 Berwick Berwick Berwick Berwick Berwick
BS8 Berwick Berwick Berwick Berwick Berwick
BS9 Berwick Berwick Berwick Berwick Berwick
BS10 West Pans West Pans
BS11 West Pans Throsk West Pans
BS12 West Pans West Pans West Pans
BS13 Stenhouse Stenhouse Stenhouse Stenhouse
BS14 Stenhouse Stenhouse Stenhouse Stenhouse
BS15 Stenhouse Stenhouse Stenhouse Stenhouse
BS16 Dundee Perth Dundee Dundee
or Perth
BS17 Dundee Dundee Dundee Dundee Dundee
or Perth
BS18 Dundee Perth Dundee Dundee
or Perth
BS19 Dundee Perth Perth Perth Perth
or Perth
BS20 Dundee Dundee Dundee Dundee Perth
or Perth
BS21 Dundee Stenhouse Perth Perth Perth
or Perth
BS22 Stenhouse Stenhouse Govan
BS23 Stenhouse Stenhouse Govan
Factor Eigenvalue % total for factor Cumulative %
1 4.84 23.1 23.1
2 3.66 17.4 40.5
3 2.91 13.9 54.4
4 1.87 8.9 63.3
5 1.25 6.0 69.2
Fig. 6 A plot of Factor 1 versus Factor 2
sample scores from a canonical discriminant
analysis (CDA), a supervised pattern
recognition method. These factors
demonstrated best discrimination between the
Forth basin geographical group and the other
regional groups.
An evaluation of geochemical fingerprinting for the provenancing of Scottish red ware pottery
training set provided for the Govan (two samples) and Clyde
basin (four samples) sites. Furthermore, G. Haggarty and D.
Hall (pers. comm.) have both suggested that these sherds
may have indeed originated from the Stenhouse area.
Since the early 1970s the British Geological Survey has been
conducting a national Geochemical Baseline Survey of the
Environment (G-BASE). This survey measures the
concentrations of a wide variety of elements in stream
sediment, soil and water samples at a density of
approximately one per square kilometre. For the sediments,
the samples are of the finer fraction (less than 150 microns)
and are internationally recognised as being representative of
local geology and geochemistry. Of particular relevance to
the current study, this fine fraction usually contains a high
proportion of clay and minor mineral phases, which are
likely to be included within the final manufactured pottery.
Data for this area was produced using the analytical
technique DC Arc - Atomic Emission Spectrometry. The
BGS has a number of survey programs that continue over
many years. To ensure comparability of data over time and
advances in analytical techniques the laboratories have
detailed quality assurance and quality control schemes.
The Elgin, Spynie, Dundee and Perth sites are all located
within the East Grampians region of the G-BASE. Data for
this area is available in the form of maps created using
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) (British Geological
Survey 1991). Elemental concentrations for all G-BASE sites,
within 5 km of the archaeological sites, were extracted from
the master ORACLE database for use in the present study.
The average concentrations of the elements Ba, Cr, Rb and
Sr in pottery analysed from the Elgin, Spynie, Dundee and
Perth sites were then compared with the range of
concentrations of these elements in the G-BASE (Table 3).
The Elgin and Spynie archaeological sites have been
considered together as these geographically close sites can
not be separated on the scale of the G-BASE data.
The compositional variations within the pottery
geochemical data are also recognisable in the G-BASE
dataset and, therefore, are believed to reflect regional
changes in source clay composition. In particular, there is
a decrease in Ba concentrations from Elgin/Spynie through
Dundee to Perth, with the pottery data falling within the
recorded range of Ba for these areas in the G-BASE dataset.
Furthermore, pottery from the Elgin/Spynie sites contain
a higher Rb and lower Cr concentrations than sherds
analysed from the Perth and Dundee sites (both of which
have similar values), with a similar variation also being
recognised in the G-BASE dataset. The broad similarity in Sr
concentrations in pottery sherds from all three sites is also
reflected in the stream sediment geochemical data. In detail,
pottery from the Perth site does exhibit a slightly lower Sr
content suggesting that the source clay may have been
derived from a lower Sr region to the west of Perth
recognised on the single element G-BASE map for this area.
The present study has clearly demonstrated that it is possible
to geochemically fingerprint Scottish red ware pottery and
predict, with a high degree of certainty, on both the
geographical regional and the site specific level the origin of
the pottery sherds. The division of the pottery samples into a
training set (whose site of origin was known) and test group
has proved a successful means of avoiding any bias in the
assignment process. The pottery sherds were analysed using
ICP-MS geochemical analytical technique, which is
becoming increasingly widely available. A variety of
graphical and statistical techniques were then applied to
these data to provide a basis on which to assign the test
samples to a regional site. Some techniques, such as log-
element ratio plots, are perhaps more common in
geochemistry than archaeology, but show the synergy of the
two disciplines. The supervised pattern recognition method
of canonical discriminant analysis proved to be the most
successful technique. Errors in assigning the test samples are
considered to result from the small size of the training set
for a particular site, which should ideally contain at least five
samples. Initial results suggest that the comparison of
pottery chemical data with the British Geological Surveys
national geochemical database (G-BASE) may provide a
useful tool in the location of potential sources of raw clay
The authors would like to thank the many Scottish
archaeologists and museum staff who provided material for
this collaborative study and, in particular, Derek Hall and
Table 3 A comparison between the composition of Scottish red ware
pottery from Spynie/Elgin, Dundee and Perth and geochemical survey
(G-BASE) stream sediments from within 5 km of the archaeological sites.
Location Ba (ppm) Cr (ppm) Rb (ppm) Sr (ppm)
Elgin/Spynie pottery 971 64 181 194
Elgin/Spynie G-Base 1300-2000 32-80 100-300 268-376
Dundee pottery 822 107 118 192
Dundee G-Base 560-920 132-276 <41-72 268-435
Perth pottery 748 109 125 169
Perth G-Base <360-920 132-404 <41-72 268-435
David Caldwell for helping drive the project. We are
indebted to Historic Scotland for funding this work and
Olwyn Owen for believing in its success. We would also like
to acknowledge the help of two former members of BGS,
Phil Green for extracting the G-Base data and Nigel Ruckley
for bringing together the Scottish pottery experts with the
BGS geoscientists. This work is published with the
permission of the Director, British Geological Survey,
Natural Environment Research Council, UK.
Adams, M. J. 1995, Chemometrics in Analytical Spectroscopy.
Royal Society of Chemistry Analytical Spectroscopy Monogr
Cambridge 216.
Blanchard, L. 1979, Perth Enters The Lists. Scottish Pottery Society
Archive News 4, Edinburgh 75.
British Geological Survey, 1991, Regional geochemistry of the East
Grampians area, British Geological Survey, Keyworth,
Nottingham, UK.
Bruno, P., Caselli, M., Curri, M. L., Genga, A., Striccoli, R. &
Traini, A. 2000, Chemical characterisation of ancient pottery
from south of Italy by inductively coupled plasma atomic
emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) statistical multivariate
analysis of data. Analytica Chimica Acta 410, 193-202.
Caldwell, D. and Dean, V. 1992, The pottery industry at Throsk,
Stirlingshire, in the 17th and early 18th century. Post-Medieval
Archaeol, 26, 1-46.
Cook, J. M., Robinson, J. J., Chenery, S. R. N. & Miles, D. L. 1997,
Determining cadmium in marine sediments by inductively
coupled plasma mass spectrometry: Attacking the problems or
the problems with the attack? Analyst, 122, 1207-1210.
Cruichshank et al., (in press).
Davis, J. C. 1973, Statistics and Data Analysis in Geology. John
Wiley and Sons. New York, 550.
Driscoll, S.T. 2002, Excavations at Glasgow Cathedral 1988-97.
Society for Medieval Archaeol Monogr 18.
Fleming, J. A. 1923, Scottish Pottery. Glasgow.
Hall, D.W. and Hunter, D. 2001, The Rescue Excavations of some
Medieval Redware Pottery Kilns at Stenhousemuir, Falkirk
between 1954 and 1978. Medieval Archaeol 45, 97-168.
Harrison, J. G. in press, The Pottery at Throsk, Stirlingshire c1600
1800; Context Links And Survivals. Proc Soc Antiq Scot.
Holmes, L. J. 1997, Application of Inductively Coupled Plasma
Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) to the Chemical Analysis of
Ancient Ceramics. unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of
Inscker, A. and Tate, J. 1991, Neutron Activation analysis of
Scottish Medieval Pottery: A Grain Size Study. In P. Budd, B.
Chapman, C. Jackson, R. Janaway and B. Ottway (eds.),
Archaeological Sciences 1989, Oxbow Monogr 9, Oxford, 69-75.
James, H., Turnbull, G. & Mechan, D. 1991, The Excavations at
Sinclairtown Pottery Kirkcaldy. Kirkcaldy.
Laing, L. & Robertson 1970, Notes on Scottish Medieval Pottery.
Proc Soc Antiq Scot 102, (1969-70), 146-154.
Laing, L. 1974, Medieval Pottery in Dundee Museum. Proc Soc
Antiq Scot 103, (1970-1), 169-177.
Lewis, J. & Pringle D. 2002, Spynie Palace and the Bishop of
Moray History Architecture and Archaeology, Edinburgh Proc
Soc Antiq Scot Monogr Ser 21.
Phillips, E. R. 1998, The petrography and micromorphology of a
suite of Scottish Medieval pottery sherds. British Geological
Survey, Technical Report, WG/98/13.
Potts, P. J., Tindle, A. G. & Webb, P.C. 1992, Geochemical Reference
Material Compositions: Rocks, Minerals, Sediments, Soils,
Carbonates, Refractories and Ores Used in Research and
Industry. Whittles Publishing, Caithness, 313.
Stilke, H., Hein, A. & Mommsen, H. 1996, Results of Neutron
Activation Analysis on Tating Ware and the Mayen Industry.
Medieval Ceram 20, 25-32.
Simon Chenery, British Geological Survey, Nicker Hill, Keyworth,
Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK
Emrys Phillips, British Geological Survey, Murchison House,
West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3LA, UK
George Haggarty, 8 John Street, Portobello, Edinburgh
EH15 2EE, UK
Afin de dterminer sil etait possible de tracer prcisement
lorigine des tessons post-mdivaux dEcosse, une tude go-
chimique a t mise en uvre. Lobjectif premier tait dtablir
une liste de critres pour distinguer lorigine des tessons la fois
lchelle rgionale et sur un site particulier. Ces tudes
prliminaires utilisent la base nationale de donnes go-
chimiques des sdiments de rivires (British Geological Survey)
permettant de prvoir lorigine de largile. Les rsultats de cette
tude dmontrent le pouvoir potentiel de cette approche
combinant la go-chimie et la statistique, et leur application dans
ltude des sites archologiques.
Eine geochemische Studie wurde erstellt, um festzustellen ob es
mglich ist, schottische sptmittelalterliche und sptere Rotware-
Keramikscherben genau zu bestimmen. Die Hauptaufgabe war,
eine Reihe von Kriterien fr die Herkunftsbestimmung von
Scherben sowohl auf lokaler als auf regionaler Ebene aufzustellen.
Die Voruntersuchungen benutzten auch die nationale
geochemische Datenbank fr Flusand-Sedimentanalyse des
British Geological Survey als eine Hilfe, die mgliche Herkunft
des Tones zu bestimmen. Die Resultate dieser Studie zeigen
deutlich die potentielle Strke dieser kombinierten
geochemischen und statistischen Annherung und deren
Anwendung auf archologische Untersuchungen.
Historically visible
but archaeologically
invisible? the
Huguenots in 17th-
century Spitalfields
Nigel Jeffries
Throughout all periods, the historical,
archaeological and anthropological study
of the material culture of distinctive ethnic
groups has always been a topic of much
research and debate. The emigration of
Europeans (through colonialism) and
Africans (by slavery) during the post-
medieval period, notably to America and
the Caribbean, has been widely studied. As
a result, little comment has been made on
those immigrant communities settling into
Britain and their impact on the
archaeological record. However, the recent
excavations, on part of the post-medieval
suburb of Spitalfields in East London, have
given the opportunity partly to redress the
balance by allowing the study of the pottery
from an area settled by the Huguenots
(Protestant refugees from France and the
Low Countries).
Historical records show that the Huguenots gradually settled
in England throughout the 17th century, with immigration
reaching a peak after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in
October 1685 ended the religious tolerance of Protestants in
France. It is estimated that this event displaced 40,000 to
50,000 Huguenots (Gywnn 1998). The first report of the
French Committee founded in 1687 to oversee the
distribution of funds raised by a nationwide collection,
estimated that 13,050 Huguenots settled in London, with
their communities centred on Spitalfields and Soho; the new
inhabitants became the driving force behind the establishment
of the silk weaving industry in this country (Molleson and
Cox et al. 1993, 114). The extensive excavations undertaken
since 1998 by the Museum of London Archaeology Service
(MoLAS), just to the north and the west of Spitalfields
market (sitecode SRP98) affords important opportunities to
undertake an integrated study of the material culture
represented by waste discarded in a post-medieval London
suburb, and examine the impact of the Huguenots on the
assemblage found. The excavations between 1982 and 1991
around Norton Folgate and Spital Square, focusing mainly
on the medieval Priory and hospital (Thomas, Sloane and
Philpotts 1997), are not discussed (see Fig. 1).
This paper is divided into two parts. The first considers
the use of French pottery in post-medieval London. The
second part draws on the historical and economic evidence
to examine the context of Huguenot material culture during
the height of their emigration within the wider debate
surrounding the study of cultural identities in England
during the (medieval and) post-medieval period.
The post-medieval pottery is purely domestic in its
composition and reflects attributes of everyday life, from the
plain earth-toned London-made redware and
Surrey/Hampshire Border vessels to decorated tin-glazed
ware and Chinese porcelain dinner service sets. Viewed as a
whole, the Spitalfields assemblage may be seen as
representative of the range of pottery in widespread,
everyday use in London during the 17th and 18th centuries.
Most of the pottery was found in sealed deposits, such as
the cesspits that served tenements in the Old Artillery
Ground to the west of the present market, or from those that
served properties on the St John and Tillard estates on the
south-east side of Spital Square, and the Wheler and Wilke
estates to the north, on Lamb Street (for full details see
Sheppard 1957).
The 16th and 17th-century French-made products include
green and yellow-glazed pottery made near Beauvais, in
western France, Saintonge wares from production centres in
south-western France, and Martincamp-type stoneware
costrels made in Normandy. Vessels worthy of note consist of
a Beauvais chafing dish with anthropomorphic decoration,
and a small medallion jug (see Hurst, et al. 1986, 106-108,
figs 49: 152 and figs 50: 157), with a few Martincamp
costrels and flasks (ibid., 103, figs 47: 142-143). However,
from a total post-medieval assemblage of over 25,000 sherds,
only 79 were identified as French products (less than 0.3% of
the total sherd count). Even when found from within the
closely dated pit groups that could be specifically linked to
one property, French pottery did not occur in sufficient
quantities that might indicate a Huguenot household.
Examination of the other finds has identified only a few
distinctly French-made and prepared artefacts; the only
material evidence for the areas connection to the silk weaving
industry was the blade from tailing shears (Thomas, Sloane
and Philpotts 1998, 168) and a stamped bobbin (C.Thomas,
pers. comm.). The current phase yielded just the one silk cloth
seal (G.Egan, pers. comm.). So why, despite the presence of a
large immigrant French population, is there so little evidence
for French pottery, and why is their identity not reflected
through artefacts used, or more appropriately, discarded?
Comparisons: two domestic assemblages from
In medieval and post-medieval studies in England, imported
pottery has often been used or discussed as a tool in
identifying immigrant communities (Atkin, Carter and
Evans 1985; Blackmore 1994; Brown 1997a and 1997b;
Pearce 1998). Since Spitalfields yielded such a limited range
and quantity of French pottery, it is important to compare
this assemblage with contemporaneous groups from other
sites that are not associated with immigrant communities,
and to establish whether there are any significant differences
in the amount of French, or any other imported pottery,
found. Two sites on the north bank of the Thames are
considered here, the Royal Mint (sitecode MIN86), near
Tower Hill, and Aldgate High Street (sitecode AL74).
The Royal Mint site is located to the north-east of the
Tower of London and just north of St Katherines Dock. It
was chosen for this study because it yielded a varied range
of imported post-medieval pottery in London and because
it was recovered from an area just north of the docks. The
site functioned as a naval victualling yard from the early
eighteenth century with a series of Managers quarters and
Coopers shops occupying the site, together with stables, a
pickle shed, a cutting house and a new slaughter house
Fig. 1 Site location plan
Medieval Ceramics 25, 5464, 2001
Comparisons: Individual vessels of interest from
Spitalfields and London
There are individual vessels of interest (not all imported)
that have significance for the study of immigrant groups in
London. One of the most unusual examples of excavated
French pottery from London is the pedestaled, tin-glazed
ware of faience, strainer deposited in a well at Spelman Street,
E1 (SPE95), alongside other pottery dated between 1740 and
1760. The vessel (see Fig. 2) is thought to have been made in
Lille in north-east France (Jean Rosen, pers. comm. to R
Stephenson) and is notable both for its decoration and in
the location of the site itself. The decoration shows a
Cardinals hat with tutalaced tassels surmounting a shield,
which has been identified as the coat of arms serving the
diocese of the Bishop of Tournai. The town (now in Belgium)
captured in 1667 by Louis XIV who subsequently imposed a
series of French bishops until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713
( The function of
the vessel is quite specialised examples of English tin-
glazed wares in this form are very rare and so it is likely to
have been well looked after. However, Spelman Street is just
east of Brick Lane and therefore within the Spitalfields area.
The question arises of how this vessel, with all its Catholic
symbolism, was acquired and used within an area associated
with the settlement of Protestant French refugees.
Another vessel (see Fig. 3) of note is a London made tin-
glazed plate found during the most recent phase of excavation
at Spitalfields (SRP98); the contrast between the symbolism
of its decoration and that of the Spelman Street strainer
could not be greater. The decoration depicts an episode of
the Popish plot of 1678 by Titus Oates, who swore to a
magistrate that he knew of a Papist plot to assassinate Charles
II and establish a Catholic ministry. This imagery is often
found on tin-glazed tiles of the period, with the decorators
taking their inspiration from a set of playing cards produced
in 1679 (Britton 1986, 176). This is the first example of this
decoration on tin-glazed ware from London (R Stephenson,
pers. comm.). The plot was a hoax, but it caused near-hysteria
in England, leading to the arrest, trial and execution of many
leading Catholics, such was the underlying fear of Popery.
The third vessel (see Fig. 4) discussed here was also
recovered during the most recent phase of excavations at
Spitalfields (SRP98). The substantial remains of a tin-glazed
ware charger are decorated with the double royal portrait of
William and Mary (who reigned together between 1689 and
1694), and although tin-glazed wares bearing royal portraits
are not particularly unusual, this vessel stands out from the
composition and date of the other pottery retrieved from
this feature. An aspect of early 19th-century Spitalfields is
the large-scale clearance of substantially complete pottery
and other household objects discarded in cesspits during the
second decade of the century. The charger came from one of
these clearances, and was therefore over 100 years old when
discarded, so could be an heirloom, well looked after and
Historically visible but archaeologically invisible? the Huguenots in 17th-century Spitalfields
(Grainger, Falcini and Phillpotts in prep.). For the period
between 1680 and 1785, excavation yielded a large group of
imported wares of which 49 out of 668 sherds were
identified as French, mostly from Beauvais (Blackmore in
prep.). French pottery therefore accounts for 7.3% of the
total imported sherd count and 1.27 EVES for this phase. A
study (by using sherd count and ENV) of the chronological
and geographical distribution of imported post-medieval
pottery found in London and its immediate environs has
demonstrated that the amount of French pottery found
during this period is limited, with its importation peaking
between 1550 and 1600 (Jeffries in prep.). French pottery
however makes up just 2.4% of the total sherd count of all
imported pottery found on London sites between 1650 and
1700 and only 0.7% between 1700 and 1750. Unfortunately,
as there is no sherd count available for the domestic pottery
found from the Royal Mint; it is therefore impossible to
reflect what % the total imported pottery is within as a total
of the overall assemblage.
Aldgate High Street was part of an extra-mural suburb
developed at the same time as the expansion of Spitalfields
during the 1670s (Thompson, Grew and Schofield 1984). The
site is located between Spitalfields to the north, and the Royal
Mint to the south. It was predominantly inhabited by English
lower class artisans (Grew ibid., 33) and allows comparison
to be made with pottery used by English and French artisans
of a similar class. The pottery from Aldgate was recorded in
detail, using statistically viable groups recovered from cesspits
(Orton and Pearce ibid., 61-62), but once again there are
difficulties in using this assemblage. All imported wares have
been grouped together and not only include foreign imports,
but also Staffordshire wares and other redwares. It is hoped,
however, that by focusing on the four groups deposited
between 1650 and 1700, this should preclude the influence of
the later 18th-century Staffordshire-type wares and include
relatively few combed slipwares and mottled wares. The
dating of these groups also corresponds with the main influx
of Huguenots into Spitalfields. Stonewares at Aldgate were
also grouped together for the statistical presentations, but
products of the English stoneware industries were found only
in minor quantities; the remainder are derived from the
Rhenish industries (ibid., 61). The quantities of Continental
and other non-British pottery found in these four groups are
shown in Table 1.
A number of trends become apparent when comparing
the Royal Mint and Aldgate with Spitalfields. A total of 7.6%
of the total post-medieval sherd count from Spitalfields
came from imported sources, with just over half consisting
of German stonewares, a common find in contemporaneous
British ceramic assemblages and used across the social
spectrum. Aldgate High Street reflects a slightly different
pattern of imported pottery use for the period between 1650
and 1700, with the overall proportions of imported pottery
from the chosen groups between 5% and 10% of the sherd
count. In common with Spitalfields, around half this total
consists of German stoneware. The same pattern is reflected
in the Royal Mint assemblage, where approximately 75% of
the material from period C2 comprises German stoneware
(Blackmore in Grainger, Falcini and Phillpotts, in prep.).
However, the French pottery from just one phase of the
Royal Mint almost exceeds the sherd count of French pottery
found from all phases at Spitalfields. No French products
were found in the selected groups from Aldgate High Street,
although a small quantity of Beauvais slipware came from
contexts dating between 1500 and 1625.
The Royal Mint assemblage is derived from what can be
considered as an industrial docklands area whereas Aldgate
High Street and Spitalfields functioned mainly as
manufacturing suburbs. However, it is worth noting the
Spitalfields excavation did include areas inhabited by
wealthier merchants, as opposed to the main concentration
of weavers, who probably lived further to the east. Neither
Aldgate High Street nor the Royal Mint has a history of
immigrant settlement, and the pottery found on these sites is
probably representative of what the artisan class were using
at the time. The majority of imports in London are therefore
more likely to be found on sites in the developing dockyards
to the east of the City, where the Spanish, Italian and
German wares found are either imported or presumably
brought back by sailors and merchants living in the area
(Blackmore 1994, 30). The excavations at the Elizabethan/
Stuart dockyards at Victoria Wharf, Limehouse E14 (sitecode
VIT96), support this interpretation. This site yielded a
substantial quantity of imported pottery (23% of the total
sherd count) and other finds drawn from all over the world,
with the greater portion of imported wares derived from
Spain and the Rhineland (Stephenson 2001).
Comparison of the assemblages described above appears
to demonstrate a pattern of pottery use during the 17th
century; the quantity and range of imported wares is greater
on dockland sites, the amount of French pottery found
inland is negligible, and the most frequently found imports
across all sites are Rhenish stonewares. No ethnic
justification for this is required. The pattern is similar to the
distribution of imported pottery in medieval London
(Blackmore 1994, 40). More comparative work on a sample
of both waterfront and hinterland sites is, however, is needed
to confirm this interpretation. Four sites are not a large
enough sample. The differences in pottery use between sites
on the north bank of the River Thames and those in
Southwark also need to be considered.
Table 1 Relative proportions of imported pottery and stoneware from
dated assemblage from Aldgate High Street (AL74; after Orton and
Pearce 1984 , Fig 30, 62)
Statistically Cesspit Other Well Cesspit
reliable groups (1650-1675) (1650-1675) (1660-1680) (1670-1700)
Imported wares 10% 5% 5% 5%
Stoneware 1% 5% 6% 11%
Fig. 3 London made tin-glazed ware decorated with Popish plot scene
Fig. 4 London made tin-glazed ware with William and Mary portrait
Fig. 2 French tin-glazed ware vessel decorated with Cardinals Hat
Claus Van Werveken, who in writing to his wife in Antwerp in
1567, requested that she bring a dough trough, for there are
none hereBuy two little wooden dishes to make up half
pounds of butter: for all the Netherlanders and the Flemings
make their own (Atkin et al. 1985, 201). Although he refers to
wooden objects this suggests that even some wooden forms
could not be acquired in local markets. Peter Hibou may have
started producing distinctive slipwares in Canterbury to serve
a demand created by the settlement of the Huguenots. The
pottery was made in a decorative style to which he was
accustomed, and which would have been one visible way of
maintaining tradition in domestic life; these were cheaply
made vessels used in mundane, everyday activities such as
cooking and food preparation. In addition, depressions in
cross-channel trade (see below) may have spurred the
Huguenot potter in Canterbury to start producing Flemish-
style slipwares shortly after many Huguenots had settled in
the city and were looking to restock their households
(although his motives could have been equally economic).
The evidence from Norwich and Canterbury demonstrate the
use of utilitarian pottery with which an immigrant would
have been familiar. The occurrence of these groups of
imported pottery is unlikely to be a sign of status, as newly
arrived immigrants were often amongst the poorest members
of society. However, a note of caution should be sounded
since Norwich was one of Englands major trading centres
during this period, with the Netherlands and Low Countries
serving its principal source of supply, so the occurrence of
such wares would not be unusual.
More research is needed on the distribution of imported
pottery during the post-medieval period and the relationship
between London and its hinterland. Studies of this kind have
been applied to imported medieval pottery from
Southampton, Winchester (see Brown 1997a and 1997b), and
Wessex as a whole (Gutierrez 1997), and the results are telling.
Comparison between contemporaneous pottery assemblages
(by sherd count) from Winchester and Southampton showed
the tenement plot occupied by one of Winchesters most
influential citizens, John de Tytynge, yielded only 0.4%
imported wares (Brown 1997a, 101), whereas the assemblage
from Bull Hall in Southampton belonging to a merchant of a
similar class contained nearly 30% imports (Brown 1997b,
91). Brown interpreted the differences as a reflection of
Southamptons status as a port; imported pottery could be
seen in the context of being local and by living in a port the
inhabitants had a wider choice of wares to purchase (ibid.,
108). This afforded the merchant at Bull Hall the opportunity
to acquire and use greater quantities of imported pottery than
his counterpart of a similar class living in Winchester.
Background: Economy and society in late 17th
century England
The comparative lack of French and other imports on non-
dockland sites in the capital (with the notable exception of
German pottery) during the 17th century requires
explanation and appears to be related to economic, cultural,
function and taste. One important reason why imported
pottery is not found in any large quantities at Spitalfields
and other London sites mentioned may be due to the
difficulty in acquiring them from their source. The effects of
the powerful Cromwellian Navigation Acts of 1651, their
subsequent refinement by Charles II in 1660 and three
Anglo-Dutch wars between 1652 and 1674 severely limited
Channel and North Sea trade during the time of Huguenot
settlement in Spitalfields. Shortly after 1685, augmentation
duties of 25% were imposed by Parliament on all French
commodities including wines and spirits so that it could
raise revenues to aid the resettlement of the Huguenots
(Smith 1974, 23). In addition, England was involved in two
lengthy wars with France between 1689 and 1713, during
which trade was suspended between the two countries. A
celebrated case of the 1690s led to the refugee Etienne
Seignoret and many others being impeached, convicted and
fined by Parliament for the illegal trading of silk with France
during wartime (Gwynn 1998, 36). The extent of smuggling
can perhaps be judged by the number of convictions
obtained, and the case shows how willing some Huguenots
were to trade with France after it had expelled them. Lastly,
after petitioning by London tin-glazed potters, a Royal
Proclamation was passed in July 1672 prohibiting the
imports of painted earthenware (or tin-glazed ware:
Kilburn 1999, 134). This may account for the scarcity of
French faience in London assemblages (fewer than ten
sherds recovered since 1995). During the 1750s, the Society
of Anti-Gallicans, a group of merchants and gentleman who
championed British goods over French competition, serve as
an additional reminder that the struggle with France was
also economic.
The second factor could lie in the overriding emotional
force of the time: the inherent fear of Popery. The French
were seen not only as traditional enemies but also as the
representative of extreme Catholicism and this manifested
itself in anti-French feeling in England at the time, as
poignantly reflected by William Hogarth and other 18th
century satirists. However, while the English middling sort
and aristocracy considered French taste and fashion
universally supreme, they also perceived France as a vortex
of Popish evil (Swindlehurst 2001, 368). The Palissy-type
tazza found in a stone-lined well in Blackfriars is
representative of fashionable and high-status French
pottery (Blackmore 1992, 371-379) but is so far unique. The
overall occurrence of French ceramics in most post-medieval
assemblages from London is very small, a phenomenon
observed in contemporary assemblages from Exeter and the
south-west (Allan 1981, 111 and Allan 1994) and
Canterbury (J Cotter, pers. comm.). Most of the French
pottery found in London during the late medieval period
where from production centres around Saintonge, with its
potters exploiting established trade links by exporting their
wares alongside wine shipments. By the 17th century the
market for the products of Saintonge industry had
Historically visible but archaeologically invisible? the Huguenots in 17th-century Spitalfields
handed down through successive generations in honour of
the philanthropy and royal support that William and Mary
showed to the Huguenots. After the revocation of the Edict of
Nantes, William and Mary were responsible for the setting up
of a Royal Bounty, offering gifts of money out of their own
Royal revenues towards the resettlement of the Huguenots,
and the Bounty was not removed from the Civil List until
1804 (Gwynn 1985, 58). A measure of Huguenot loyalty to
the crown is highlighted in the functioning of the Societe des
Enfants Des Nimes, the first French Friendly Society established
in London in 1683. Its inaugural rules stipulated that the
prosperity of the City of London, as well as the royal family,
was to be toasted at its annual feast (Gwynn 1998, 50-51).
The final vessel discussed here was the English delftware
plate an inscription in Hebrew characters found in a cesspit
at 12-14 Mitre Street in the City of London, alongside a large
quantity of decorative tablewares, kitchen and sanitary wares
dating to the 1740s (sitecode MIR84; see Pearce 1998, 95-
112). The inscription on this remarkable and unique vessel
read chalav (milk), and it would have formed part of a set
used for the separate serving of meat and dairy observed by
orthodox Jews. The north-east part of the City was settled by
Sephardi and Ashkenasi Jews from the late 17th century
onwards (ibid., 105-107). The excavation where this unique
plate was recovered from was, however, a watching brief and
thus it was not possible to collect environmental samples
and thereby examine diet more closely.
The evidence from London suggests that greater quantities
of imported pottery are likely to be found on dockland sites
and that their occurrence is not associated with immigrant
settlement. It is also necessary to consider whether
Huguenot influence can be detected in pottery assemblages
from other English cities. Norwich and Canterbury were
chosen for study, as like London, both were associated with
European immigrant settlement during the early post-
medieval period (Gwynn 1985).
During 1988, an excavation in the grounds of St Gregorys
Priory, Northgate uncovered a number of waster and kiln
furniture dumps, evidence of a kiln operating nearby. This
finally linked what is termed Canterbury slipware to a
production centre within the town itself (Cotter 1994, 12-
13). Yet, the slip-trailed decoration applied to these
utilitarian and mundane red earthenwares was found to be
directly copying Flemish styles. Cotters enquiries drew him
two possible conclusions that the evidence is indicative of
an English potter copying Continental styles, or that an
immigrant potter was working in Canterbury. Consultation
of historical documents showed that in 1709 a Peter Hibou
or Hibon, recorded as a potter of Northgate, married one
Jane Fremoult. The Overseers Accounts for the Parish of
Holy Cross, Westgate, for the period between 1698 and 1707,
also refer to the payment of the French potter (ibid., 15).
This suggests that Peter Hibou, possibly a Huguenot
immigrant or at least of Huguenot descent, may have been
responsible for the production of Canterbury slipware,
although more research is needed to confirm this (J Cotter,
pers. comm.).
Norwich reveals another example of probable immigrant
pottery use. The excavations on sites at Botolph Street and
Alms Lane, amongst others, revealed a number of cesspits
and pits with an unusually high proportion of Low Countries
pottery, while the tax records reveal that strangers had settled
the areas in question (Atkin et al. 1985). This term was
commonly used in contemporary records to describe refugees
who had settled in England to escape religious persecution,
and in this instance applies to the Walloons, Protestants
from the southern Low Countries (now Belgium and
northern France), who had been forced to flee during the
1560s and 1570s. It is estimated that these refugees made up
a third of the population of Norwich by the 1570s (Gywnn
1985, 28). Although Low Countries pottery is recovered on
other sites in Norwich, the quantities found in these areas
were far greater, and the pots were therefore interpreted as
the property of immigrant families who had moved directly
into the area from the Continent (Atkin, et al. 1985, 201).
Accepting this interpretation therefore suggests that these
people either managed to bring over their pottery when they
fled, or, more likely, they were able to specifically stock up on
vessels that they had been when they settled in Norwich.
The evidence can be interpreted in many different ways, but
although the Walloons of Norwich were using imported
pottery, and the French potter in Canterbury was producing
Flemish-style earthenwares, the Huguenots of London were
not acquiring pottery from their homeland. It has been
suggested that the importation of Dutch and Rhenish pottery
was ethnically motivated and controlled (Gaimster 1999, 216),
and the vast quantities of Low Countries pottery found from
excavations in Norwich support this. Moreover, a consortium
of London-based Dutch traders monopolised the trade in
Rhenish stonewares or vessels of English taste into London
between 1660 and 1665 (Gaimster 1997, 82-83). It is possible
that the use of Low Countries pottery by the Walloons reflects
their desire to use particular forms for cooking that were not
yet made by local potters. This is reflected by a letter from
persecution, it is unlikely that any refugees would take with
them bulky and cumbersome ceramics, but would want their
exceptional belongings rather than mundane possessions.
Historical records show that the fortunes of the immigrants
varied considerably, with some managing to bring all or part
of their wealth from France, whereas others became
recipients of the French charities established in Britain to
assist them (Molleson and Cox et al. 1993, 97). They may
have taken particular heirlooms, which may have included
ceramic pieces (such as the Spelman Street faience), but
these are less likely to be found in the archaeological record
as they were presumably treated with care and not put to
everyday use.
During his study of imported pottery in medieval
Southampton, Brown makes the pragmatic argument that to
the medieval consumer it may not have mattered where a
pot was made, as cost and function would have been the
overriding consideration (Brown 1997b, 95 and 101). Can
such pragmatism be applied to the Huguenot, or any other
immigrant population during the post-medieval period?
How important would it have been to these newly displaced
people to use a French-made and decorated dish, rather than
an English-made dish? Had they desired French pottery it
would have been difficult to acquire because of political and
economic factors, and when it was imported to London,
there seems little redistribution beyond the dockyards. The
products of the French pottery industry were of little
importance in English culture and society. As it appears that
the Huguenots did not use French pottery, then Browns
argument can be extended to the post-medieval period. For
the Spitalfields Huguenots, economics and availability
appear to have overriden culture and taste, and it would
seem that the community reflected its cultural identity not
through its possessions, but in other, more socially visible
ways (such as language, religion, cuisine and dress). This is
not to diminish the significance of the Spelman Street
Historically visible but archaeologically invisible? the Huguenots in 17th-century Spitalfields
diminished and Martincamp-type stoneware costrels
represent the most common type of French pottery found in
London. The popularity of Martincamp-type ware during
the 16th and 17th centuries can be explained by their
durability and function (costrels are not made in English
stoneware production).
The relative scarcity of French imports in post-medieval
London could also due in part to the beginning of what has
been termed the English Ceramic Revolution around 1650
(Barker 1999, 271), with the strength of the English ceramic
market determining choices in the purchasing of pottery.
During the last quarter of the 17th century, the noted political
factors, together with the beginning of the English bottle glass
industry and production of John Dwights Fulham stoneware,
puts pay to the importation of Frechen stoneware. During the
later 17th century Chinese porcelain and English tin-glazed
wares had the monopoly on quality table and display wares;
French pottery does not seem to have figured at all. The
equation of French goods with taste and fashion does not
seem to apply to French-made ceramics.
These factors must have had an effect on French ceramic
exports to England, however minor the market may have
been. London was a major port with an international
catchment serving a burgeoning Empire, and it seems
inconceivable that if French-made goods were freely
available, that they were not brought and discarded, and
thereby represented in the archaeological record. Conversely,
excavations undertaken on 17th and 18th-century French
colonial sites in Louisiana in the United States revealed that
directly traded French-made pottery and faience was frequently
found on many sites (
The second part of this paper applies these observations to
the Huguenots of Spitalfields and considers the impact this
may have had on the tortured phenomenological world of
the artefact in its context (Johnson 1999, 17). It is the
historian who provides the lead for the study of the
Huguenots and their identity in post-medieval England and
the volume of work published in the proceedings of the
Huguenot Society is testament to this. The Huguenots of
Spitalfields formed a discrete community and initially
operated in isolation; they were effectively ostracised from
French society some decades before the Revocation of the
Edict of Nantes, and those who settled in London faced a
similar kind of isolation, based on culture and language
rather then religious preference (Swindlehurst 2001, 169).
Assimilation appeared to be slow; it is recorded that French
was the language still spoken among the Huguenots some 60
to 70 years after their ancestors had left France, and in many
of the streets of Spitalfields the Huguenot community was so
numerous it was impossible to hear English spoken (Waller
2000, 271). Evidence from the nearby Christ Church crypt
showed that 41.6% of the total named sample had French-
sounding surnames (Molleson and Cox et al. 1993, 94).
Manchee observed that French influence was still prevalent
in Spitalfields during the second decade of the last century
(Manchee 191214, 339-342). The Huguenots founded their
own schools and churches (nine in Spitalfields alone by
1700), and were seen by many as upholding their traditions
in an apparently honourable way. The editor of Stows
Survey of London found that the Huguenots had found
quiet and security, and settled themselves in their several trades
and occupations; weavers especiallyand this benefits also to
the neighbourhood, that these strangers may serve for patterns
of thrift, honesty, and sobriety as well
( The
tone of this document reflects no obvious hostility toward
the immigrants and the notion of the Huguenots as hard-
working and spiritual people is reflected in Hogarths Noon
(Fig. 5).
Hogarths engraving shows the clear contrast, as
delineated by the kennel (gutter) running down the middle
of the street, between the pious, soberly dressed Huguenots
leaving the French Church in Greek Street, Soho, on the
right and the gluttonous and loose Londoners to the left.
This engraving, produced in 1738, some 50 years after the
arrival of most of the Huguenots in London, and finds them
still dressed in a distinctive style. This contrasts with the
evidence from the pottery at Canterbury, where, as
successive generations inherited the Northgate pothouse, the
style and appearance of the slipwares becomes increasingly
English in appearance (Cotter 1994, 15). So, with the
archaeological and historical evidence sending out
conflicting signals, how is it possible to detect Huguenot
culture in the Spitalfields excavation?
The underlying contemporary political, economic and social
climate must have made an impact on the first generation of
Huguenots in Spitalfields and affected the acquisition and
use of French-made items across all levels of society. What
must be questioned is whether the Huguenots would have
immediately sought French-made items upon their arrival in
London. The results of war and successive Parliamentary
Acts meant that cross-channel smuggling was rife, but the
Huguenot smugglers impeached for illegally exporting silks
from England to France, were paid in money, not in return
contraband. I would tentatively suggest there was no
immediate desire to acquire French-made goods. It is
therefore worth considering the circumstances of their
Huguenots departure from France. Whilst escaping
Fig. 5 William Hogarth, The Four Times of Day: Noon, 1738. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College,
Hanover, New Hampshire; purchased through the Guernsey Center Moore 1904 Memorial Fund.
paper has been invaluable, and secondly, to my colleagues
at Specialist Services for their comments and guidance
throughout, especially Geoff Egan, Jacqui Pearce, Roy
Stephenson and Lucy Whittingham. Special thanks are
given to Stephen Massil, the librarian at the Huguenot
Library, University College London, for the help he
afforded in the research for this paper, to John Cotter of
the Canterbury Archaeological Trust for the information
on the French potter, Dr Catherine Swindlehurst at
Cambridge University, and Dr Hugo Blake of Royal
Holloway College. The photographs were taken by Andy
Chopping of the Museum of London Archaeology Service.
A version of this paper was originally given at the TAG
2000 conference under the session on Addressing
Multicultural Heritage in Archaeology, chaired by Dan
Hicks of the Department of Archaeology, University of
Bristol. This paper is based on preliminary work (the
pottery and other finds have been spot dated and assessed
but not published), but draws upon many different
disciplines, and as I am neither an economic or social
historian, any errors are my own.
Allan, J.P. 1984, Medieval and Post-Medieval finds from Exeter,
1971-1980. Exeter County Council.
Allan, J.P. 1994, Imported Pottery in South-West England,
c. 1350-1550, Medieval Ceram 18, 45-50.
Atkin, M., Carter, A. and Evans, D.H. 1985, Excavations in
Norwich 1971-78, East Anglian Archaeol 26.
Barker, D. 1999, The Ceramic Revolution 1650-1850, in G. Egan
and R.L Michaels (eds.) 226-234.
Barrett, E. 2001, Factors working for and against Huguenot
integration in late 17th- and 18th-century London: insights
gained from a study of the records of the French Church of
London and some relief agencies of the period in R. Vigne
and C. Littleton (eds.), 375-383.
Blackmore, L. 1992, A Palisy-type vessel from Blackfriars,
London, in D. Gaimster and M. Redknap (eds.), 371-377.
Blackmore, L. 1994, Pottery, the Port and the Populace: the
Imported Pottery of London 1300-1600 (Part I), Medieval
Ceram 18, 29-44.
Blackmore, L. in prep, The imported pottery in I. Grainger,
P. Falcini, and C. Phillpotts.
Britton, F. 1987, London Delftware, London, Jonathan Horne.
Brown, D. H. 1997a, Pots from houses, Medieval Ceram 21,
Brown, D. H. 1997b, The Social Significance of Imported
Medieval Pottery in G. C. Cumberpatch and P. W. Blinkhorn
(eds.), 95-112.
Cotter, J. 1994, Potters and Pipe-Makers at Northgate the
Huguenot Connection? The Friends of Canterbury
Archaeological Trust Newsletter 32, Spring 1994, 11-16.
Cumberpatch, G.C. and Blinkhorn, P.W. 1997, Not So Much A
Pot, More a Way of Life, Exeter, Oxbow Mongr 83.
Deegan, K. 1974, Sex, Status and Role in the Mestizaje of
Spanish Colonial Florida, Ph.D. dissertation, Department of
Anthroplogy, University of Florida, Gainsville, Ann Arbor,
Michigan. University Microfilms International, Ann Arbor, MI.
Deegan K. 1983, Spanish St.Augustine: The Archaeology of a
Colonial Creole Community. Academic Press, New York
Egan, G. 1999, London - Axis of the Commonwealth? in G. Egan
and R.L. Michael (eds.), 61-71.
Egan, G. and Michael, R.L. 1999, Old and New Worlds,
Historical/Post Medieval Archaeology Papers from the
Societies joint conferences at Willamsburg and London 1997,
Exeter, Oxbow Books.
Gaimster, D. and Redknap, M. (eds) 1992, Everyday and exotic
Pottery from Europe, studies in honour of John G. Hurst, Exeter,
Oxbow Books.
Gaimster, D. 1997, German Stoneware 1200-1900, London, British
Museum Press.
Gaimster, D. 1999, The Post Medieval Ceramic Revolution in
Southern Britain c.1450-1850, in G. Egan and R.L. Michael
(eds.), 214-225.
Gaskell, E. 1853, Traits and Stories of the Huguenots.
Grainger, I., Falcini, P. and Phillpotts, C. in prep, Excavations at
the Royal Navy Victualling Yard, East Smithfield, London.
Gwynn, R. D. 1985, Huguenot Heritage: The history and
contribution of the Huguenots in Britain, London, Routledge
and Kegan.
Gwynn, R.D. 1998, The Huguenots of London, Brighton, Alpha
Hurst J.G., Neal D.S. and van Beuningen, J.E. 1986, Rotterdam
papers VI: Pottery produced and Traded in north-west Europe
Johnson, M.H. 1999, The New Post medieval Archaeology in G.
Egan and R.L. Michael (eds.), 17-22.
Kilburn, R. 1999, The sale and distribution of Hermitage wares,
in K. Tyler, 134-136.
King, J.A. and Miller, H.M. 1987, The View from the Midden:
An analysis of Midden Distribution and Composition at the
Van Swerigan Site, St Marys City, Maryland, Historical
Archaeol 21 (2), 37-59.
Manachee, W. H. 1912-1914 Memories of Spitalfields, The
proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London, 10, 276-345
Molleson, T. and Cox, M. et al. 1993, The Spitalfields Project
Volume 2 The Anthropology, The Middling Sort, CBA Res
Rep 86, CBA.
Orton, C. and Pearce, J. 1984, The pottery in Excavations at
Aldgate, 1974 Post-medieval Archaeology 18, 34-69.
Pearce, J. 1998, A rare delftware Hebrew plate and associated
assemblage from an excavation in Mitre Street, City of
London, Post-medieval Archaeology 32, 95-112
Praetzellis, A. 1999, The Archaeology of Ethnicity: An Example
from Sacramento, Californias Early Chinese District, in G.
Egan and R.L. Michael (eds.), 127-135.
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and Mile End New Town: the parishes of Christ Church and All
Historically visible but archaeologically invisible? the Huguenots in 17th-century Spitalfields
faience, the Popish plot plate and the William and Mary
charger, all of which could have had symbolic value in
Huguenot society.
In studying the early Chinese district in Sacramento in
California, Praetzellis showed that on a mundane level,
whoever was in charge of purchasing supplies and where
they were purchased from could have a big impact on the
archaeological record (Praetzellis 1999, 129). After the
revocation of the Edict of Nantes, such tasks were given to
the Elders and deacons of the French Church in
Threadneedle Street, which had developed into a highly
organised relief charity. They divided the area in which its
congregation lived into a number of quarters or districts,
each supervised by an Elder and a deacon. The Elder dealt
with the religious well-being of his district, leaving the
deacon in charge of clothing, feeding, finding work and
housing newly arrived immigrants. The church also
maintained almshouses and rooms where clothes and
movables were stored, and employed doctors, teachers and a
surgeon (Gwynn 1985, 107). There is no evidence in the
historical record to suggest that the deacons achieved
resettlement by acquiring familiar goods from France. If we
approach this pragmatically there is no reason why they
should. The large quantities of fashionable late 17th-century
English pottery found at Spitalfields the same object may
have different uses and meanings for different individuals or
groups may instead present a better reflection of how
artefacts were used by the Huguenots.
To understand the material culture from the post-medieval
suburb of Spitalfields, because such is the scale of the
excavation, it is essential to look at the finds from the
cesspits and backyards in order to build up a picture of the
households that they served. The Four shillings in the
Pound aid assessment of 1693 shows groups of French
householders in certain streets in Spitalfields, with most of
those names recorded in the alleys and courts rather than on
properties that had street frontages, and which were more
expensive to rent (Swindlehurst 2001, 369). If the finds and
environmental remains are recovered in sufficient quantities
to make them statistically viable the next line of enquiry is to
identify the occupants of these properties. It is hoped that
combining these two lines of research may lead to the
identification of individual Huguenot households and
establish whether there is a type of artefact disposal. It is
known that Spitalfields market sold weeds, such as burnet,
chervil, and dandelion, which were habitually brought by the
market-women for use by Huguenots to make the salads that
formed one of their principal dishes (see Gaskell 1853); can
this evidence be found in the archaeological record?
Likewise, the historical references to the Huguenot invention
and consumption of oxtail soup, their skills in flower and
garden cultivation, together with their love of raising singing
birds, offer clues to what might by found in the
environmental remains. Perhaps only by looking carefully at
finds other than pottery can we identify particular cultural
traits; cuts of meat used and how they were butchered along
with the floral remains environmental and food preparation
equipment (including ceramics) may point to the
consumption of a French-style diet. Kathleen Deegans work
in Florida showed that the combination of these methods
was successful in the detection of Creole households (that is,
mixed Spanish and native Indian marriages) in colonial
Spanish sites (Deegan 1974 and 1983). French culture may
equally have affected what the Huguenot community
consumed, and how they disposed of their waste. Ethnicity is
stipulated as one of the reasons for the change in rubbish
disposal patterns at the van Sweringen site in St Marys City,
Maryland, upon the death of the Dutch owner and the
inheritance of the property by his American-born son. Each
appears to have disposed their rubbish in a different way,
with Van Sweringen disposing of this rubbish to the front
and side of the house, according to Dutch notions of space,
whereas his son used the backyard area (King and Miller
1987, 42-46). The identification of the behaviour that led to
rubbish disposal is sometimes as important as the quantity
and quality of the finds themselves.
The excavations at Spitalfields allow for an integrated study
of the material culture to assess whether or not specific a
Huguenot identity can be identified. From an archaeological
perspective, London lacks any real concerted focus on social
and immigrant groups (Egan 1999, 69), with the exception
of the Mitre Street Hebrew plate (Pearce 1998, 95-112). The
study of material culture is often masked behind, admittedly
necessary, explanations of provenance and chronology which
in turn hides the fact that the material goods found were
made, used, and discarded by people, not by a series of
processes (see Johnson 1999, 17-18 for comments on this
subject). The question of ethnic identity is a slippery
concept because it is complex, multi-faceted and not fixed
(see Barrett 2001, 375). This paper illuminates just a few of
the many paths one can take in detecting such cultures, and
in this particular case I am not sure ceramics is one of them.
To conclude: without the historical evidence that Spitalfields
was an area of Huguenot settlement, it is unlikely that this
paper would have ever been written.
I am indebted to Chris Thomas, the project manager at
MoLAS for the Spitalfields project; his support for this
Saints and the liberties of Norton Folgate and the Old Artillery
Ground, Althone Press
Smith, R. 1974, Records of the Royal Bounty and connected funds,
the Burn donation, and the Savoy Church in the Huguenot
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Stephenson, R. 2001, The ceramic finds, in K. Tyler 77-82.
Swindlehurst, C. 2001, An unruly and presumptuous rabble:
the reaction of the Spitalfields weaving community to the
settlement of the Huguenots, 1660-1690, in R. Vigne and C.
Littleton (eds.), 366-374.
Thomas, C., Sloane, B. and Philpotts, C. 1998, Excavations at the
Priory and Hospital of St Mary Spital, London, MoLAS
Monograph 1, Museum of London Archaeology Service
Thompson, A., Grew, F. and Schofield, J. 1984, Excavations at
Aldgate, 1974, Post-medieval Archaeology 18, 1-148.
Tyler, K. 1999, The production of tin-glazed ware on the north
bank of the Thames; excavations at the site of the
Hermitage Pothouse, Wapping, Post-medieval Archaeology
33, 127-163.
Tyler, K. 2001, The excavations of an Elizabethan/Stuart
waterfront site on the north bank of the River Thames at
Victoria Street, Limehouse, London, E14, Post-medieval
Archaeology 35, 53-95.
Vigne, R. and Littleton, C. (eds.) 2001, From Strangers to Citizens:
The Integration of Immigrant Communities in Britain, Irelend
and colonial America, 1550-1750, Brighton, Sussex Academic
Waller, M. 2000, 1700, Scenes from London life, London, Hodder
and Stoughton
Nigel Jeffries, Museum of London Specialist Services,
46 Eagle Wharf Road, London, NE1 7ED
A travers toutes les poques, ltude historique, archologique et
anthropologique de la culture matrielle de groupes ethniques
distincts a toujours t au centre de nombreux dbats et
recherches. Lmigration dEuropens (due aux mcanismes du
colonialisme) et dAfricains (force par lesclavage) lpoque
post-mdivale, et notamment celle destination de lAmrique
et des Carabes, a t largement tudie. Cependant, peu de
commentaires ont t faits quant limpact sur les dpts
archologiques des communauts immigrantes arrivant en
Angleterre. Des fouilles rcentes, sur une partie de la banlieue
post-mdivale de Spitalfields dans lest de Londres, ont toutefois
permis de redresser en partie la balance, engendrant ltude de la
poterie associe aux habitations des Huguenots (rfugis
protestants de France et des Pays Bas).
Das historische, archologische und anthropologische Studium
materieller Aspekte von Kulturen verschiedener Volksgruppen ist
durch alle Perioden immer ein Thema von groem Interesse. Die
Auswanderung der Europer (durch Kolonisation) und der
Afrikaner (erzwungen durch Sklaverei) whrend des spten
Mittelalters, besonders nach Amerika und auf die Karibischen
Inseln, ist ausgiebig untersucht worden. Die Folge war, da die
Auswirkungen, die Einwanderergruppen auf Grobritannien
hatten, im archologischen Befund wenig kommentiert wurden.
Die Ausgrabungen aber, die krzlich im sptmittelalterlichen
Stadtteil Spitalfields in Ost-London stattfanden, erbrachten die
Gelegenheit, wenigstens teilweise ein Gleichgewicht dadurch
wieder herzustellen, da man Tpferware aus einer Gegend, in
der Hugenotten siedelten, untersucht hat.
From maiolica to
delftware: tin-glazed
earthenware in London
and the Low Countries,
John Black
English tin-glazed earthenware was
introduced into this country by immigrant
potters from the Netherlands who settled
in Norwich in 1567 and moved to London
three years later. Netherlands personnel,
technology and decorative styles dominated
English production till the second quarter
of the 17th century. Facing competition
from imports of oriental porcelain, tin-glaze
potters in the Netherlands introduced a
number of technological changes in an
attempt to imitate porcelain, bringing about
a transition from the traditional maiolica
to the new delftware. These changes form
the basis for an understanding of
developments in England, and are
discussed in this article.
If we survey the history of ceramics in this country we
cannot do better than to start with the distinguished book
on English pottery by Rackham and Read (1924), published
nearly 80 years ago, but still a classic. They pointed out very
forcibly that before the arrival of tin-glazed earthenware in
this country there was no tradition of painting on pots with
ceramic pigments. They stated, quite bluntly, there was no
tradition in the use of ceramic pigments in England (ibid.,
46). This is not to deny the earlier use of clear glazes, tinted
or otherwise, or of decoration with coloured slip. This is a
consideration of absolutely fundamental importance in the
understanding of the development of tin-glaze production
in this country. Naturally, many pieces of painted ceramics
had been seen here, as examples of Spanish and Italian tin-
glaze maiolica had been landed for several centuries in ports
along the south coast, also coming into London, whence
they had penetrated the hinterland. But nothing comparable
had been made in England (Hurst 1991, 220-46).
The particular purpose of incorporating tin into a standard
lead glaze was to provide a white, opaque surface on which
the decorator could work with coloured pigments. It was a
very old technique, owing its origins to attempts in 9th-
century Mesopotamia to imitate the white colour of Chinese
porcelain (Lane 1947, 13), which had found its way to the
Middle East along the old Silk Route and over the old
maritime trading network. Interestingly, this was not the
only time that attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain led to
developments in the technology of tin-glazed earthenware
The practice of tin glazing spread through Egypt to
North Africa and Moorish Spain, and then Italy, and thence
to the Netherlands. It reached Antwerp c. 1510, when three
Italian potters arrived there, almost certainly from Northern
Italy, (Dumortier 1991, 241; Wilson 1991, 7), and a thriving
maiolica industry developed. It was not, however, allowed to
develop in peace: like all economic activity in the southern
Netherlands, it was disrupted later in the 16th century with
the appalling religious and social oppression of the ruling
Spaniards, with the consequent civil wars, insurrections and
pillage. It was a time of terror and mass migrations. The
northern Netherlands, shielded by the major river systems,
remained more stable and the centre of economic activity
moved from the largely catholic south to the more
protestant north (for a full account of these times, see Israel
1995). The maiolica potters moved too, some to the north,
Medieval Ceramics 25, 6571, 2001
painters were the backbone of the London industry, and
when English clay was used by their confreres in the
Netherlands, telling one product from another is a tricky
and often worthless task. This sums it up admirably. Frank
Britton (1986, 97) pointed out that even during the 18th
century, potters were being brought in from the Netherlands
to supplement the shortages of skilled labour. This is not so
much a situation where Netherlands work was influencing
the development of English work, but more the continuation
of one tradition in another country. The absence of a local
tradition in England, the predominance of Netherlands
potters and painters with their techniques and skills and the
continuing close contact with the continent brought about a
situation whereby the London pothouses were to all intents
and purposes merely a branch of the Netherlands tin-glaze
earthenware industry. The Netherlands industry had
effectively extended its geographical reach to include
London. Where the pottery was made is not so important:
by tradition, techniques, style and personnel, pots made in
this country were Netherlandish. Not till the second quarter
of the 17th century did the English work begin to achieve an
identity of its own.
Having established the basis of the London scene it is
appropriate to move on to the main topic of this article, the
transition from maiolica to delftware. These two terms are
widely misunderstood and indeed often misused, and the
confusion thus created obscures the very real part that the
transition from one type of ware to the other plays in the
history of ceramics.
The traditional tin-glazed earthenware of the
Netherlands was maiolica, a continuation of the Italian
production. For a comprehensive survey of this ware, see
Korf (1981). It was made of coarse earthenware, heavily
potted, with wide solid footrings of smallish diameter. It was
predominantly decorated in polychrome (just 30% of the
700 pieces described by Korf are painted in blue only) and,
importantly, had tin-glaze only on the obverse. The reverse
side was given a lead glaze, possibly to save the expense of
using tin, and consequently was never decorated. It was fired
on trivets and when these were removed after firing some of
the glaze came away, leaving three ugly marks in the middle
of the design. The base of the trivet rested on the footring of
the piece underneath and that footring was wiped clean of
glaze for this purpose. (See Fig. 1). All these elements
applied equally to the maiolica later made in London and in
the Netherlands.
As the maiolica potters moved northwards in the face of
religious persecution and civil chaos they established three
factories in Haarlem, two in Amsterdam and eight in Delft,
in the 1570s, and others followed. (van Dam 1962, 6-10). For
a time the industry flourished. By 1620 there were six
pothouses in Haarlem, six in Amsterdam, six in Rotterdam
and eight in Delft; at that time there were two in London.
(Archer 1997, 560-3).
However, from the middle of the 16th century examples
of Chinese porcelain had been brought to Europe by the
Portuguese (Pinto de Matos 1994, 13), and many pieces had
reached the Netherlands. The historical event which was to
change the situation was the annexation of Portugal by King
Phillip II of Spain in 1580, which aligned Portugal on the
Spanish side in the Spanish oppression of the Netherlands.
In 1595 Phillip closed the port of Lisbon to Netherland ships
and as a result, Portuguese carracks bringing cargoes from
the Far East were attacked by the Dutch. Thus it was that
captured cargoes of porcelain were brought in to Amsterdam
and auctioned there; for instance, sixty tons of Chinese
porcelain from the Catarina were sold in 1604 (Godden
1979, 19) and much more followed as the Netherlands took
over from Portugal in exploiting the ceramic riches of the
East with the development of the Dutch East India
Company. The population of N. Europe rapidly developed a
demand for oriental porcelain, so much so that by the 1620s
and 30s the Netherlands ceramic industry was facing a crisis.
In Amsterdam, mergers and liquidations led to a move
from maiolica to tile production; similarly in Rotterdam,
encouraged by changes in building regulations which
outlawed wooden buildings. (van Dam 1982, 18). The
industry in Haarlem was already seriously in decline, while
in Delft most maiolica pothouses went over to tiles. Faced
with the competition from oriental porcelain, the potters of
the Netherlands tried to make it themselves, but as they did
not have the secret of making porcelain, they had to
compromise by making the best imitations they could. Thus
began the development of what was eventually to become
known as Delftware, though it was known at the time as
Hollants porcelain. This development proceeded alongside
the continuing production of old-style maiolica, which
persisted, particularly in England and Friesland, well into the
From maiolica to delftware: tin-glazed earthenware in London and the Low Countries, 15701630
and some abroad. So it was that in 1567, Jasper Andries, a
direct descendant of one of the original Italian potters, and
Jacob Jansen left Antwerp and settled in Norwich.
There were probably two reasons for the choice of
Norwich, apart from the obvious proximity of East Anglia to
the Netherlands. The first was the ever-present need of the
tin-glaze potters for suitable clay. It has long been said that
clay from Norfolk was used in admixture with local clay in
the Netherlands, and hence could be relied on as suitable,
though the earliest known record of clay being shipped
abroad was of twenty tons going to Rotterdam in 1597
(Britton 1987, 26). The other reason for the choice of
Norwich was probably social: by this time, the 1560s, the
towns of East Anglia were full of refugees from religious
persecution in the Low Countries. There were more than
4,000 in Norwich alone (Parker 1985, 119), comprising some
40% of the population of that city, so that the newly arrived
potters could be sure of a welcome into a community in
which they would feel at home. The two potters do not seem
to have flourished in Norwich, as three years later, in 1570,
they petitioned Queen Elizabeth for a waterside site in
London, and a twenty year monopoly of tin-glazed
earthenware production. This petition was not granted,
possibly because of pre-existing patents, but in the same year
Jacob Jansen moved to Aldgate where, joined by a number of
potters from the Netherlands (Edwards 1974, 8), he set up a
pottery which was to continue in production till 1615. This
was the first tin-glaze pothouse in London. His erstwhile
partner, Jasper Andries, soon moved to Colchester and, it is
thought, set up in business as an importer and dealer.
It is not known how many men were employed in the
Aldgate pothouse, but the names of at least nine potters
from the Netherlands who worked there are known (see
Edwards 1974, 27). In the absence of any local tradition of
tin-glaze pottery and painting it is to be expected that the
skilled men all came from abroad and passed on their
experience and techniques to locally recruited staff, who
were likely to be employed initially on the more routine
tasks. The methods of manufacture and the styles of
decoration were of necessity those of the Netherlands, where
the potters had learnt their craft. Consequently pottery from
the Netherlands and from London of this period is visually
indistinguishable, and can only be separated with certainty
by micro chemical analysis of the body (Hughes and
Gaimster 1999). It was not until the second quarter of the
17th century that English tin-glaze earthenware began to
take on characteristics of its own. The Aldgate pothouse ran
on till 1615 or so. Archer (1997, 570-1) has published a
useful compilation of the working span of British tin-glaze
pothouses. A famous maiolica piece made there is now in
the Museum of London. The date is probably 1600, though
this is a matter of dispute, as it may be read as 1602, and it is
thought to depict the Tower of London. It has often been
illustrated (see, for instance, Britton 1986, Plate B). The
inscription is very interesting as it illustrates a habit
common among pot painters of all ages of cutting the coat
according to the cloth. The original verse ran The Rose is
red the leaves are grene God save Elizabeth our noble
Queene, but not having room for it all, the painter left out
noble not a treasonable omission, perhaps, but a severely
practical one. Hughes and Gaimster (1999, 70) confirm the
London origin of this maiolica charger and, indeed, it must
have been made in Aldgate because to the best of our
knowledge this was the only tin-glaze pothouse then extant.
That is, of course, if the date on it reflects the date of
manufacture of that you can never be certain, but as
Elizabeth was on the throne at that date it is likely to be
correct. It is certainly the earliest dated piece of English tin-
glazed earthenware.
The next two potteries to be established in London, and the
only others to be founded before 1630, were both south of
the river, on sites near the Thames. Nearly all tin-glaze
pothouses were near the water, for sea or river borne
supplies of clay and fuel coming in and finished ware going
out. The first of these two was at Montague Close, where two
London merchants were granted a patent in 1612 to make
Earthenware in the manner of Fiansa, that is, in the style of
Italian maiolica. It seems probable that on the demise of the
Aldgate works in or around 1615, the Netherlands potter
Jacob Prien moved to Montague Close, becoming manager
there in 1625, thus continuing the Netherlands tradition
(Edwards 1974, 10).
The other pothouse was at Pickleherring Quay, in the
parish of St. Olaves, Southwark. The owner was Christian
Wilhelm who had come from the Palatinate, with his wife
who was from Deventer in Gelderland (Tait 1960, 36).
His intention was to make smalt, the basis of cobalt blue
pigment, but in this he was frustrated by existing patents. By
1615 he seems to have switched to making tin-glazed
earthenware, having been joined by two other potters
from the Low Countries, John Rokensor from Middelburg
and Christian Loest from Dollett (Britton 1986, 35) and,
no doubt, by others whose names have not come down
to us.
It is not possible to over-emphasise the importance of
the Netherlands contribution to the establishment of tin-
glaze earthenware production in England. This is borne out
by an examination of the wares produced in these early
years. As Ivor Noel Hume (1997, 16) wrote In the first half
of the 17th century, when the Netherlands potters and
Fig. 1 Fragment of Netherlands dish, first quarter of 17th century,
with heavy, broad footring, wiped clean of glaze to accommodate base
of trivet.
shows a few of the same period, for example Nos. 666, 714,
736 and 748; these are maiolica in all respects except in the
manner of firing. The earliest English tin-glazed earthenware
fired in saggars comes from the middle of the 17th century.
The fourth technical improvement was probably the
easiest to achieve, the use of tin- glaze on both the obverse
and reverse surfaces. There are isolated examples of this in
earlier years, and, indeed, the use of tin-glaze on both
surfaces can be traced back to the 16th century on
occasional pieces, and sporadically thereafter. In his study of
some 700 pieces of Netherlands maiolica, Korf (1981) listed
such pieces dated 1601 and 1626; two (undated) from the
last quarter of the 16th century and six from the early years
of the 17th, and a number of later pieces, all recognizably
maiolica, sensu strictu, except for the tin-glaze on the reverse.
With maiolica made in England, Lipski and Archer (1984,
17) listed a dated example of 1620. Otherwise, tin-glazed
backs do not appear in any number until after the 1640s.
The combination of tin-glaze on the reverse and firing
on trivets did not occur at all frequently, presumably because
the new style dishes had narrow, wide footrings which would
not accommodate the base of the trivet. A most interesting
sherd was described by Korf (1981, 190): it had the standard
Bird on a Rock decoration, in blue, with a delftware-type
footring with a tin-glazed back, but was fired on trivets. He
dated it to the second quarter of the 17th century, adding
that it must have been one of the first attempts of the
Haarlem potters to make an imitation porcelain. In this type
of work the transition from maiolica to delftware can be
seen in process.
While maiolica was traditionally decorated in
polychrome, with restricted use of blue on its own, the
imitation of porcelain involved decorating in monochrome
blue. This is often thought of as the simplest method, with
polychrome as a more advanced technique; but in historical
terms in Europe, this is not so, and with the need to imitate
Chinese export porcelain, polychrome decoration had to
give place to monochrome blue. Similarly, older decorative
styles and motives had to make way for Chinese elements
such as Kraak motives and border patterns and Bird on a
Rock type of decoration. While blue derived from cobalt
had long been used in Europe, Korf (1968, 15) found that
the Haarlem potters were developing a light blue similar to
Ming blue in the 1640s.
An interesting commentary on these changes arises out
of a quarrel between two potters, father and son Verstraeten,
in Haarlem (see Korf 1981, 86-90). They had entered into a
legal agreement in 1642 that father would continue to make
maiolica, the old way, and that son would make Netherlands
porcelain using the new methods. However, father found he
could not prosper with the traditional maiolica and sought
to evade the agreement. In 1648 he began to make the new
ware and his son took him to court. It was agreed that he
could continue to make it, provided he did not decorate it in
the Chinese style. This ruling confirms that the new ware
was essentially associated with the imitation of Chinese
From maiolica to delftware: tin-glazed earthenware in London and the Low Countries, 15701630
18th century.
Initially, standard maiolica forms and bodies were
decorated in a Chinese style, for instance with the familiar
Bird on a Rock motive, with a border copying that of a
kraak original (1989, 106) for example see Rinaldi. Fig. 2
shows a typical example of a Chinese kraak export
porcelain dish, of the early 17th century, (rim diameter 274
mm.) Fig. 3 shows a Netherlands maiolica dish of the same
period (rim diameter 327 mm), one of the earliest attempts
to copy Chinese porcelain in tin-glazed earthenware. It
became increasingly obvious, though, that an acceptable
substitute for oriental porcelain was not to be achieved in
this way, and a number of far reaching technical changes
were therefore embarked on (Korf 1981, 75). The whole
body had to be thinner and much more finely potted; the
heavy footring of maiolica had to be replaced by a thin,
shallow one; both obverse and reverse had to receive a tin
glaze; some way had to be found of removing the ugly marks
left by the trivets; and finally the predominantly polychrome
decoration had to make way for monochrome cobalt blue.
The end product of all these changes put together is now
known as Delftware.
These changes deserve to be examined in more detail. First,
the body. Korf (1968, 10) pointed out that the body had to
be reduced to about a third of its earlier thickness;
examining wasters deposited in 1638 in a dyke at Haarlem,
he noted that the body was a mixture of red and light
coloured clay. It is interesting that pottery inventories from
the Netherlands in the 1620s and 30s listed stocks of English
clay, one of 56 tons or thereabouts (van Dam 1982, 83-4).
This was presumably high calcium clay from East Anglia, but
Papendrecht (1920, 9) refers also to white clay from the Isle
of Wight, probably the same as the clay from Dorset which
Dwight later records as being used in Delftware production
in London (Weatherill and Edwards 1971, 165). The
incorporation of quantities of a high calcium clay would be
needed to add strength to the mixture so that thinner bodies
could be made, to give a lighter coloured body more easily
disguised by the tin glaze and to reduce crazing on firing. It
is not suggested that this was the first use of English clay in
the Netherlands and in any case similar clays were available
from Tournai (Britton, 1987, 25).
Second, the heavy footring, which was shaped with a
hooked tool, one of which was found in the waste of a
pottery at Deventer which closed in 1637 (de Beer 1985, 42)
and which were also illustrated by Piccolpasso (1980, 38)
were entirely unsuited to the new ware and were replaced by
one with a maximum depth of about 5mm and of much
greater diameter (Fig. 4).
The elimination of trivet marks was a more intractable
problem. As long as pieces were fired on trivets, some marks
were inevitable. There were at least two types of trivet mark,
as shown in Figs 5 and 6. In the first, as the trivet came away
after firing, some of the glaze came away with it, exposing
the body. In the second, some of the points of the trivet were
left adhering to the surface. Where the trivet had been made
of rough red clay (chamotte; Korf 1968, 11), these marks
show up as red deposits. The first attempt to ameliorate
them came with the use of glazed trivets (ibid., 11) and while
these left less obvious marks, this was not enough.
Eventually the whole method of firing was changed, with the
use of saggars and triangular pins; to be sure, the pins left
marks, but these were on the underside and were very much
less obtrusive. Piccolpasso, writing in Italy in the mid16th
century (1980, 39), referred to the use of saggars and pins,
but their first use in the Netherlands was reported in
Rotterdam in 1627 (van Dam 1982, 17). In 1647 the
inventory of a pothouse in Delft listed over 2,500 saggars
(ibid., 28), and in an excavated pottery in Leiden, which
closed in the mid 1640s (Korf 1981, 25), there were piles of
trivets and saggar pins on the same bench, suggesting that
the change over was even then taking place. In the van
Drecht collection in Amsterdam there are two saggar-fired
dishes of the early 17th century, and Korf s (1981) survey
Fig. 2 Chinese export porcelain dish, diameter 276 mm, early 17th
century, with typical kraak border.
Fig. 3 Netherlands maiolica dish, diameter 327 mm, second quarter
of 17th century, imitating the Chinese Bird on a Rock design, with
kraak border.
Fig. 4 Reverse of Netherlands delftware dish, diameter 238 mm, third
quarter of 17th century, showing new style of footring and marks left by
saggar pins.
Fig. 5 Fragment of Netherlands dish, first or second quarter of 17th
century, with three pits in glaze caused by removal of trivets after firing.
Fig. 6 Fragment of Netherlands dish, first quarter of 17th century,
with three deposits of red clay left behind on removal of trivets
after firing.
Parker, G. 1985, The Dutch Revolt. London, Penguin Books.
Piccolpasso, C. 1980,I tre Libri dellArte del Vasaio (trans. R.
Lightbrown and A. Caiger-Smith). London, Scolar.
Pinto de Matos, M.A. 1994,A Porcelana Chinesa: Referncia
Essencial na Faianca Portugesa de Seiscentos, in A Influncia
Oriental na Cermica Portuguesa do Sculo XVII. Lisboa,
Rackham, B. and Read, H. 1924, English Pottery. London, Faber
and Faber.
Rinaldi, M. 1989, Kraak Porcelain. London, Bamboo.
Tait, H. 1960, Southwark (alias Lambeth) Delftware and the
Potter, Christian Wilhelm; I. The Connoisseur, Aug. 1960,
Weatherill, L. and Edwards, R. 1971, Pottery Making in London
and Whitehaven in the late 17th Century, Post-Medieval
Archaeol. 5, 160-181.
Wilson, T. 1991, Italian Maiolica around 1500: some
Considerations on the Background to Antwerp Maiolica in
D. Gaimster, (ed.), Maiolica in the North. London, British
Museum Occ Pap 122.
Since preparing the text of this article, a most important book
on this subject has been published. This is:
Dumortier, C. 2002, Cramique de la Renaissance Anvers. De
Venise Delft. Bruxelles, Racine.
John Black, Paddock House, Pyrton, Watlington, Oxon OX49 5AP
La poterie maille anglaise fut introduite dans ce pays par des
potiers immigrants des Pays Bas installs dans un premier temps
Norwich en 1567, avant de stablir Londres trois ans plus tard.
Le personnel, les technologies ainsi que les styles dcoratifs
hollandais ont domin la production anglaise jusquau deuxime
quart du 17 me sicle. Devant faire face aux importations de
porcelaine orientale, les potiers nerlandais introduisirent un
certain nombre dinnovations technologiques afin dimiter la
porcelaine, favorisant ainsi la transition du maiolica traditionnel
la faence. Ces changements, essentiels la comprhension des
dveloppements cramiques en Angleterre, sont discuts dans cet
Zinnglasierte Tonware wurde von eingewanderten
niederlndischen Tpfern nach England eingefhrt, die sich 1567
in Norwich niederlieen und drei Jahre spter nach London
zogen. In der englischen Produktion herrschten Niederlndische
Handwerker, Technologie und dekorative Stile noch im zweiten
Viertel des 17. Jahrhunderts vor. Unter dem Druck orientalischer
Porzellanimporte fhrten die niederlndischen
Zinnglasurentpfer verschiedene technische Vernderungen ein,
die Porzellan imitieren sollten, was zu einem bergang von der
traditionellen Maiolica- zur neuen Delftware fhrte. Diese
Vernderungen, die in dem Artikel behandelt werden, formen die
Grundlage fr das Verstndnis der Entwicklung in England.
From maiolica to delftware: tin-glazed earthenware in London and the Low Countries, 15701630
porcelain, so that the substitution of other decoration
removed the commercial competition. Clearly the
important criterion was stylistic rather than technological,
but the stylistic differentiation could only be achieved by the
co-ordinated technical advances just described.
The introduction of Chinese type decoration came, both
in the Netherlands and in England, between 1625 and 1630.
In England the first dated piece with the Bird on a Rock
design is from 1628 (Lipski and Archer 1984, 310). The
introduction of Chinese decoration is attributed to Christian
Wilhelm of Pickleherring Quay, though he died in 1630, and
the tradition was carried on by his colleagues.
Under the impact of Chinese porcelain, many factories in
the Netherlands merged, went bankrupt or went downmarket
to manufacture rough kitchenware; others specialized in tile
production. Only three in Haarlem, and, later, two in Delft
made the transition to Netherlands porcelain, or Delftware.
In fact, the pottery industry in Haarlem had been on the
decline since 1610 or so, so that when the potter Verstraeten
(the father) sought to set up there from Delft in 1625 he was
made welcome, and was encouraged to make the new ware
immediately (Korf 1981, 86). Similarly, the potter Dorpman
founded a pottery in Deventer and in 1624 was granted the
sole right of attempting the imitation of Chinese porcelain (de
Beer 1985, 53). However, it should always be remembered that
the origins of delftware are to be found not in Delft but in
When, in 1647, the importation of Chinese ware came to an
abrupt halt, the way was open to the Netherlands and English
potters to exploit the situation, and this they proceeded to do.
By 1660 there were 30 factories employing 1000 workers in
Delft alone, making porcelain, and taking advantage of a
number of empty breweries to use as factories (van Dam
1982, 40). The concentration of production in Delft led to
the town giving its name to the new ware. The number of
factories in London also began to increase, till in 1680 there
were eight (Archer 1997 560-3). Old style maiolica
production in the Netherlands had largely died out by 1675,
except in Friesland, where it continued into the 18th century.
In this country, tin glazed earthenware in the form of
maiolica was made from 1570 till about 1720; in the form of
delftware, from 1630 till about 1840.
Many ceramicists in this country fail to distinguish
properly between maiolica and delftware. Clearly the groups
cannot be described so exactly that problems of
identification at the interface do not occur, but in general
terms the transition between the heavily potted, traditionally
decorated maiolica and the more delicate, Chinese porcelain
inspired delftware came about in the second quarter of the
17th century. Thereafter, delftware developed under its own
impetus, but that is a different though no less interesting
story. The technological changes which underpinned this
transition were worked out primarily in the Netherlands tin-
glaze industry, of which the London factories effectively
formed part.
My grateful thanks to Zitta Smith van der Hak for invaluable
assistance in accessing the Dutch literature, and to Louise
Pearl for preparing the copy. This paper is an edited version
of a lecture to the Keele University Ceramics Summer
School, 2001.
Archer, M. 1997, Delftware, The Tin-glazed Pottery of the British
Isles. London, The Stationery Office.
Beer, H. de 1985, Cornelis Jansz. Dorpman van Delft
majolicabakker te Deventer 1624-1637. Med. Ned.Ver.Vrienden
Van de Ceramick 119/20, 7-13.
Britton, F. 1986, London Delftware. London, Jonathan Horne.
Britton, F. 1987, Some Sources of Delftware Clay, Trans Eng
Ceramic Circle, 13 (1), 24-32.
Dam, J.D. van 1982, Geleyersgoet en Hollands Porceleyn
Ontwikkelingen in de Nederlandse Aardewerk-Industrie
1560-1660, Med Ned Ver Vrienden van de Ceramiek, 108,
Dumortier, C. 1991, Description dun Atelier de Majoliques
Anvers au XVIime et Debut XVIIime Sicle, in T. Wilson,
(ed) Italian Renaissance Pottery, 241-246. London, British
Museum Press.
Edwards, R. 1974, London Potters circa 1570-1710, Journ Cer
Hist. 6, 1-141.
Godden, G.A. 1979, Oriental Export Market Porcelain. London,
Hughes M. and Gaimster D. 1999, Neutron Activation
Analysis of Maiolica from London, Norwich, the Low
Countries and Italy, in D. Gaimster, (ed.) Maiolica in the
North. London, British Museum Occ Pap 122.
Hurst, J.G. 1991, Italian Pottery Imported into Britain and
Ireland, in T. Wilson, (ed.), Italian Renaissance Pottery, 212-
231. London, British Museum Press.
Israel, J. 1995, The Dutch Republic. Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Korf, D. 1968, Haarlemse Majolica-en Tegelbakkers. Haarlem.
Korf, D. 1981, Nederlandse Majolica. Haarlem, de Haan.
Lane, A. 1947, Early Islamic Pottery. London, Faber and Faber.
Lipski, L.L. and Archer, M. 1984, Dated English Delftware.
London, Sotheby.
Noel Hume, I. 1977, Early English Delftware from London and
Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Papendrecht, A.H. van 1920, De Rotterdamsche Plateel en
Tegelbakkers. Rotterdam, Waesberge.
Prologues and
epilogues in Islamic
ceramics: clays,
repairs and
secondary use
Marcus Milwright
This article presents evidence concerning
the attitudes towards clays, the repair of
broken vessels, and the secondary use of
pottery in the Islamic world. The collection
and analysis of primary written sources
and archaeological information aims to
illustrate the diversity of responses to
ceramic in its various states from raw
material to broken sherd. It is argued that,
in order to come to a deeper understanding
of the social roles performed by ceramics
in a given context, it is necessary to
attempt to integrate the information from
archaeological investigations and primary
textual sources.
Ma taayya
tsh al fukhkhrkum d luh umr zay amrkum
Do not weep over your [broken] pottery, for you have the
same destiny (traditional Egyptian proverb cited in Henein
1992, 66).
During his sojourn in Cairo, the city where he ended his life
in 1310, the Iraqi oculist Shams al-Dn Ab Abdallh
hammad ibn Dniyl composed a series of comic shadow
plays which were performed in the Egyptian capital. The
plays are full of complex language and allusions to events in
the recent past, particularly the rule of the great Mamluk
sultan Baybars (d. 1277). Much of the humour depends
upon the subversion of traditional values and the mocking
of figures of authority in the Mamluk political system. In the
following example Ibn Dniyl has one of his characters, the
secretary al-Tj Bbj, read out the edict of investiture
(manshr) for Amr Wi
sl (intended as a satirical
representation of the Caliph al-Mustan
sir Billh who had
been installed by Sultan Baybars in 1262). Part of this edict
... And we set him over the following provinces, namely:
the province of Old Cairo with al-Sunbb, together with
all the rotten parts of the walls. And the control of the
buildings of the Pyramids, and all the hills and heaps of
stones thereto appertaining - the revenues of the
cemetery - the census of the dogs in the villages and
markets - the assay of ashes - and the change of date
stones and knuckles - the control of the measuring of
sand and gravel and dust - the revenues of the
institutions of brothels, and the safe-keeping of broken
pieces of pottery, and the control of clods, and the
colouring of oranges, beetroots and carrots (trans. in
Kahle 1954, 110-11).
In his reference to worthlessness of broken pottery Ibn
Dniyl expresses an assumption which would not be
unfamiliar to a modern archaeologist: namely, that, once
broken, ceramic vessels cease to have any social function or
commercial value. The work of the potter may be regarded
as a form of everyday alchemy in which the base stuff of clay
is transformed through a variety of technical processes into
the gold of the finished vessel. This valued state lasts only as
long as the vessel remains intact, however. Unlike glass or
metal artefacts the component materials of a ceramic vessel
cannot be readily recycled and, in any case, the raw clay and
many of the other minerals of pottery manufacture tend to
be both relatively cheap and readily available. It is this
combination of factors which have established pottery as the
foundation of much archaeological study; sherd
assemblages, being the most common form of non-
Prologues and epilogues in Islamic ceramics: clays, repairs and secondary use
degradable refuse, frequently represent the best record of
human occupation on excavations and field surveys.
Of course, this set of statements represents both a
simplified and a distorted view of the analysis of
archaeological pottery. While the general assumption that
the active life of a pot ceases when it breaks (and is thus
unable to perform the function for which it was designed)
remains a reasonable one in most cases, archaeologists must
remain sensitive to the possibility that uses might be found
in certain contexts for broken pottery. Further, it should be
noted that clays and other raw materials, far from being
worthless in their raw state, might be invested with some
perceived value by the society which made use of them.
The role of anthropological and ethnographic research is
obviously crucial in the comprehension of these issues. The
ability to interview both living potters and the consumers of
their work has broadened our perspectives concerning the
potential social roles performed by ceramics. The
archaeological record sometimes provides physical examples
of reuse and repair which can be correlated with the types of
first-hand observation provided by anthropological
In comparison to the extensive exploitation by
archaeologists of anthropological data from many
contemporary situations, much less use has been made of
historical sources for the understanding of the social roles of
pottery in pre-modern societies (although there are studies
concerning pottery in medieval and post-medieval contexts
in Europe and America. For instance, see Le Patourel 1968;
Moorhouse 1978 and 1983; Courtney 1997. Also
contributions in Little 1992). In part this omission can be
attributed to an unwillingness on the part of many
archaeologists to engage with the analysis of written records
(when they are available), but also it reflects some basic
problems with the information contained in pre-modern
texts. Looking at the textual sources from the pre-modern
societies of the Islamic Middle East, it is apparent that both
the writers and intended audience of most texts comprised
members of the literate elite. Quite simply, for these socio-
economic groups pottery was too cheap and ubiquitous to
merit much consideration. When manufactured objects are
mentioned at all they tend to be items directly associated
with famous historical figures or objects in luxury media
such as precious metals, rock crystal, glass, ornamented
leather and so on. Further, the brief descriptions which can
be gathered from such texts seldom furnish the researcher
with information concerning either the appearance of
objects or the ways in which those objects were understood
by the contemporary audience. Nevertheless, there are good
reasons for undertaking searches for references to material
culture in contemporary chronicles, geographical and
biographical dictionaries, works on religion and ethics,
travellers accounts, endowment deeds, and commercial
contracts. The analysis of such texts can help to provide
insights into the functioning of material culture within a
complex social and cultural environment of the pre-modern
Islamic world. This information can be used by
archaeologists to deepen their understanding of material
from excavations and surveys.
In this article I want to combine the available evidence
from texts of the 10th to the early 20th century and
excavated material to explore the attitudes expressed in the
Islamic world to three somewhat neglected phases in the life-
cycle of Islamic ceramics: the raw materials of pottery
manufacture; the breaking and repair of pottery; and finally,
the secondary use of potsherds and complete vessels. Some
parallels are also sought in anthropological studies in the
Islamic world. It should be noted that the evidence cited in
this article is taken from a broad chronological and
geographical range. This is not to imply however, that
attitudes towards pottery are necessarily consistent or static
from one region or period to another. Rather, the wide scope
reflects the scarcity with which such issues are discussed in
the written sources. Therefore, what is presented here is
intended to illustrate some of the range of possible attitudes
and responses to pottery which will have existed in the
Islamic world (with a particular focus on the Middle East).
Clays have played a symbolic role in Muslim religious
thought. The Qurn contains verses such as, We have
created man from potters clay (
sl), of mud ground
down (Sra XV, 26). Schnyder points to passages in Persian
poetry which pick up on these themes. For example, A
(d. c.1230) writes, There is no earth that has not been pure
man before. Therefore, beware how you place the goblet! You
can never know: you place it into blood. Each tiny particle of
dust is the body of the deceased, each drop is the life-blood
of those that have passed away (trans. in Schnyder 1994,
At a more practical level, the selection and preparation of
clays are obviously crucial aspects of the overall process of
manufacturing pottery. The specific characteristics of the
clay deposits available to an individual potter act as a
significant constraint upon the nature of the pottery which
can be produced. Of course, this is only one of a series of
technological and cultural constraints which must be
considered in the analysis of pottery production in a given
locality (for a general discussion of these issues with a
bibliography of relevant publications, see Sillar and Tite
2000). Anthropological studies in the Middle East and other
regions of the Islamic world have focused considerable
attention on the ways in which clay deposits are chosen by
traditional potters and the methods by which the raw clays
are transformed into the pastes used in the construction of
vessels (see discussions in Rye and Evans 1976; Golvin,
Thiriot and Zakariyya 1982; Mershen 1985).
Studies of this kind illustrate the way in which the Medieval Ceramics 25, 7283, 2001
production process is assembled through a combination of
habitual, conventional practices with conscious calculations.
Hence, the location of a pottery workshop is likely to be in
close proximity to both the principal sources for bulk raw
materials (particularly the clay and fuel for firing the kilns)
and the largest market for the products (or on the trade
routes to these markets). Other more costly items, including
mineral colorants, might be brought from greater distances
(for instance, see the discussion of geographical location of
valuable minerals in the 14th-century Persian treatise of Ab
al-Qsim. Trans. in Allan 1973). Similar evidence can be
gathered from the (few) discussions of pottery industries in
written sources. In the 13th and 14th centuries in Cairo
writers report that alluvial mud from the Nile and yellow
clay (
tn al-a
sfr) from the district of .
Habash were both
employed in the manufacture of pottery (Milwright 1999a,
507-508). Other clays were given names by potters and a few
of these are recorded in geographical texts. For instance, in
the 13th century there was an earth known as the clay of
wisdom (
tn al-
hikma) from Aswn in southern Egypt (ibid.,
506) although the original significance of this appellation is
no longer apparent. Further examples of named earths are
recorded from around Damascus at the end of the 19th
century (al-Qsim 1960, 68).
The sale of clay was also a separate craft in some areas. In
books of market inspection (
hisba) from the 13th and 14th
centuries it is stated that a merchant is responsible for
differentiating between the clay of the jug (gha
dr al-kz)
and the clay of the oven (gha
dr al-tannr) (Ibn al-
Ukhuwwa 1938, 223 [Arabic text]; Ibn Bassm 1968, 199).
hammad al-Qsim provides a record of the clay
gatherers (turrb) in Damascus although, interestingly, they
did not appear to supply their product to potters. He writes:
It [the craft] consists of the selling of the red earth (al-
turrb al-a
hmr). And for it they go to the place of
excavation and using spades (s. mi
hfar) designed [for
that purpose] the red earth is removed from there. Then
it is placed in a small container on [the backs of]
donkeys, most of which are emaciated. Each load is sold
for a qarsh (one piaster) or more. There is much demand
for its quality and there is good business particularly
during the days of winter. And it [the winter] is the
season for coating roof terraces with clay and in the first
part of the winter much of it is sold (trans. from 1960,
The practice of transporting clay is attested in other parts of
the Islamic world. In Kharmathu in Pakistan a potter was
capable of digging and transporting 300kg of clay per day.
This load would be taken by donkey the 5km from the
source to his workshop (Rye and Evans 1976, 39, 119). While
kilns are usually located near to the main clay source, there
are examples where special clays were transported over
considerable distances. The geographer Yqt (d. 1229)
reports that clay from Jabal Bishr, a mountain in the
northeast of Syria, was sent to Aleppo (a distance of
approximately 120 km) to be made into crucibles for iron
foundries (1866-70: I, 631). Evidently this clay was unusual
in being capable, when fired, of withstanding extremely high
temperatures. Sand from the same area was transported to
the coastal towns of Syria for glass manufacture.
It is not merely such technical considerations which
might cause a clay to be particularly valued by producers
and consumers. A widespread phenomenon in the medieval
and early modern Mediterranean was the belief that
particular clays and earths possessed medicinal properties if
ingested or applied to the skin (for a worldwide survey of
the practice of geophagy, see Laufer 1930). Examples of
medicinal clays in the Middle East are cited as coming from
Egypt, Armenia, Homs in Syria, and Nishapur in Iran (Ibn
al-Ward 1766, 186; Ibn al-Bay
tr 1874: III, 108-13). Perhaps
the most famous of these, however, was the clay gathered
from the Greek island of Lemnos. While the palliative and
alexipharmic qualities of this product are attested in antique
Greek and Roman sources, the annual ceremony of digging
the clay pits was virtually unknown in the medieval period,
being revived in the 15th century by the Ottoman sultans
(Raby 1995). Not only was the clay formed into tablets -
each stamped with an inscription to vouchsafe its
authenticity - which could be grated onto food, but the clay
was also fashioned into small fired jugs and cups (ibid., 333-
35, pls.II-IV). It was believed that these vessels would
neutralise the effects of any poison contained within them. It
is significant to note that these rather unassuming unglazed
jugs retailed for higher prices in the mid-17th century than
even the imported porcelains in the markets of Istanbul
(ibid., 329-31). Chinese porcelain and celadon were also
believed in the Islamic world and the medieval West to sweat
or to change colour when brought in contact with poison. A
manuscript entitled Libellus de notitia orbis dated 1402
contains the following passage: They [the Chinese] also
make there vessels of clay and of such earth which is
efficacious against poison ... In the Persian tongue [these]
are called Chim and our people call them in Latin porcelain
(porcellanum i.e. purslane) because they are the colour of
that herb (trans. in Pelliot 1959-63: II, 808-809). Presumably
this passage refers to celadon wares which are commonly
The elevated status of the earth of Lemnos and other
medicinal earths was established by reference to antique
medical sources but there were additional means by which
clays might come to be valued. An unnamed traveller to the
Holy Land in the 12th century describes a field near Hebron:
... in Hebron is that field whose earth is red, which earth
is dug up and eaten by its inhabitants, and is exported for
sale, and bought as an exceeding precious drug, because
it is said to be true that of this earth Adam, the first man
was made (Anonymous Pilgrims 1894, 37).
Another source adds that the earth was transported to
Prologues and epilogues in Islamic ceramics: clays, repairs and secondary use
Arabia (Fretellus 1990, 9 [chapter 8]). It is not clear whether
this earth was ever made into vessels although the 15th-
century traveller Felix Fabri does note its suitability for that
purpose (1893: II, 411-12). Earths associated with the tombs
of revered religious figures were also collected by pilgrims.
At the beginning of the 20th century the dust and soil was
collected from the tombs of Muslim saints (s. wl) in
Palestine. For instance, the earth from the shrine at Mal
was prepared into a paste with oil to cure sores on the head
and that from the tomb (qabr) of al-R was dissolved in
water and given to cattle in order to prevent disease.
Palestinian pilgrims would also bring back pear-shaped
objects (s. al-nuj
sa) made of the dried earth from around
the Kaba in Mekka dipped in sacrificial blood (Canaan
1927, 99, 106, 110). Edward Lane, the great 19th-century
orientalist writes that the same earth was also made into
tablets stamped with the inscription, In the name of Allh.
Dust of our land [mixed] with the saliva of some of us [i.e.
the pilgrims]. These tablets would be carried in a leather
case and functioned as amulets (1836: I, 323). Sun-dried clay
tablets (in Persian: s. mohr) are still manufactured around
the great Sh Muslim shrines at Mashhad and Kerbala.
Usually they are stamped with schematic representations of
shrines (Mashhad, Kerbala, the Kaba in Mekka, and the
Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem) or of symbolic images such
as the Hand of F
tima. Pilgrims bring these mementos back
to their local mosques (Fig 1). The tablets are placed on the
ground so that the worshipper may touch his forehead on it
during prayer (and thus gain additional blessing).
According to magical texts of the Islamic period earth
from tombs might also be collected for more sinister
purposes. In his Book of Poisons (Kitb al-summ) written in
c. 950 Ibn Wa
hshiyya gives a detailed recipe for a clay, the
sight of which causes death within nine or ten hours. The
recipe requires the soil from three graves mixed in an
earthenware pot with a wide variety of minerals and plants
as well as diverse animal and human products including the
blood of a cat, the urine of a (squinting) man with different
coloured eyes, and ashes made by burning cabbage and
cauliflower leaves together with a tortoise from the Tigris
and the head of a cow! (1966, 33-34). Although the author
and his brother claim to have prepared this poison, it seems
likely that few of the readers of the text followed their example.
Although the vast majority of ceramic vessels were probably
discarded after they were broken, there is evidence from
both written sources and extant artefacts that various forms
of repair might be contemplated. It seems reasonable to
assume that repairs were only made to objects which were
particularly valued by their owners (and usually where the
cost of the repair was less than the cost of a new vessel). The
reasons why an object might be particularly esteemed must
be seen, however, in their specific cultural and economic
context. For instance, in the Topkapi Saray collection of
Chinese ceramics in Istanbul are examples of porcelain and
celadon vessels with fractures repaired by means of drilling
and wiring, or the addition of silver gilt decoration to cover
cracks or missing elements (Krahl 1986: I, no.225; II,
nos.603, 817, 854). In other cases, entirely new vessel forms,
mules, were formed by the fixing together of broken
sections of vases and bowls with collars of silver gilt (ibid.,
1986: I, no.210; II, no.1032). Archive documents indicate
that, when mending was not desirable, the broken vessels
from the treasury might be boxed and sold on the open
market (ibid., 1986: I, 36). This range of responses can be
understood if one considers the way in which porcelain was
perceived in medieval societies. Written sources of the
Islamic period make clear the high value (both commercial
and social) placed upon these types of imported pottery
(Kahle 1956; Milwright 1999a, 513-16). The monetary value
alone of imported porcelain would have made repair a viable
proposition in many cases. In addition, the collection
assembled by the Ottoman sultans comprised booty from
campaigns against the Mamluk sultanate in Egypt and Syria
and the Safavid empire in Iran. Many of the vessels were
already of considerable antiquity (and thus irreplaceable) by
the time they arrived in the royal treasury in Istanbul. A
description of the collection of Chinese ceramics in the
house of drink (bayt al-sharb) of Ayyubid treasury in
Cairo specifies that some items were deemed especially
precious - probably because of their age - and were not
intended for general use (Qalqashand 1913-18: IV, 10. For
similar attitudes towards older porcelain in the Ottoman
treasury, see Krahl 1986: I, 42, 51-52).
Less valuable ceramics might also be repaired. Treatises
of market inspection (
hisba) mention that traders should not
mend cracks in pottery vessels and sell them as if they are
sound (Ibn al-Ukhuwwa 1938, 222 [Arabic text]). Discussing
Fig. 1 Modern ceramic pilgrim tokens with stamped designs. Great
Mosque at Firdaws, Iran. Photograph: Marcus Milwright.
the same issue Ibn Bassm writes:
Arising from knowledge of these matters. Approach
must be made to those who cheat the public by mending
cracked vessels or vessels with holes and everything else
and selling them with the remainder of the wares which
are sold. And with fat (sha
hm), lime (jr) and egg white
(m al-bay
d) they sell them as being flawless. When the
chief (arf) finds among them a thing of this kind, it is
necessary [for him] to break it, and forbid the return [to
such practices]. And if they [the craftsmen] return to
fraudulent activities, they will be disciplined and made
notorious with the object of their knavery hung around
their neck, so that they will be an example to the
rest(1968, 158).
The existence of such a prohibition does suggest, however,
that such practices were well known in the markets of the
Islamic world. The signs of different forms of repair can
sometimes be identified on excavated pottery attested in
Islamic occupation phases. Most commonly this takes the
form of drill-holes meant for the attachment of wire or
rivets. For instance, examples of this practice are attested
from 11th-century contexts at Raqqa in northern Syria (Fig.
2) and from the 13th- or 14th-century contexts in Jordan at
Karak (Milwright 1999b: II, 63, pl.38.4) and Pella (Stephen
McPhillips, pers. comm.). In the cases of the material from
Karak, the sherds came from decorated and undecorated
lead-glazed bowls. While such wares were certainly not
amongst the most expensive glazed vessels of the period, the
evidence of the drill-holes does indicate that their owners
believed them to be of sufficient value to warrant the
expense and effort involved in repair. The pieces from Raqqa
present more difficulties because they come from unglazed
vessels which are likely to have been of less monetary value.
In addition, the area in Raqqa from which they were
recovered is an industrial site with numerous kilns
producing ceramic wares of these very types. One can only
speculate upon the motivations behind the decision to repair
such items. At the bottom of the scale there are examples of
unglazed wares with small holes and cracks (usually firing
faults) which have been rendered functional by the addition
of an application of plaster or tar. This type of quick repair
appears to have been confined to relatively large unglazed
storage jars.
The mending of broken pottery (as well as glass and
other fragile media) appears to have constituted a separate
craft in some of the larger cities. The Ottoman traveller
Evliya elebi writes that Istanbul contained one area with
ten workshops and twenty-five craftsmen who made their
living from the clamping and pinning of broken cups (1834-
50, 1/2, 212, no.420). The same craft is also reported in 17th-
century Cairo by the traveller Jean Covel (cited in Krahl
1986: I, 52). The jurist Ibn Bassm devotes a section to the
mending of pottery (shabn al-birm) in his treatise on
market inspection. He states:
Arising from knowledge of these matters: those involved
in the practice of mending [pottery vessels] commit
things which are not permitted by God - glorious and
magnificent - because they take the blood of slaughtered
animals (dam al-dhabih), then knead it with other
bloods (dim), and stick [pots] together with it. It is
necessary that they should swear that they will make a
substitute for the blood which they make use of. And
likewise they use cupped blood (dam al-
hijma), if they
are wanting for the blood of sacrificed animals. But they
may make use of the spleens (
hl) of sacrificed animals
[such as] sheep, goats, camels and cows. And then they
cook it, and they may grind it up into a fine powder and
with it stick together the sherds of the pot. And similarly,
when they knead bloods into some of the ground up,
sifted, and mixed potsherds with the white of egg and
they patch up the cracks with it, making them stick
together. The same can be mixed with radish oil (zayt al-
fujl) which will glue together the pot correctly and
precisely. And one of them [i.e. the craftsmen] will
supervise their activity, and he will find whoever is found
to have transgressed (ma
zr). After warnings, he [the
transgressor] is to be publicly disciplined (trans. from
Ibn Bassm 1968, 159).
hammad al-Qsim gives a detailed description of the
craft of mending vessels (mukharris) in late 19th-century
Damascus. He specifies that this activity involves the
mending of al-
sn, al-mliq, and al-ballr. The first of
;these terms may be translated literally as china (i.e.
porcelain) although it was also commonly used to denote
all types of fine glazed pottery, both local and imported
(Kahle 1956, 336-37). The second term is problematic:
meaning literally shining things, it perhaps refers to some
form of glass. The last term, al-ballr designates fine crystal
Prologues and epilogues in Islamic ceramics: clays, repairs and secondary use
Fig. 2 Unglazed sherds with drill-holes. The lowest sherd was found
with a corroded section of copper wire in the drill-hole. Probably 11th
century. Raqqa Ancient Industries Project.
glass. His account is as follows:
... It is the making good of that which is broken amongst
vessels known as al-
sn, al-mliq and al-ballr. In
previous times this craft was much in demand because of
the rarity and high cost of vessels of these types in the
country. And when they were broken they took them to
the mukharris to repair them. And this could always be
done when it [the vessel] was broken into two or three
pieces, but if it was more then it could not be made
better. And the work is thus: it was drilled by the
mukharris first at the edge of it by means of a thin
iron/steel (
hadd) drill, and then the holes were pierced
with a brass rivet (mismran minna nu
hs a
sfr), and the
holes were mended with a solution of gypsum (al-ji
Sin is mended in this way also and the price on each nail
is 10 para. But at this time, as affluence increases the
extent of trade, so the value of vessels of al-ballr and al-
mliq decreases. It is clear that the prosecution of the
trade is uneconomic, and few are now employed in it. It
is a craft which brings forth little profit. God knows best
(trans. from al-Qsim 1960, 422-23).
The economic ramifications of repairing vessels can also be
inferred from Ottoman legal documents. The Retail Price
Code written in 1640 states that the cost of an item with one
rivet was set at c. 53-63% of an intact example whilst the
cost with two rivets was only c. 26-45.5% (Krahl 1986: I, 52).
It is easy to see how it could become uneconomic (on the
grounds of both the potential reduction in the value of the
object and the cost of the labour and materials) to mend
even an expensive object if it was broken in many places.
Nevertheless, it seems likely that factors such as the age,
rarity and sentimental value of a vessel might affect the
decision made by the owner.
Reading the accounts of Ibn Bassm in the 14th century
and al-Qsim at the end of the 19th century, it is apparent
that the same craft is being discussed from very different
perspectives. The latter description is part of a much larger
work in which the author sought to record the actual
working methods of the craftsmen in Damascus. Thus, it is
the technical and economic aspects of the craft which are
emphasised. In contrast, the earlier description must be seen
in the context of the tradition of market inspection (
As with the discussions of other crafts and commercial
activities in the writings of Ibn Bassm and other religious
scholars, the concern here is to define acceptable and
unacceptable practices in the light of the interpretation of
Shara (canonical law), the Qurn, and
Hadth (the sayings
of the Prophet). Hence, the discussion focuses upon the use
of blood and the organs of animals, an issue which has
obvious religious and ethical implications, rather than the
use of wire and rivets (even though excavated sherds dating
to this period show that this latter method of repair was
employed). The testimony of Ibn Bassm is useful, however,
because it illustrates both the use of organic glues
(something which is unlikely to be recovered in the
archaeological record) and the attitudes which informed
such practices.
While it can be assumed that, in most cases, the active life of
a ceramic vessel ceased at the point that it was unable to
perform the task for which it had been designed (and, in the
case of valuable items, was broken beyond repair), there are
cases where a new function was assigned to potsherds.
Complete vessels might also find secondary uses which are
unrelated to their intended function. This phenomenon of
reuse and reinvention is often related to the movement of
objects across cultural or political boundaries. Again, one
can look to both extant objects and written sources to see
the variety of ways in which the active life of ceramic
artefacts might be extended. This process encompasses a
range of responses from casual and opportunistic reuse
through to more conscious reinterpretation of the functional
or social role performed by the ceramic artefact.
Secondary utilisation of potsherds has been observed by
anthropologists working in different regions (for a summary
of these practices, see Rice 1987, 294, table 9.3). In modern
Afghanistan potters either sell or make use of waster vessels
and sherds:
... Pieces damaged during firing are sold as is if not too
badly deformed, or repaired with a sort of cement. The
potter himself uses broken pieces to close the mouth of
the kiln. In some cases, he crushes sherds to add to the
clay as a temper. In his workshop, damaged pieces or the
bottoms of jars serve as receptacles for slip or other
materials. Waste clay removed during vessel manufacture
is put in the bottom of a broken bowl or base of a jug,
which is then used as a mold. Other fragments are used
as scrapers or polishers. In general, all artisans have
fragments of jars or jugs in their workshops for storing
the water they use in their work. In jewellers workshops,
the base of the small hemispherical earthen furnace for
smelting precious metals is a large fragment of a jug
bottom. During the rainy season, the garden paths are
covered with sherds reduced to the size of gravel.
Gardeners employ jars with broken necks as watering
cans. Fragments of pottery are even used for intimate
purposes... (Demont and Centlivres 1967 cited in Rye
and Evans 1976, 122-23).
Some of these uses can be correlated with practices observed
in other parts of the Islamic world (and in other periods).
One common example is the employment of crushed sherds
(grog) as a temper. The women involved in the production
of hand-made ceramics in northern Jordan in the 1970s and
1980s paid particular attention to the type of potsherd used
for making grog:
In the area south of the Wd e
sn line
potters use grog as temper. The sherds (ghf) are
generally collected from ancient sites. Not any sherds are
considered suitable for this purpose. Most women claim
that the sherds have to be antique, and that the sherds of
recent ceramics - especially of their own production -
cannot be used as temper. Among the ancient sherds
those which are thin and smooth are preferred. The
quality of the sherds is tested by striking the two sherds
against each other. Good sherds have to produce a
ringing sound (yukhashkhush). A potter from Sfna who
also uses sherds of her own ceramic production exposes
them to an artificial weathering process of one winters
rain (Mershen 1985, 79. See also comments in Johns
1998, 78).
The practice of adding grog as a temper is attested from the
petrological analysis of excavated Islamic pottery (for
instance, see Abu-Jaber and al Saad 2000: 182-83, table 1).
The analysis of 9th- or 10th-century steel manufacture in
Merv in Turkmenistan found that the ceramic of previous
crucibles was added to the ceramic discs used to support
new crucibles during the manufacturing process (Allan and
Gilmour 2000, 50-51, fig. 3). In Raqqa recent excavations by
the University of Nottingham revealed the remains of an
oven for fritting glass (2000 season: unpublished). The walls
of the oven were formed of clay mixed with potsherds.
Broken pottery and complete vessels have been utilised as
foundation materials for buildings and military earthworks
(Milwright 1999a, 512, n.75). At the Ottoman workshops in
Iznik potters made use of fragments of painted and glazed
(but previously only biscuit-fired) pot to test the firing
conditions within the kilns. These sherds were pierced and
then mounted on a stand of red clay. The hole pierced in
each sherd would allow the potter to hook them out of the
kiln in order to assess the development of the firing (Atasoy
and Raby 1989, 62 and fig. 44). Sherds were also employed in
the markets as abrasives. Functions listed in the books of
market inspection include the polishing of the copper frying
pans in which almond tart (zulbiyya) was made and, in
combination with potash (ushnn), the cleaning out of water
pots (Ibn al-Ukhuwwa 1938, 112, 239 [Arabic text]). In
Ottoman Istanbul there was a guild of dealers in broken
porcelain and celadon (kenarciyan). These merchants
probably sold rims of bowls, cups and jugs which could be
used in the repair of vessels which were missing small
sections (Krahl 1986: I, 52). Extant examples of repaired pots
in the Topkapi Saray suggest that consumers were not greatly
concerned whether the sherd used to replace the missing
section actually matched the pattern on the remainder of the
A more spontaneous utilisation of a broken vessel is to be
found in a piece excavated from a probably 11th-century
context at Raqqa (Fig. 3). Here someone has reused the
broken base of an unglazed jug to mix a small quantity of
plaster. Excavations of Islamic occupation levels in the
Middle East also report a relatively common type of reuse:
discs which have been shaped after firing from potsherds
(Fig. 4). In some cases these discs have a hole pierced through
the centre. The function or functions performed by these
enigmatic artefacts have not been satisfactorily explained
although popular suggestions include counters, weights,
loom weights, and toys. This form of reuse is also attested in
medieval Europe (Chris Cumberpatch, pers. comm.).
Excavations of early Islamic occupation levels in the
Middle East have recovered examples of ostraca; that is,
unglazed potsherds carrying writing or images which have
been applied after firing (Fig. 5). It is difficult to generalise
Prologues and epilogues in Islamic ceramics: clays, repairs and secondary use
Fig. 4 Unglazed sherds reshaped into discs. Probably 11th century.
Raqqa Ancient Industries Project.
Fig. 3 Base of an unglazed closed vessel used for mixing plaster.
Probably 11th century. Raqqa Ancient Industries Project, 2000 season.
about this group of artefacts as they are only rarely found on
excavations. The texts also vary in both extent and legibility.
It is not always clear whether the text was written before or
after the vessel had broken. In some cases this represents an
opportunistic reuse of an available surface for writing (it
should be remembered that paper, vellum and parchment
would have been both expensive and difficult to obtain in
the early Islamic period). At Qa
sr al-
Hayr East in northern
Syria it was noted that all the examples came from large
storage jars, perhaps indicating that the marks and words
were related to the products contained within them (Grabar
et al. 1978, 193 and pls.96-99). At Raqqa an entire pot
covered in writing was unearthed by German excavators
although no reading of the text is yet available (now
exhibited in Raqqa Archaeological Museum). Another
example of this type of inscribed jug was unearthed in an
early Islamic context at Susa in Iran. The translation of this
text, and that of other ostraca from the same site, revealed
them to be pieces of correspondence (Koechlin 1928, 34-35,
pl.V no.41A). Early Islamic ostraca from Fustat in Egypt
carry simple texts including personal names and pious
benefactions (Denoix 1986).
Post-firing marks or inscriptions might also be added to
complete vessels. The Topkapi Saray collection includes
ownership marks made by drilling or engraving the
underside of the bases of jars and bowls. Inscriptions written
in ink on the bases of some porcelain bowls give some
indication of the ways in which vessels were assigned new
purposes on entry into the collection. One simply reads
chicken kebab (tavuk kebabi), describing the dish which it
was meant to contain. Another is known from archival
documents to have been destined for the collection of spring
rainwater (Nisan suyu) for an annual ceremony in the palace
(Krahl 1986: I, 42, 133-35).
A sherd recently excavated at Raqqa carried the image of
an eye incised into the surface (Fig. 6a and b). Presumably
this device of the evil eye was meant to function as a
talisman. Magical uses of pottery are attested elsewhere in
the Middle East. Verses taken from the Qurn were written
in ink onto the interior surfaces of unglazed pottery bowls
during the medieval period. The bowl was then filled with
water and the mixture of ink and water was believed to
provide protection against disease (Dols 1977, 126-27; Lane
1836: I, 328. And see Ebeid and Young 1974, 408). This
practice is analogous to the so-called Aramaic incantation
bowls, dating to both the centuries before and after the
Islamic conquest, which contain pseudo-epigraphy and
images drawn in ink or bitumen. These designs were
believed to protect the owners against the malign influence
of ancient God of the Underworld Nirgal/Saturn (al-Khamis
1990, 113-14, figs 4-5). A fragmentary text on the magical
uses of letters of the alphabet from the Geniza archive, the
collection of medieval Jewish documents found in Cairo,
contains a further use of potsherds. The text concerning the
use of the letter kf reads:
The power and diagram of the letter kf are as follows: it
[may be used] for turning plants from one state to
another. Whoever wishes [to do] this, let him take the
aforementioned [letter] and engrave it on an old potsherd
and steam it until it is blackened. It will cause all of the
blossoms to fall. ... (trans. in Ebeid and Young 1974, 405).
Other spells should be written on a variety of media
including brick, textile, marble, or a bowl of unspecified
material. A further magical practice is recorded by Ibn
. .
hshiyya. He describes the manufacture of a drum, the
sound of which can kill mice. The drum must be constructed
Fig. 5 Unglazed sherds with writing added after firing. Late 8th or
early 9th century. Raqqa Ancient Industries Project.
Figs 6a and b Photograph and drawing of
an unglazed sherd with engraved eye added
after firing. Late 8th or early 9th century.
Raqqa Ancient Industries Project.
of the skin of a dead tomcat stretched over an earthenware
container. According to his instructions the container is made
from a mixture of clay, crushed pottery from a kiln, and cat
excrement baked on a fire (1966, 38-39).
In addition to their use in magic, potsherds might also
enjoy medical applications. Ibn al-Bay
tr describes the use of
broken ceramic as a skin abrasive in the treatment of
scrofula, ulcers and pustules (1874: II, 57-58). In
ophthalmology, sherds with the glaze removed were
pulverised and added to oil of squash or cotton,
frankincense and licorice root to form an ointment to treat
pterygium (Savage-Smith 1980, 174-75, 189). Porcelain
sherds were ground up for use in the treatment of
nosebleeds and in dental work (Kahle 1956, 343). Recent
reports by archaeologists working in East Africa attest to the
collection from excavation spoil heaps of broken sherds with
a haemetite coating. Such sherds would be ground up as a
dietary supplement for women, especially during pregnancy
(Horton and Clark 1985). The 12th-century manual of
agriculture and animal husbandry by Ibn al-Awwm
includes the use of powdered potsherds in equine medicine
(1864-67: II, Pt.2, 139).
Both sherds and complete vessels might find a second life
as a form of architectural ornament. A Crusader doorway
from the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem is decorated with
mosaic incorporating roundels fashioned from sherds of
glazed pottery (Rosen-Ayalon 1976). In other cases,
complete or near complete bowls were also incorporated
into the decoration of walls, vaults and domes. Perhaps the
best known of these are the bacini which adorn the facades
of medieval churches in Italy (Berti and Tongiorgi 1989),
although the practice is also known in Greece (Carswell
1966, 79-80, figs 1-2). Examples are also attested in the
Islamic world. Chinese and Islamic glazed bowls are found
in the walls of some mosques in East Africa, reflecting the
active trading relations enjoyed by these entrepts in the Red
Sea and Indian Ocean (Chittick 1974: II, 306-308, pls.113a,
118a, 120, 122). Chinese and Persian ceramics dating from
the 16th to the 20th century have been placed in the apex of
the vaults of the Great Mosque at Nushabad in central Iran
(Fig. 7). It is worth noting that glazed bowls might have
been of considerable age before being incorporated in the
architectural setting. For example, a late 14th- or 15th-
century Chinese blue and white bowl was incorporated into
the wall of the Great Mosque at Homs in Syria. The date at
which the bowl was installed is given in the accompanying
inscription as 1809-10 (Carswell 1970, pl.II:c).
The miscellany of textual and archaeological material
presented in the previous sections does not provide a
particularly coherent picture of the attitudes expressed
towards clays, pottery repair, and reuse during the Islamic
period. Given the chronological and geographical scope of
the discussion, it would perhaps be surprising if the result
had been different. The written accounts from the pre-
modern period are drawn from diverse sources ranging from
treasury archives and legal works through to popular
magical texts. The divergent perceptions of ceramics voiced
in such sources are predicated upon two main factors: the
socio-cultural backgrounds of the writer and the intended
audience on the one hand, and the nature of the text itself
on the other. Clearly, a magical tract and a work of market
inspection are going to express different views on pottery or
any other aspect of material culture.
The archaeological investigation of ceramic manufacture
and consumption can provide different perspectives,
although the interpretation of this body of information also
presents difficulties. Pottery recovered from excavations
sometimes exhibits signs of repair or reuse which can be
correlated with written descriptions but such evidence is
relatively scant in the archaeological record. The few
examples given in the previous sections should not be seen
as representative of the wider pottery corpus.
Allowing for these important reservations, it is still
possible to detect some common concerns being voiced in
written accounts from different periods and regions. While it
seems likely that functional considerations would remain
paramount to the potter in his selection and preparation of
a particular clay source, the evidence from the written record
does suggest that other factors might sometimes have been
important. We can only guess at the original reasons behind
the names given to individual clay deposits but, in the case
of the medicinal earths, we have more definite information.
What is important is that there existed a widespread
perception concerning the efficacy of a given earth to
produce a specific result. The cultural processes which
generated these beliefs vary, but important contributory
factors include association of clays with sites of religious
Prologues and epilogues in Islamic ceramics: clays, repairs and secondary use
Fig. 7 15th- or 16th-century blue and white bowl set into a dome in
the north wn of the Great Mosque in Nushabad, Iran. Photograph:
Marcus Milwright.
veneration, or that the knowledge that the particular powers
of the clay could be traced back to the authority of antique
Greek and Roman medical texts. Many clays - such as those
from Lemnos, Nishapur and from the vicinity of the shrines
at Mekka, Kerbala and Mashhad - are, or have been,
fashioned into tablets for various uses while the clay from
Lemnos was also made into fired vessels.
The written sources also provide evidence that, in the
larger towns and cities, the ceramics industry was subdivided
into smaller specialised crafts each dealing with different
aspects ranging from the collection and transport of clay
through to the mending of broken vessels. Each craft was
subject to the rules established by the market inspector
htsib), with his chosen deputies (s. arf) in each craft
making sure that correct practices were observed. The fact
that many cities appear to have contained groups of
craftsmen engaged solely in the repair of broken vessels is a
useful indicator of the value placed upon specific types of
ceramic. Chinese porcelain and celadon was particularly
valued in the pre-modern Islamic world and it seems that
the bulk of the craft of mending vessels was concerned with
the reconstruction of these expensive imported items. The
economics of the craft are significant in this context: the
decision to repair must involve a calculation of the value of
the broken vessel (already significantly less than when intact)
coupled with the cost of repair. The presence of drill-holes
on much cheaper locally-produced glazed and unglazed
sherds excavated in Jordan and Syria would suggest, however,
that repairs themselves could be made relatively cheaply.
The evidence concerning the reuse of complete pots and
sherds is more diverse. Anthropological fieldwork in the
modern Islamic world has revealed the wide variety of
secondary uses which can be found for broken ceramics and
it seems likely that this general picture would be mirrored in
the practices of earlier Muslim societies. Pre-modern textual
sources also describe the use of sherds in both medicine and
commerce. Archaeological investigation of Islamic
occupation levels in the Middle East has provided additional
examples of secondary use of ceramics although it is not
necessarily possible to reconstruct the cultural processes
which informed them. For instance, we are unlikely ever to
know with any certainty why somebody chose to engrave the
image of an eye on a sherd at Raqqa or what reasons there
were for setting decorated glazed bowls into the vaulting of a
mosque at Nushabad. The discussion of the use of ceramics
in magical and popular religious practices is instructive in
this respect because it shows that values may be attributed to
objects for reasons which are often unconnected to their
physical attributes.
The issues raised in this article may be regarded as
somewhat peripheral to the archaeological study of Islamic
pottery. It can be assumed that few clays were invested with
magical or medical significance, most broken pots were not
mended, and only a tiny proportion of the sherds recovered
on excavations will have been utilised for any secondary
function. While these statements are certainly correct, the
textual and archaeological examples cited above do perhaps
have a wider significance beyond merely illustrating the range
of ways in which pottery was employed in the Islamic world.
The practices involved in the production and consumption of
pottery are informed by a complex network of cultural and
economic factors. We can never hope to reconstruct
completely the pattern of conscious thoughts and habitual
actions which resulted in both the form of a physical object
and the precise manner of its deposition, but it is possible to
gain some valuable insights into these processes through the
imaginative exploitation of written sources to supplement the
analysis of excavated artefacts. The correlation of physical and
textual evidence is one of the challenges confronting the
archaeological investigation of all historical periods.
Kuza Nma
59 Listen again. One evening at the Close
Of Ramazn, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potters Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.
60 And, strange to tell among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others could not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried -
Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?
61 Then said another - Surely not in vain
My Substance from the common Earth was taen;
That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
Should stamp me back to common Earth again.
(Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. According to the
translation of Edward Fitzgerald 1859 [1970])
I am grateful to Professor Julian Henderson of the University
of Nottingham for allowing me to publish photographs of
pottery excavated during the Raqqa Ancient Industries
Project, 1996, 1998 and 2000 seasons. I would like to thank
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Rosen-Ayalon, M. 1976, Une Mosaique mdivale au Sainte-
Sepulchre. Contribution lhistoire de lart. Revue Biblique 83:
Rye, O. and Evans C. 1976, Traditional Pottery Techniques of
Pakistan: Field and Laboratory Studies. Smithsonian
Contributions to Anthropology No.21. Washington D.C.
Savage-Smith, E. 1980, Ibn al-Nfss perfected book on
ophthalmology and his treatment of trachoma and its
sequelae. J Hist Arabic Science 4/1: 147-206.
Schnyder, R. 1994, In search of the substance of light. In R.
Hillenbrand (ed.), The Art of Saljuqs in Iran and Anatolia.
Proceedings of a Symposium held in Edinburgh in 1982. Islamic
Art and Architecture, vol.4: 165-69. Costa Mesa Ca.: Mazda
Sillar, B. and Tite M. 2000, The challenge of technological
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Marcus Milwright, Department of History of Art,
Fine Arts Complex, University of Victoria, P.O. Box 1700,
Victoria, B.C., V8W 2Y2, Canada
Cet article recense les donnes concernant les comportements
envers les argiles, la rparation des vases casss et lutilisation
secondaire de la poterie dans le monde islamique. La collecte ainsi
que lanalyse de sources crites et de donnes archologiques
tendent illustrer la diversit des rponses au mobilier cramique
dans tous ses tats, du matriel brut aux tessons casss.
Largumentation souhaite dmontrer, que pour mieux
comprendre le rle social des cramiques dans un contexte
donn, il est ncessaire de lier linformation fournie par
larchologie aux sources crites de premire main.
Dieser Artikel befat sich mit der Einstellung zu Tonerden, zum
Ausbessern zerbrochener Gefe und zum Sekundrgebrauch von
Tpferware in der islamischen Welt. Die Sammlung und Analyse
von schriftlichen Quellen und archologischen Untersuchungen
trachtet danach, die Unterschiedlichkeit der Reaktionen auf
Keramik in seinen verschiedenen Stadien vom Rohmaterial bis
zur zerbrochenen Scherbe zu illustrieren. Es wird argumentiert,
da, um zu einem tieferen Verstndnis der sozialen Rolle der
Keramik in einem bestimmten Kontext zu kommen, es ntig ist,
die Informationen aus archologischer Forschung und aus
schriftlichen Primrquellen der Zeit zu vereinen.
Post-Roman pottery
medieval ceramics
and pottery research
in Greece
Athanasios K. Vionis
In north-western Europe it has long been
realised that potsherds should not be used
exclusively as a dating tool but also as a
means for examining aspects of socio-
economic organisation, trade and exchange,
dining and drinking habits. In contrast
to methodological advances in Europe,
medieval and post-medieval archaeology in
Greece is still in its dawn. Remains of the
post-Roman periods have just begun to be
decently excavated and scientifically
recorded. On the basis of older and recently
published excavations in urban centres
(Athens, Corinth and Thessaloniki) and
surface surveys in the Greek countryside and
other areas in the eastern Mediterranean,
this paper offers an overall review of pottery
forms and styles found in Greece. Case
studies are also used from the late medieval
and post-medieval Aegean islands of the
Cyclades, examining some first results of the
CY.RE.P. (Cyclades Research Project) survey
research. Medieval pottery research in
Greece is discussed in an attempt to examine
socio-economic and cultural aspects of post-
Roman ceramics in Greece in terms of trade
and contacts between East and West,
economic and social formation, cultural
and/or symbolic meanings and
domestic life.
Ceramics of the medieval and post-medieval periods have
started to gain the importance they deserve by archaeologists
and material culture historians alike. Observing the social,
economic or symbolic meaning of ceramics, one can obtain
a wealth of information concerning pre-modern life-styles
and social behaviour. As in traditional Aegean societies
today, it seems that the average medieval and post-medieval
Mediterranean household required two distinct types of
pottery. (A) The porous unglazed wares for holding liquids
such as water and wine (porous so that these liquids shall
keep cool) and (B) glazed wares for food and drinking hot
liquids such as coffee (Casson 1951). The most profitable
area in which to examine changes in social and domestic life
is the household itself, as Gaimster (1994, 286) has rightly
The purpose of this paper is to outline the main ceramic
trends in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean world (Fig.
1) from the 11th to the late 17th centuries (the medieval and
early post-medieval periods). Different pottery shapes,
decorations and traditions will be considered, together with
current views on manufacturing centres and economic
trends in the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires respectively.
Thus, different ceramic traditions will be placed in their
historical context and will be examined as media for
functional, social and symbolic expression.
A number of systematic surface surveys on the Cycladic
island of Keos (Cherry et al. 1991), on the Peloponnesian
peninsula of Methana (Mee and Forbes 1997) and in the
region of Boeotia in central Greece (Bintliff 2000) as well as
excavations in urban centres such as Athens (Frantz 1938,
1942; Charitonidou 1982) and Corinth (Morgan 1942;
Waage 1933, 1934; Sanders 1987, 2000) have shown that the
Greek countryside changed after the end of the Dark Ages
(early Byzantine period) and showed signs of economic
recovery during the middle Byzantine period (9th to late
12th century). Archaeological research in Greece has also
shown that stylistic changes in Greek medieval pottery
became more evident in the late 11th century and continue,
with slight changes, at least until the 17th century. This is
particularly evident within the tradition of glazed wares.
For this reason this paper will concentrate on the main
glazed pottery styles of the 11th to 17th centuries. An
attempt is made to view ceramics as an aspect of material
culture from everyday life, which reflect the socio-economic
changes in the organisation of society associated with
political and structural changes of the period. The late
medieval defended settlement site of Kephalos on the
Aegean island of Paros will be used as a case study in the
discussion-part of this paper. Kephalos was surveyed and
studied by CY.RE.P. (Cyclades Research Project) as part of
the authors research/fieldwork for the completion of his
PhD thesis at Leiden University, the Netherlands (previously
at Durham University, UK) under the supervision of Prof.
Dr. John L. Bintliff (Leiden University). CY.RE.P. is a project
of the author in collaboration with the British School of
Archaeology at Athens and its aims are the study of the built
environment and domestic material culture in the medieval
and post-medieval periods as well as the reconstruction of
everyday life on the Aegean Islands of the Cyclades. A survey
and study permit was granted to the Project through the
British School at Athens by the 2nd Ephorate of Byzantine
and the 21st Ephorate of Classical Antiquities, Ministry of
Culture, Greece.
Following the Arab expansion in the Aegean in the late 7th
century, the Byzantine Aegean lands went through a period
of unrest, continuous warfare and struggle between
Constantinople (the capital of the Byzantine Empire) and
the growing Arab power. After the final expulsion of the
Arabs in 961 from the island of Crete, and during the period
historically and archaeologically known as middle
Byzantine the Byzantine Empire enjoyed a time of revival
with a number of military, economic and political
achievements. Byzantine rule in (present-day) mainland
Greece, Asia Minor (present-day western Turkey) and the
Aegean islands was maintained, while the system of themes
(a governmental mechanism working since the 6th century)
was replaced by a system of larger administrative units
(Hatherington 2001). Byzantine interest in the rural
provinces of Byzantium is testified by the presence of
middle Byzantine ecclesiastical monuments in many
regions of the Empire.
The sack of Constantinople by the Latins of the Fourth
Crusade in 1204 resulted in the replacement of the
Byzantine-Greek Emperor by a Latin on the throne of the
previously Byzantine capital. Mainland and insular Greece
was subsequently divided amongst Western aristocratic
families. Italian naval powers such as Genoa, Pisa and Venice
replaced Byzantine maritime trade in most of the Aegean
world. Genoese and Venetians remained rivals over trade
and possessions in the Aegean, while the growing power of
the Seljuk Turks in Asia Minor was becoming even more
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
Fig. 1 The Aegean region, Mainland Greece and Asia Minor (Turkey) with places mentioned in the text.
Medieval Ceramics 25, 8498, 2001
under the light of Byzantine economic and social reforms
(Sanders 2000, 153-4).
Green and brown painted ware:
Green and brown painted ware (Fig. 2) is a red-bodied ware,
painted over a white slip and under a yellow clear lead-glaze
in matt green and brown (Megaw 1968a). Samples of this
ware from the Athenian Agora have been called Black and
Green Painted Ware because the brown outline (filled with
green) can also be dark brown or black (Waage 1933). On
finer examples the outline is carefully drawn but the
technique readily degenerates and the designs become
splashes of green bearing very little relation to a wandering
and uncertain black line (Frantz 1938). The decoration most
often consists of concentric circles and lozenges, spiral and
floral motifs, and wavy bands. The shape is usually a fairly
deep bowl with a tall straight flat-topped rim. The footring
base is low and medium.
Green and brown painted ware made its appearance late
in the 11th century. Wasters of this ware have been found at
Corinth, where the source of its inspiration is suggested by
the presence of fragments of an analogous Persian fabric.
The Corinthian potters perhaps also sought to reproduce
the effect of the Islamic lustre wares (Megaw 1968a). It is
almost contemporary with the slip painted ware and the
early sgraffito ware, as fragments from Sparta and Corinth
indicate. From the time that sgraffito technique establishes
itself, towards the end of the 11th century, its greater
decorative possibilities led to the gradual displacement of
painted wares, although these continued to co-exist for
some time. Frantz (1938) has argued that by the end of the
12th century it is not uncommon to find deposits with no
brown and green painted ware at all. Excavations at Corinth,
where this group has been found in association with coins,
suggest that brown and green painted ware and various
subdivisions of it into different styles has been found in late
11th, 12th and early 13th century contexts (Sanders 2000).
Armstrong (1989) dates this group mostly to the 12th
century, with a lesser quantity to the 13th. Intensive surface
surveys have identified this ware in rural sites in Keos
(Cherry et al. 1991) and Phokis (Armstrong 1989) where it
has been given a date between the late 11th and early 13th
Fine sgraffito ware:
Fine sgraffito or early sgraffito ware (Fig. 3) was preferred by
Byzantine potters who applied a plain glaze of yellowish tint
and the technique of incising through the white slip to
expose the dark body of the clay (Megaw 1968a). Birds,
imaginary animals, geometric patterns and human figures
were the most common decorative motifs of this ware while
shapes include rather wide bowls or shallow dishes of fine
Worth introducing at this stage is the fashion of raised
open forms on the table with an interesting parallel to
medieval Europe and communal eating habits. Although,
there has been no study of Greek medieval ceramics related
to cooking traditions and table/dining habits, medieval
material from north-western Europe may provide a suitable
and stimulating suggestion. Studies on the history of food
and cooking in medieval Britain have been related to
archaeological finds and contemporary depictions of
domestic life and have concluded that large, deep bowls for
fish and meat were used communally by all diners sitting
around the table; each diner used a knife and probably a
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
threatening, culminating in the eventual capture of
Constantinople by their descendants, the Ottoman Turks.
Constantinople continued to function as the capital city
of a new State, the Ottoman Empire, after it fell into the
hands of the Ottomans in 1453. Istanbul, which for more
than ten centuries was the point of reference for the Eastern
Christian world, continued to function as the centre of the
Orthodox Church. Within a few years the rest of the old
Byzantine lands, mainland Greece, Asia Minor and the
islands was gradually incorporated into the Ottoman Empire
and remained there until the Greek War of Independence
and the establishment of the new Greek State in 1830.
A chronological pottery sequence follows for those
readers who have little or no specific contact with Greek
medieval ceramics. The periods used are: Middle Byzantine
Period (9th to late 12th century), Late Byzantine or Frankish
Period ( early 13th to mid 15th century), Late Frankish to
early Ottoman (14th to 16th century) and Ottoman (16th
to 18th century).
The first publication on Byzantine ceramics was made as
early as 1910-11. Dawkins and Droop of the British School
at Athens published the Byzantine finds from excavations at
Sparta (1910-11). The pottery was found in numerous trial
pits made on and around the Acropolis of Sparta and was
classified into two distinct ware-groups: sgraffiato ware and
painted ware. Talbot-Rices Byzantine Glazed Pottery (1930)
was a first and serious attempt to classify and study
Byzantine ceramics. He divided pottery into two main
categories/groups of different types (faience and
earthenware) laying the foundations for the study, analysis
and dating of Byzantine pots. There followed the reports of
Johns on the Medieval slip-ware from Pilgrims Castle Atlit
(1934), especially on the blue-brown (enriched with yellow
and red) painted glazed pottery and the publication of
Waage on the Byzantine material recovered during the
excavations of the American School of Archaeology at the
ancient Agora of Athens (1933). Subsequently, the work of
Frantz on the Middle Byzantine Pottery in Athens (1938) was
a further study of Byzantine ceramics, which provided a few
observations concerning pottery production. However, it
seems that at that stage it was too early to infer which were
the main centres of pottery production in the Byzantine
What seems to have been the groundwork of all
subsequent studies for a long time, however, was the review
by Morgan in Corinth XI: The Byzantine Pottery (1942).
Morgan published the glazed pottery from the excavations at
Corinth and classified it into different decorative styles;
glazed, engraved, painted, sgraffito and untreated. He
analysed and discussed problems of medieval pottery dating
and classification, but he confined himself in a four or five-
century time-span on the basis that his finds dated between
the 9th and 14th centuries.
A further advance was made in 1947 with Stevensons
publication of the glazed pottery from the excavations in
The Great Palace of the Byzantine Emperors at
Constantinople. This publication presented the results of
four seasons (1935-8) of excavation in Istanbul carried out
on behalf of the Walker Trust. Stevenson divided the
ceramics from the south-west corner of the upper terrace of
the Great Palace into pre-Byzantine and Byzantine glazed
pottery. Seven thousand potsherds were divided into five
chronological categories or stages, beginning with the 7th
and ending with the 12th century. Stevensons publication
was later used as the basis for the classic modern work of
Hayes on Sarahane (1992) (see below).
Megaw (1968a) made a first attempt at an overview of
Byzantine glazed pottery in Charlestons edited volume,
World Ceramics. Megaw explores the main glazed pottery
types throughout the period of Byzantine history (white-
ware, polychrome ware, slip painted, fine sgraffiato, gouged
and coloured sgraffiato wares), discussing parallel techniques
and possible influences from the Islamic Near East and
proposing a Byzantine intermediary role for the revival of
glazed pottery in Anglo Saxon Britain.
So far, the study of medieval and post-medieval pottery
had been limited to the finely decorated rather than more
numerous coarse cooking wares. The noteworthy exceptions
to this rule were more recent; Bakirtzis published research
on medieval coarse-wares (1989) and Hayes publication of
pottery from the Excavations at Sarahane, Istanbul (1992).
Influenced by the rapid development in methods by New
Archaeology, Bakirtzis laid the foundations for the study in
Greece of undecorated utensils and containers used by the
Byzantines, such as fireproof cooking pots, transport vessels
and storage containers of the 9th to the 15th centuries
(1989, 128). The chronological period of the assemblages
from Istanbul studied by Hayes (1992) extends from the 5th
century AD to the end of the Ottoman period, with the
exception of the years 17001850 (which are weakly
represented) and the late Byzantine or Frankish period
12251450), which is not represented at all (Francois 1994).
Recent excavations at Corinth seem to have provided
answers to most problems of pottery chronology and
classification due to the unparalleled collection of stratified
ceramics in association with coins. The main challenge of
the excavations at Corinth has been the establishment of an
accurate chronology for most pottery styles found, not only
in Corinth itself, but also in other parts of present-day
Greece. The pottery assemblage presents a more or less
unbroken continuity until the early 14th century (after the
Catalan intervention and the subsequent demise of the city).
Moreover, the Corinthian ceramic material provides suitable
evidence for the dramatic change in the appearance of
medieval ceramics towards the end of the 11th century,
Fig. 2 Rim and body fragments, brown and green painted ware (site
TS5, Tanagra Project).
Fig 3. Base fragment, fine sgraffito ware enriched with brown and green
painted designs (site TS5, Tanagra Project).
Zeuxippus ware:
Zeuxippus ware (Fig. 5) is a lead-glazed sgraffito-decorated
ware and is distinguished from all other medieval pottery
styles by its better quality of firing and the glaze. It is the
most finely made and the hardest fired of its contemporary
wares. The most common shapes of Zeuxippus ware, quite
different from earlier sgraffito wares, include small deeper
hemispherical bowls and basins with steep walls. Sgraffito
designs include concentric circles at the base, S shapes and
mushroom-like patterns as well as some figurative subjects.
The greenish or yellowish thick glaze covers the white slip on
the inside, while the exterior is only partly covered with slip,
applied in a simple pattern usually of vertical tongues or
It was initially believed to have originated in
Constantinople (named after the place where it was first
excavated - the Zeuxippus Baths in Constantinople). More
recent excavations, however, in other parts of the Eastern
Mediterranean have proved that it was also manufactured
elsewhere, e.g. in Cyprus, Jerusalem, Corinth, and even
Northern Italy. Pringle (1985) and Boas (1994) support the
idea that Zeuxippus ware was developed in the Aegean area,
but also manufactured elsewhere. Megaw (1968b; 1989)
dates it in the last decades of the 12th and the first years of
the 13th century. Boas (ibid.,) believes that the absence of
this class amongst the published finds from the Pilgrims
Castle at Atlit, where building commenced in 1217, indicates
that the ware was no longer being manufactured by that
time. Also worth noting is the use of tripod stands (to
separate vessels while firing) in the manufacture of
Zeuxippus Ware. These stands are considered to have arrived
in the Mediterranean from the Far East by the beginning of
the 13th century. Megaw (1989) views the distribution of
Zeuxippus ware in various parts of the Byzantine world
(from the Black Sea to Caesarea and the Levantine coast) as
the result of enterprises of the Italian mercantile Republics.
Excavations of the American School of Archaeology at
Athens in Corinth has revealed Zeuxippus ware in contexts
dated in the first half of the 13th century (Sanders 2000).
Aegean ware:
This coarse monochrome type of pottery (Fig. 5) includes
shapes of bowls and plates with vertical thickened and
turned up rims on straight or slightly curved walls and
everted or rounded footring bases. Incised decorative
patterns (hares, wavy lines and pictorial motifs) appear
under a pale yellow/brown-green glaze with random green,
brown and yellow splashes of paint. Aegean ware is rather
thickly potted and seems to follow the tradition of the mid
12thcentury Byzantine sgraffito ware. A characteristic
feature of this ware is that the inturned rim thickens before
coming to a point. Megaw (1968b; 1989) dates this ware in
the early 13th century on the basis of its existence in the
destruction fills from the 1222 earthquake at Paphos,
Cyprus. Evidence from Corinth suggests a similar date,
c.12001260 (Sanders 2000, 159-61).
The results of Boas Neutron Activation Analysis (1994)
show with his that Aegean ware was produced in Cyprus at
the end of the 12th century (after the Latin conquest of the
island) and was exported to the Aegean areas (where it is not
as abundant as elsewhere) and to Syro-Palestine. Armstrong
(1991) notes that the variety in the type of site where Aegean
ware has been found is interesting, as it is not limited to
urban centres but it is also in rural sites. It travelled long
distances and shipwrecks at Kastellorizo and Skopelos in the
Aegean provide direct evidence for the transportation in
bulk of Aegean wares.
Brown and green sgraffito:
Brown and green sgraffito, also known as Late Sgraffito Ware
(Fig. 6), seems to have been the most common of all wares
throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East
since the late 13th century, in the Frankish period and
continuing up to the 17th century. The finer incised
technique declined, while the lines of decoration became
heavier and careless. The characteristic of this type of
pottery is the additional splashes of brown and green
decoration under a yellow or colourless glaze (over a white
slip). A change of shape is evidenced in the turned-out rims
of plates and the turned-up rims of bowls with footring
bases (Pringle 1985).
The brown and green sgraffito examples found in
Caesarea are imports from Cyprus, representing products of
the 1222s onwards. Here the characteristic forms are flanged
bowls or carinated bowls with concave rim and a high
footring base. Fragments of bowls found during the
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
spoon, together with hard bread, instead of individual plates
(Black 1985). Similar conclusions have been drawn (Bintliff
pers. comm.) for the typical strong survival of glazed
footring base fragments discovered during the course of
fieldwalking surface collection at medieval sites in Boeotia
(central Greece); communal bowls of open forms on the
table possibly stressed the need for interior and highly
visible ornament.
It seems that fine sgraffito ware appeared in the early or
mid 11th century. The style was already widely distributed
over the whole Near East and this suggests that examples in
the Byzantine world must have been inspired from the
Islamic area, more specifically from Persia. This could be
testified to by the use of Kufic or Pseudo-Kufic script to form
a decorative border around the rim of the dish or bowl in
the Aegean (Talbot-Rice 1968). Early excavations in the
Athenian Agora (Frantz 1938) have provided no evidence for
the existence of sgraffito in Athens before 10501075, but
the incised technique followed not long after and this new
method was established by the middle of the 12th century,
both for principal and for accessory design.
Fine sgraffito ware was indeed widely distributed in the
Eastern Mediterranean world. Examples of mid
12thcentury Byzantine sgraffito were imported into the
Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. Morgan (1942) dates it to the
mid 12th century. He notes that the developed style never
occurs in closed deposits later than the reign of Manuel I
(1143-80) and seems not to have survived the end of the
12th century and the Latin conquest that immediately
succeeded it (Boas 1994). The fact that fine sgraffito ware is
an easily recognisable diagnostic type of pottery enables
archaeologists to date contexts confidently where it is
present in the ceramic assemblage.
In 1994 Boas published the results of Neutron Activation
Analysis (NAA) on four pottery groups including mid
12thcentury Byzantine sgraffito and early 13thcentury
Aegean ware. These results demonstrated that in the mid
12thcentury Cyprus exported its ware to various parts of
the Byzantine world, such as Constantinople, Athens,
Corinth, Thessaloniki and elsewhere. This does not exclude,
however, the possibility that fine sgraffito could also have
been produced locally in other parts of the Byzantine
Empire and does not answer either the question of where
the initiator manufacturing centre of this ware was located.
Frantz (1938) notes that there is no evidence for the
existence of potters workshops in the Athenian Agora
before the Ottoman conquest. The similarity, according to
Frantz (ibid.,), between the pottery of Athens and that of
Corinth and Sparta indicates a common source for much of
it and excavations in all these cities have produced material
similar to that found in Constantinople. Thus, it would be
logical to suppose that wares found in 12thcentury
contexts in Greek urban areas were exported from a centre
outside Greece to various places. Excavations and
fieldwaking surface surveys have identified fine sgraffito in
various regions in Greece; in rural sites in Keos (Cherry et
al. 1991), eastern Phokis (Armstrong 1989), Pelagos island
in the Sporadhes (Kritzas 1971) and urban sites such as
Athens, Corinth, Sparta and Ephesos (Talbot-Rice 1968;
Parman 1989).
Slip-painted ware:
There are two main types of slip-painted decoration. The
most common is made by painting the designs in white slip
against the natural clay and then covering them with a
colourless, light yellow or greenish glaze. Morgan (1942)
argues that in order to darken the ground colour, the inner
surface of the pot was sometimes covered with a dark red-
brown slip before the white was applied. Shapes include
medium-sized deep and shallow bowls with footring bases,
and vertical and in-turned rims offset from straight walls,
thus, different in body shape to the vessel forms of the green
and brown painted and fine sgraffito wares. This probably
explains the coexistence of all three types of pottery in late
11th, 12th and early 13thcentury contexts, and in both
rural and urban middle Byzantine sites from the Greek
Mainland and the Aegean islands to Frankish coastal sites in
Cyprus, Palestine and Syria (Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou
1981/2; Pringle 1985; Papanikola-Bakirtzis 1989; Armstrong
1989; Cherry et al. 1991; Tonghini 1995).
Slip-painted ware (Fig. 4) is not commonly found in
groups of middle and late Byzantine ceramics and has a
long life span, making its dating even more difficult. The
technique has been in use since the late 11th century
(Morgan 1942) and is still practised today, for example in
folk pottery of the Sporadhes (Skyros) and the Cyclades
(Siphnos) in the Aegean (Korre-Zographou 1995).
Armstrong (1989) notes that if a distinction is to be made
between early and later examples of slip-painted wares, it
would be on the type of glaze rather than the colour: the
Byzantine green glaze is thin and matt, the later one thick
and glossy.
Fig. 4 Base fragment, slip painted ware (site TS5, Tanagra Project).
Fig. 5 Base and body fragments, Zeuxippus and Aegean wares with
champlev (gouged) and incised sgraffito designs (site TS5, Tanagra
manufactured from the late 12th century onwards in Apulia
and were imported into southern Greece even before the
Frankish conquest in the first decade of the 13th century.
The most common type of proto-maiolica, Grid Iron Proto-
Maiolica, is found not only in mainland Greece, but also in
a number of sites in the eastern Mediterranean, such as
Atlit, Khirbat-ad-Dair and at Caesaria. All examples of Grid
Iron Proto-maiolica, both earlier and later types, date
within the 13th century, while the RMR type, of which large
quantities were excavated at Corinth, began to be imported
only in the last decades of the century. RMR is a
polychrome lead-glazed ware from Southern Italy and the
initials R.M.R. stand for the colours of its decoration (in
Italian); Ramina for green, Manganese for brown, Rosso for
Archaic maiolica:
Archaic maiolica was produced in North Italy from the 13th
century. The Tuscan workshops produced almost
exclusively closed forms and trade was limited to closed
jugs, which accompanied the Savona archaic graffita
functional types (such as basins and bowls), already
flourishing in the 12th and 13th centuries. Benente (1993)
suggested that this style of the Savona archaic graffita
reflects imports from the Islamic and Byzantine world to
Italy. Craftsmen, probably brought in from the Eastern
Mediterranean, were responsible for the development of
the archaic graffita ware in Italy. The production of archaic
maiolica in Liguria and Savona, however, took off during
the second half of the 14th century. It must have continued
in use until the mid 16th century and probably continued
after that on a reduced scale (Fig. 8). Milanese (1993) adds
that early Iznik ware influenced the 16thcentury styles of
the Savona archaic maiolica. These Ligurian Iznik-inspired-
maiolica are called Berettino and the original Golden
Horn ware imports have also been found in the area of
Genoa. The jugs mentioned above were exported together
with dishes and bowls and have been noted in Corsica,
Sardinia (decorated in blue, yellow and green) and
elsewhere in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean
during the 16th century. Stratigraphic evidence from
Genoa and Rome (Milanese 1993) suggests that blue-and-
white Ligurian tin-glazed production started in the 16th
and continued into the 17th century.
Whitehouse (1993) argues that the whole ceramic
industry began in the 14th century, while competition and
demand for more costly and beautiful ceramic objects were
the driving forces for the Italian potters to produce greater
quantities of maiolica. This trend for more costly and
elaborately decorated tableware for functional and display
purposes did not leave the areas which imported such
objects uninfluenced. Local workshops in Greece (Athens,
Arta, and Crete) and the Balkans (especially Slovenia) were
producing local variants of painted and sgraffito maiolica of
the Italian manufacturing centres.
Local maiolica:
Italian blue-and-white maiolica imports influenced local
Greek workshops of the Ottoman period. Frantz (1942)
named the local Athenian imitations of Italian maiolica
blue-and-white and dated them in the late 16th and early
17th centuries (for an example of local maiolica pottery see
Korre-Zographou, K. 1995, fig. 84, 47). This ware is
described as the most attractive of later wares and is
decorated by painting the designs in blue outline
(occasionally with some surfaces filled in, in red, yellow-
brown or green) over a white slip. The commonest
decorative motifs of the Athenian Agora collection are birds,
rosettes and cross-hatchings. A floral border of varying
degrees of decadence usually surrounds them. The most
characteristic Attic shapes are (a) small bowls with low
footring and plain rim, (b) medium to large plates with
heavy footring, flat floor, curving sides and rim either plain
or thickened and flattened on top and (c) the trefoil-mouth
jugs with flat bottom, ribbon handle and short neck. The
trefoil-mouth jug is the most common Italian jug and seems
to have developed from a lengthy oval shape in Proto-
maiolica and Archaic Maiolica into a more globular type in
the 15th and 16th centuries. Another characteristic feature of
the ware is the strap or oval to spherical section strap
handle, which very often ends on the belly in a tail, a feature
that appeared in the middle of the 14th century (Hahn
1991). The features of a group of 15th/16thcentury jugs
from Western Crete have convinced Hahn (1991) that these
were local Cretan products of the Khania workshops, very
much influenced by the tin-glazed Italian imports of the
period. One of the jugs, however, with an apple painted
decoration, seems to be an import from Faenza. The Greek-
Swedish excavations at Khania, Crete, have produced an
assemblage of 15th to 16thcentury Italian maiolica, richly
represented among the finer tableware, but also a local
production of sgraffito ware with great resemblance to
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
excavation of a medieval house-kitchen in Cyprus, together
with a coin of the Lusignan dynasty (of the period 1328-
1358 in Cyprus), help us date them in the 14th century
(Papanikola-Bakirtzis 1988; Herrin 1973). This type of
pottery, produced in Cyprus in the 13th century (Cypriote
Sgraffito), was exported to other parts of the Eastern
Mediterranean, such as Jerusalem, where it constitutes about
90% of the imported wares.
It is very hard indeed to identify the centre where brown
and green sgraffito originated. As mentioned earlier, it
appears almost everywhere in the Aegean, the Middle East,
the Balkans and Italy. Apart from Cyprus local workshops
have been identified in Thessalonike (Vavylopoulou-
Charitonidou 1989) and Serres in Northern Greece
(Papanikola-Barirtzis et al. 1992), and one cannot exclude
the possibility of other local workshops in other parts of the
country. Whether it was Levantine potters who introduced
brown and green sgraffito into Frankish Greece we do not
know, although such a hypothesis seems the most probable.
This polychrome glazed ware was also produced in Northern
Italy, possibly from as early as the 13th century, whilst its
apogee in Italy is in the 15th and 16th centuries (Vroom
1998). It seems that 13th-century Cypriote Sgraffito (and
green and brown sgraffito subsequently) was influenced by
Byzantine sgraffito and Port Saint Symeon ware. On the
evidence of kiln wasters this last-named polychrome lead
glazed ware is suggested to have been manufactured at al-
Mina, the Crusader port Saint Symeon, near Antioch. It
dates from the last decade of the 12th, or the early 14th
century, until the end of Frankish rule in the area (1268)
with the Mamluk conquest of the site. There is no evidence
for the manufacture of this class elsewhere, and, although
perhaps not manufactured by Frankish potters, occasional
examples of Christian motifs leave no doubt that this class of
ware was intended for the Frankish market, widely traded
throughout the Crusader states.
The wide diversity and variety of green and brown
sgraffito decorative themes on pottery made for everyday use
within the late Byzantine household is a new and innovative
popular art, in contrast to its contemporary and
conservative religious decorative art of icon-painting. Its
popularity, development and distribution was so great, that
green and brown sgraffito of workshops in Serres
(Papanikola-Bakirtzis et al. 1992) and possibly Thessaloniki
(Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou 1989), have been found in
many parts of Macedonia (Northern Greece) and elsewhere.
Proto-maiolica (Fig. 7) is a polychrome tin-glazed pottery
produced in southern Italy and Sicily from the end of the
12th century until the beginning of the 15th. It is very
commonly found in 13th century Frankish settlements in the
Levant and in many sites in Greece. Proto-maiolica is a
distinctive type of ceramic since it is the earliest example of
pottery from the central Mediterranean. It is decorated with
a tin-glaze with over-glaze painting (Boas 1994). Tin-glaze
makes an ideal white base for display of painted decoration
(generally in manganese-brown and copper-green, or brown
and cobalt-blue), which then requires a clear glaze to seal
and protect the decoration. This ware consists of hemi-
spherical or flanged-shaped bowls with a low footring base
and either a ledge- or a flanged rim. The decoration is in
blue, black, green and yellow over a white ground.
Sanders (1989) notes that certain proto-maiolica was
Fig. 7 Rim fragment, proto-maiolica ware (site of Kephalos, Paros
Island, CY.RE.P.).
Fig. 8 Neck and body fragment, Italian (from Faenza?) maiolica ware
(site of Kephalos, Paros Island, CY.RE.P.).
Fig. 6 Base fragment, brown and green sgraffito ware (site of Kephalos,
Paros Island, CY.RE.P.).
Medieval Pottery Styles, their Origin and
In the catalogue of pottery above, I have described the most
common ceramic styles of the middle Byzantine, Frankish,
and Ottoman periods in Greece, the Aegean and the Eastern
Mediterranean. I have not included other glazed wares (e.g.
polychrome ware, measles ware, glaze painted ware, znik or
Ktahya imports from Anatolia, and other foreign fine-ware
Some shapes of Byzantine pottery have been associated
with certain decorative types and certain periods, as Frantz
(1938) has noted. The widely flaring bowls, for example,
with sharply defined rims and usually flat around the top,
are found almost exclusively in green and brown painted
ware. Plates with an almost vertical rim, flaring sides and low
footring are found in almost all periods and amongst all
wares but they are found more commonly in the earlier
periods. Towards the end of the reign of the Emperor
Manuel I (1143-1180 AD) the sides begin to curve in and
during the 13th century one of the most common shapes is
a bowl with slightly in-curving sides and a widely flaring
foot, frequently decorated with hares and other animals. In
addition, the footring of the 13thcentury Cypriote Sgraffito
Ware becomes higher and the bowls become steep-walled
and deeper. Whether this was an indigenous development or
a trend introduced by the Latin conquerors is not entirely
Introduced by Levantine potters or through other
channels, sgraffito wares were also produced in Italy, mainly
in the north, from as early as the 13th century while
production reached its apogee in the 15th and 16th centuries
(Vroom 1998, 526). Through commerce, especially with the
Venetian-dominated areas in the Mediterranean, sgraffito
seems to have influenced local pottery productions. The
shapes of the open wares of local Greek workshops did not
change dramatically. The introduction of the trefoil-
mouthed jug (known in many parts of the Mediterranean)
remained very much in fashion, reaching the tradition of
early 19th-century Greek folk pottery. Researches in Italy
(Pisa, Genoa, Venice, Pavia), however, which have addressed
questions regarding the origin of ceramics present in the
country between the 10th and 13th centuries, have shown an
uninterrupted flow of supply (especially in Pisa from the
second half of the 10th century) from Western Islamic
countries (Berti and Gelichi 1992). Thus, it seems that
influence came firstly to Italy in the second half of the 10th
century, when local Italian wares developed glazed styles
from imports out of Maghreb, Arab Spain and Sicily.
Tin must have been too expensive for tin-glazed wares to
be common utensils amongst the average medieval or post-
medieval household furnishings. Tin-glaze, discovered by the
Assyrians, flourished again during the Arab expansion in the
9th century. Based on the prohibition of the Koran, the
everyday use of vessels made of precious metals, such as tin,
may have been forbidden. The introduction of lustre wares
probably provided a solution and explained the expansion of
Arab/Iberian lustre-wares (Zbona-Trkman 1991).
Hugo Blakes important study (1980, 3-12) has shown
that the socio-economic status of a settlement can be
predicted from the surface collection of potsherds. Tin-
glazed wares became more common in Italian rural sites
between 1350 and 1500 and subsequently, rural population
was better off since they could acquire more expensive and
luxury wares. Tin could be found only in a few places (or
not at all) in the Mediterranean world (Blake 1980, 6), and
since metal-wares were even more expensive for the
peasantry to buy, shiny and good-quality tin-glazed pots
were acquired in a desire to behave and live like the more
wealthy social classes. One cannot avoid noticing that the
fashion for acquiring more luxurious and good-quality tin-
glazed wares coincides chronologically with (or is the result
of) the spread of capitalism and the rise of the individual in
Europe (Bintliff pers. comm.; Johnson 1996).
A significant contribution to the identification of pottery
production centres is Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA),
the results of which are discussed by Boas (1994). Boas
concludes that mid 12thcentury Byzantine Sgraffito, early
13thcentury Aegean Ware, Zeuxippus Ware and
13thcentury Cypriote Sgraffito and Slip-Painted Ware were
of Cypriote origin, thus, Cyprus had a virtual monopoly in
the export of western ceramics. The only other fine-wares
found in any quantity in the Crusader states were Port Saint
Symeon Ware, manufactured within Crusader territory, and
Proto-Maiolica, which may have been imported specifically
for the use of the Italian merchant communities. This can
indeed explain it all, since Cyprus was one of the first
territories to have come under western rule. Italian naval
powers such as Genoa and Pisa had already acquired trading
privileges from the Byzantine Empire and were established at
the Golden Horn with treaties dated in 1169 and 1170
(Megaw 1968b). Thus, Italian maritime market and trade
was further established and goods flowed from Spain and
Venice, to Constantinople, Cyprus and the Levantine coast.
Nearly all of the studies dealing with Byzantine glazed
pottery, its origin, development and distribution note that
glazed pottery types developed much earlier in Islamic lands.
Lane (1947) has argued that in the 9th century glazes fluxed
with lead were more favoured in Mesopotamia to the
alkaline glazes still being used in Syria and Egypt. The
development of Islamic pottery in many of the Islamic lands
of the Near East influenced to a great extent Byzantine
potters, mainly in terms of its decoration techniques and
inspirations (Megaw 1968a). Already in the 1950s and 1960s,
researchers tried to link the revival of glazed pottery in
North-Western Europe and Britain to contacts with and
influences from Italy, Byzantium and the Near East (Megaw
1968a; Stevenson 1954). Originally, the imports of Chinese
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
contemporary Italian wares of this kind (Hahn 1989).
Ceramics of a similar type to those of the local Athenian
and Cretan workshops have been published by
Vavylopoulou-Chatitonidou (1981/2). These finds have been
identified as products of local workshops in Arta and have
been dated in the 16th to18th centuries. The decoration
technique used on the painted vessels is the same as
examples from Athens, and Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou
refers to them as pseudo-maiolica because of their
similarities with the Italian maiolica products. The most
characteristic shapes are the shallow plates and the trefoil-
mouth jugs, although the group from Arta includes jugs
with a taller neck and higher base than those from Athens
and Crete. Perhaps this characteristic feature of maiolica
from Arta helps us distinguish them from the relatively
earlier jugs of the Athenian workshops. More ceramic finds,
similar to those from Arta, have been identified in the Castle
of Rogoi, Epirus (western Greece) and represent products of
a different workshop (Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou 1986/7).
The tradition of tin-glazed painted ceramics is not
confined to Greek areas only. The excavations at four castles
in north-west Slovenia have revealed a number of high-
quality finds including painted wares of the blue-and-white
tradition, which flourished during the second half of the
16th, 17th and early 18th century. The most common form
is still the jug with round body, simple base, trefoil mouth
and flat strap handle ending on the body with a tail. It is
also polychrome painted in yellow (iron), green (copper),
lilac-brown (manganese), blue (cobalt), while the decoration
can be geometric or floral-vegetal. The catalogue published
by Zbona-Trkman (1991) is indeed very enlightening, for it
includes very good photos and drawings of the assemblages,
which are very similar to examples from other regions, as
noted above. The earliest examples from Slovenia date to the
15th century while the later continue into the 17th century,
more or less contemporary with the Greek production
centres of Athens and Arta. A later type of decoration in
Veneto and Friuli is dated in the second half of the 16th and
early 17th century. The style of decoration uses coloured
spots and marbling, made by a sponge dipped in colour and
dripped onto fresh slip. The result has almost the same
visual effect as the examples of marbled ware from Greece.
A quite distinguished find from Slovenia is a cup decorated
with both spots and sgraffito.
Late sgraffito ware:
It is the most common of all Ottoman wares produced
locally in Greece (Athens, Arta, Epirus, and Crete) and the
Balkans (Slovenia). Waage (1933), Frantz (1942), Hahn
(1989, 1991), Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou (1986/7) and
Zbona-Trkman (1991) describe the ware in detail and date it
in the 15th to 18th centuries, with only slight differences in
shape and decoration (Fig. 9). The fabric is thinner and finer
(open shapes), while the glaze is hard and glassy, with added
brown or green or both. The deep, almost straight-sided
bowl with plain rim is usually decorated with several grooves
in and out. The decorative motifs vary from simple squiggles
and wavy lines to stylised flowers and animals. The trefoil-
mouth jug is still very much in use. The example of the
group of 15th and 16th-century jugs from western Crete
(Hahn 1991) is a very good example of early Ottoman
tableware and a new pottery form, not very common in the
Byzantine period. The distinctive feature of the Khania jugs
is the neck-ring, also characteristic of the Italian jugs that
continue to be in use into the 17th century. The shape of the
Khania jugs suggests a metal prototype, perhaps from
Islamic areas. The examples from Arta (shapes and sgraffito
decoration) also suggest a metal (in copper or silver)
prototype. Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou (1981/2) notes the
similarity of decoration in both ceramics and metal-ware
from Arta, since both techniques applied the same incised
technique of decoration. The metal industry of Epirus is one
of the most flourishing of the Greek world during the 17th
and 18th centuries.
The earliest examples of sgraffito ware from the
Slovenian assemblage date from the 15th century while the
latest are from the 17th century. Vessel forms include plates,
cups, and bowls that have typical Venetian features, such as
the concave footring base. The decorative motifs are
geometric, floral, zoomorphic, anthropomorphic, crosses,
heraldic and mythological symbols. The most interesting of
all decorative motifs, are the male/female figures in profile,
with typical Renaissance clothes, which occur in many places
and are dated in the second half of the 15th and 16th
centuries. This tradition probably derived from the habit
that engaged couples gave each other a pot decorated with
symbols of love or human images. The same tradition
existed in 14th and 15thcentury pottery from Cyprus, with
scenes of twin-couples and other symbols of fertility.
Fig. 9 Body fragment, late sgraffito ware with brown and green splashes
(site of Kephalos, Paros Island, CY.RE.P.).
It would be obvious that metal (silver and copper)
utensils were commonly used in the Byzantine palace and
that (probably in the beginning) glazed wares were confined
to palace consumption (such as the early Constantinopolitan
wares of the 8th to 10th centuries). It seems, however, that
the sumptuous use of gold and silver plates at the Byzantine
palace was now substituted by earthenware and ceramics. The
Byzantine historiographer Nicephoros Gregoras (1290-1360)
testifies to the drastic change in appearance of the imperial
table after the fall of the Latin Empire (centred in
Constantinople) in the second half of the 13th century (from
his work Byzantinae historiae libri XV, 11, CSHB III, 1830,
788 in Piltz 1996, 6). Moreover, examples from the 13th
century onwards show mass production of better-quality
glazed wares (probably as a substitute for metal vessels),
which in their turn could indicate the wider distribution of
this new class of pottery to all classes of the social hierarchy.
A case study from the late medieval site of
Kephalos, Cyclades:
CY.RE.P. has undertaken a topographical and surface survey
on deserted late Medieval and post-medieval settlement sites
in the Cyclades. One of these sites is the deserted, defended
settlement-site of Kephalos on the eastern promontory of
the island of Paros. This site has the typical layout of other
castra settlements of the period in the Cyclades; there is an
inner and outer defensive wall following the contours of the
hill, while the two-storey houses are built on a line, one next
to the other against the defensive walls. The top of the hill,
where possibly the Latin Cathedral and the Lords residence
once stood, is now occupied by the late 16th-century
Monastery of Saint Anthony, built after the legendary
destruction of the site by the Muslim corsair Khayr-ad-Din
Barbarossa in 1537. Surface pottery from within the sites
defensive walls suggests an earlier date of habitation within
the inner wall around the end of the 13th and the beginning
of the 14th century. Pottery from within the outer defensive
wall, however, is predominantly late 14th to 16th century.
Combining our material evidence with textual information,
we conclude that the castro of Kephalos was extended
around the middle of the 15th century, after Nicolo I
Sommaripa transferred the administrative seat of the island
from the older town of Paroikia to Kephalos (Miller 1901).
The late 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries in the
Venetian-dominated Aegean lands, in general and the
Cycladic islands, in particular, have seen the emergence of a
new era; a period of recovery and relative prosperity, attested
to in the built environment and the material culture record.
The defended settlements and the concentration of
populations within them, always seen within the wider
historical consequences in the Mediterranean and the
regional shifts in the Aegean, do not seem to reflect a period
of greater threat, instability and insecurity. Most of these
defended settlements-castra were built in accessible land and
close to the coast. The Venetian fleet, frequently present in
the Aegean and the Venetian merchants involvement in
trade at the same time, promoted the establishment of such
posts along the island-coasts of the Aegean Archipelago.
Moreover, the economic crisis of the Byzantine Empire in
the mid 14th century, with the devaluation by nearly 50% of
the Byzantine currency and its replacement by the Italian
one in the international exchange market (Linner 1999) gave
the Venetian outposts and colonies in the Aegean a new
breath and a sign for recovery.
Although demographic and economic growth in cities
and within regions under direct Byzantine control seems to
have lasted until the mid 14th century, regions under
Venetian control seem to have benefited under foreign rule
from the middle of the 14th to the 16th centuries. Different
social groups, however, had different experiences; the period
of relative prosperity we argued for above, was certainly a
period of affluence for the late Medieval upper class, the
imported-Venetian landlords, a class very small in size,
compared to the base of society, the class of villani, the
Pottery, however, is a good indicator of changing
technologies and life-styles (Blake 1980). The colourful
sgraffito lead-glazed wares, a common find in the Kephalos-
assemblage, probably indicates the greater availability of
decorated ceramics for the lower classes, whose tastes and
life-styles might have changed after the arrival of the Franks.
The class of villani was given the opportunity to pass from
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
wares opened wider horizons to Muslim potters, who looked
to China for the improvement of shape, glaze and the
imitation of the manner of Tang prototypes (Philon 1980).
It is generally accepted that China was the ultimate source of
inspiration for the technological advances of glazed pottery
developed in the Near East and later employed within
Byzantine territories.
Medieval pottery, economy, trade and exchange:
It is clear that the distribution of the bulk of this pottery in
different places during the Late Byzantine/Frankish periods
is of great significance. It can provide useful information
about long-distance trade as well as the social and economic
standing of the inhabitants of all these sites. The large
number of different types of pottery of this period could be
viewed more generally as a reflection of changes in eating
habits and diet. Glazed and unglazed kitchenware is well
represented in all Late Byzantine/Frankish contexts, of which
the commonest types are flat-bottomed frying pans and
globular cooking pots with or without horizontal loop-
handles. Such vessels were thinly potted and represent the
normal kitchenware of Frankish sites in Syria, Palestine and
Cyprus (Pringle 1985) from the end of the 12th through the
13th century.
Hand-made painted wares of this period are of particular
interest. We find them in sites of the eastern Mediterranean
during the Crusader period. They are mostly decorated in
the geometric style of painting or in a style deriving from it.
Is there perhaps a correlation between the repertoire of
12th-century material culture and the socio-economic
circumstances of the Crusader occupation on these sites?
The finds from Caesarea (Pringle 1985), for example, are
products of a home-based village industry and are
commonly noted in rural sites occupied during the 12th and
13th centuries. However, they are rarely found in urban
contexts. Where they do occur, e.g. at Arcas, it seems to be
only after the Franks had abandoned these places in the later
13th century. The same conclusion can be drawn from the
study of assemblages in excavations of the 14th-century
Mamluk Palace at Kerak (Brown 1989), where the imported
and local glazed wares are a sharp contrast to the socio-
economic environment of the rural hinterland. Obviously,
the Palace assemblage was not available to peasant
populations that relied upon the local southern Levantine
hand-made pottery. Another sharp distinction between the
12th-century Crusader garrison and the local Arab
population is noted in the distinct ceramic vessels used by
each group at the Southern Transjordan Crusader fortress.
Such distinctive characteristics are not, however, found in
the Aegean area. It would be logical to assume that there
must have been variations in the economic level of each area
of the Eastern Mediterranean, especially in a period such as
that of the Crusades with the general political, social and
economic changes they brought about.
Similarly, in Ottoman times much local pottery in the
Levant was handmade village wares. Research at Tinnik in
Palestine (Ziadeh 1995) has revealed large numbers of
handmade domestic pottery, made on or near the site and
constitutes about 60% of the total assemblage. It seems that
the age of prosperity (during the early Ottoman period) in
the 15th and 16th centuries, which characterised Ottoman
ruled provinces in Greece, the Balkans and Asia Minor, did
not reach certain regions in the Near East. In the Near East
local factors, such as depopulation and hostile attacks by
neighbouring tribes, shaped a different picture of material
culture and domestic life.
Medieval pottery, table manners and everyday life:
It has already been suggested that changes in pottery
decorative styles and forms in the beginning of the 13th
century could also imply that eating habits must have
changed after the arrival of the Latins or Franks in the lands
of the Byzantine Empire (Fig 10). As we have noted earlier,
the monochrome sgraffito shallow bowls and plates of the
middle Byzantine period went out of use in the 13th
century, while more colourful fine-wares with new
decorative techniques took their place. Whether this fashion
of deep bowls and goblets with high footring bases imply
that food preparation in Greece during the Frankish period
showed a trend towards more watery dishes cooked in their
own juices, as in north western Europe, or the reflection of
increased use of metal utensils, still needs more research in
both the textual and archaeological records. One may claim
that, indeed, glazed ceramics of the middle Byzantine period
(i.e. fine sgraffito wares, slip-painted wares) reflect the desire
of consumers at the lower end of the hierarchy to emulate
the living conditions of their betters (Gaimster 1994).
Research on food and eating habits in medieval Britain
(Black 1985; Brears 1985) has shown that group eating from
a central bowl by diners sitting around the table was a
common practise until the 15th to 16th century. By the end
of the 15th century bowls became deeper, while
contemporary depictions suggest a shift towards individual
plates. Changes in cooking habits resulted in the form of
deeper bowls and dishes in 16th-century Britain after the
rise of more liquid dishes, such as stews (unpublished paper
by Howard Coutts, presented in a Conference on the
Archaeology of Food and Drink held at Durham University
1996). Presumably, the Franks introduced a different diet
and cooking tradition to the Levant and the Byzantine
world. The Byzantines considered the Franks as polluters
and unclear, and their cooking dirty, mixing their suet and
lard with oil (Lock 1995, 194). One of the central streets in
Jerusalem was the venue for the purchase of ready-cooked
food; in the 12th century the large number of pilgrims
visiting the city purchased food in this street (Boas 1999, 25)
probably food of a dirty and oily kind. In contrast to
western eating habits, the Byzantine preferred more fruits,
vegetables, salads and fish (Motsias 1998) thus, they were
using more shallow and open pottery forms.
Fig. 10 The Last Supper, 18th century. Monastery of St. John at
Archilochos, Paros (A. Vionis, CY.RE.P.).
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Landscape and Settlement History of the Methana Peninsula,
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16th Centuries Medieval Ceram 17, 25-33.
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Greece 1204-1566, London.
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Correspondance Hellnique 18, 189-99.
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for 9th to 13th Century Glazed Wares at Corinth:
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Mittelmeerraumes, Wien 2000, 153-73. Verlag der
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Between East and West Cahiers Archologiques 7, 89-94.
Talbot-Rice, D. 1930, Byzantine Glazed Pottery, Oxford.
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(ed.), Byzantine Art, 1968, 500-12. Munich, Penguin Books.
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Shahin Levant 27, 197-207.
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Ottoman-Turkish Period from Arta (in Greek) Ethnographika
3, 5-22.
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from the Castle of Rogon (in Greek) Epirotika Chronika 28,
Vavylopoulou-Charitonidou, A. 1989, Ceramique DOffrande
Trouvee Dans Des Tombes Byzantines Tardives De
LHippodrome De Thessalonique Bulletin de Correspondance
Post-Roman pottery unearthed: medieval ceramics and pottery research in Greece
serfdom to the class of contadini (people who enjoyed free
status), possibly as a result of agricultural prosperity by the
end of the 15th century. Consequently, the island-peasantry
possibly found themselves better off and tried to imitate
their betters by acquiring ceramics resembling the high-
quality import-wares of the same period. The imported
feudal aristocracy, however, seems to have stuck to imports
from their homeland. Considerable numbers of tin-glazed
maiolica wares also appear in the archaeological record and
were imported during the late 15th and 16th centuries.
Whether these represent discards of Latin aristocratic
households (MacKay 1996) introducing a western lifestyle to
the Aegean lands and influencing the local pottery industry
(Vroom 1998), is a matter of debate between pottery
specialists. It is most possible that the annexation of the area
by Venetian merchants, acting as middlemen between the
Italian pottery-industry and the Aegean customer-
communities, made the Aegean a hinterland of Italian-
dominated markets. Imported high-quality goods begun to
appear in the 15th and 16th centuries, changing the material
culture record and introducing new life-styles.
Still further research needs to be done and more detailed
excavation reports have to be published in order to reach
definite conclusions concerning pottery chronology and
manufacture, dining habits, ceramic fashions and aspects of
everyday life throughout the Greek medieval and post-
medieval ages. This paper comprises an overall review of
ceramic trends and fashions and discusses different topics
concerning the reflective relationship between decorated
domestic pottery and the human factor.
Developing modern technology can prove very useful to
Greek Medieval Archaeology in establishing production
centres and the development of pottery technology in Greece.
Moreover, the further study, always with caution, of written
documents of the period from the beginning of the Middle
Ages to early modern times with the combination of pictorial
evidence (Fig. 10) can provide new insights into aspects of
pottery-use in everyday life, dining traditions and fashions.
I should like to thank my PhD supervisor Prof. John L.
Bintliff (Leiden University, the Netherlands; previously at
Durham University, UK) for reading the first version of this
paper, making valuable comments and suggestions, and
providing me with useful bibliography concerning cooking
and eating habits in medieval Britain. Figures 1 and 6-10 are
made by the author, as part of his PhD thesis (photo 6-10 by
A. Vionis). The sherds in figures 2-5 come from the medieval
surface ceramics collection of the Tanagra-City Survey
Project in Boeotia, central Greece (directed by Prof. J.L.
Bintliff), which the author is currently studying for
publication (photos 2-5 are by P. Hazen). I should also like
to thank Mrs. Jennifer Alifieri for correcting the English of
the first version of this paper.
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Settlements in Eastern Phokis Annual of the British School of
Archaeology at Athens 84, 1-47.
Armstrong, P. 1991, A Group of Byzantine Bowls from Skopelos
Oxford Journal of Archaeology 10, 335-47.
Bakirtzis, C. 1989, Byzantine Tsoukalolagena: a contribution to the
study of the names, shapes and uses of fireproof cooking pots,
transport vessels and storage containers (in Greek with
summary in English), Publications of the Archaiologikon
Deltion 39, Athens.
Benente, F., Gardini, A. and Sfrecola, S. 1993, Ligurian
Tablewares of the 13th to 15th Centuries. New Archaeological
and Thin Section Data Medieval Ceram 17, 13-23.
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Medieval Italy in Medieval Europe 1992. Exchange and Trade.
Pre-printed Papers 5, York 1992, 119-123.
Bintliff, J. L. 2000, Reconstructing the Byzantine Countryside:
New Approaches from Landscape Archaeology in K. Belke, F.
Hild, J. Koder and P. Soustal (eds.), Byzanz als Raum. Zu
Methoden und Inhalten der Historischen Geographie des
Ostlichen Mittelmeerraumes, Wien 2000, 37-63. Verlag der
Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Black, M. 1985, Food and Cooking in Medieval Britain. History and
Recipes. English Heritage, Birmingham.
Blake, H. 1980, Technology, Supply or Demand? Medieval
Ceram 4, 3-12.
Boas, A. J. 1994, The Import of Western Ceramics to the Latin
Kingdom of Jerusalem Israel Exploration Journal 44, 102-22.
Boas, A. J. 1999, Crusader Archaeology. The Material Culture of the
Latin East. Routledge, London and New York.
Brears, P. 1985, Food and Cooking in 16th Century Britain. History
and Recipes. English Heritage, Birmingham.
Brown, R. M. 1989, Excavations in the 14th Century A.D.
Mamluk Palace at Kerak ADAJ 33, 287-304.
Casson, S. 1951, The Modern Pottery Trade in the Aegean:
Further Notes Antiquity 25, 187-90.
Charitonidou, A. 1982, Post-Byzantine Pottery from Athens (in
Greek) Archaiologia 4, 60-4.
Cherry, J. F., Davis, J. L. and Mantzourani E. with J. W. Hayes
1991, Introduction to the Archaeology of Post-Roman Keos
in Cherry, J. F., Davis, J. L. and Mantzourani, E. (eds.),
Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History: Northern Keos in
the Cycladic Islands from Earliest Settlement until Modern
Times, University of California, Los Angeles 1991, 351-64.
Hellnique 18, 209-26.
Vroom, J. 1997, Pots and Pans: New Perspectives on Medieval
Ceramics in Greece in G. De Boe and F. Verhaeghe (eds.),
Material Culture in Medieval Europe: Papers of the Medieval
Europe Brugge 1997 Conference 7, 203-13.
Vroom, J. 1998, Medieval and Post-Medieval Pottery from a Site
in Boeotia: A Case Study Example of Post-Classical
Archaeology in Greece Annual of the British School of
Archaeology at Athens 93, 513-46.
Waage, F. O. 1933, The Roman and Byzantine Pottery Hesperia
2, 308-28.
Waage, F. O. 1934, Preliminary Report on the Medieval Pottery
from Corinth Hesperia 3, 129-39.
Whitehouse, D. 1993, The Economic and Social History of
Renaissance Maiolica Medieval Ceramics 17, 89-90.
Zbona-Trkman, B. 1991, Grajska Zapuscina. Katalog ob Razstavi
Keramike in Stekla 14-17 stol. (in Slovenian). Nova Goriza:
Goriski Muzej.
Ziadeh, G. 1995, Ottoman Ceramics from Tinnik, Palestine
Levant 27, 209-245.
Athanasios K.Vionis, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University,
The Netherlands
Dans lEurope Occidentale, lutilisation du potentiel des tessons
de cramiques, non pas seulement comme outil de datation, mais
galement comme source de comprhension des aspects socio-
economiques, de la diffusion et du commerce ainsi que des
habitudes culinaires, est un fait tabli. Contrairement aux
avances mthodologiques europennes, larchologie mdivale
et post-mdivale de Grce est laube de sa carrire. Les restes de
lpoque post-Romaine commencent juste tre fouills et
catalogus scientifiquement.
Bas sur des fouilles anciennes et rcentes dans des centres
urbains (Athnes, Corinthe et Thessaloniki) et sur des
prospections de surface dans la campagne grecque et dans
dautres rgions de la Mediterrane orientale, cet article offre un
bilan global des formes et styles cramiques de Grce. Les
premiers rsultats du projet de recherche CY.REP (Cyclades
Research Project) dans les les gennes des Cyclades seront aussi
pris en considration. Les recherches sur la poterie mdivale en
Grce sont tudies ici afin dexaminer le rle de la poterie post-
Romaine dans les changes entre lEst et lOuest, dans la
formation conomique et sociale, ainsi que sa signification
culturelle et/ou symbolique et sa place dans la vie domestique.
Im nordwestlichen Europa hat man lange begriffen, da man
Tonscherben nicht ausschlielich als Datierungswerkszeug
benutzten sollte, sondern auch als ein Mittel zur Untersuchung
sozialwirtschaftlicher Organisation, von Handel und Tausch, und
von Essens- und Trinkgewohnheiten. Im Gegensatz zum
methodologischen Fortschritt in Europa steckt die mittelalterliche
und nachmittelalterliche Archologie in Griechenland noch in
den Anfngen. berreste nachmittelalterlicher Perioden hat man
gerade erst angefangen, vernnftig auszugraben und
wissenschaftlich zu dokumentieren. Auf der Basis von lteren und
neueren publizierten stdtischen Ausgrabungen (in Athen,
Corinth und Thessaloniki) und mit Hilfe von Untersuchungen an
der Erdoberflche auf dem Lande und in verschiedenen
Gegenden des stlichen Mittelmeers, bietet dieser Artikel einen
generellen berblick ber Formen und Stile der Tpferware in
Griechenland. Einige mittelalterliche und sptmittelalterliche
Beispiele werden auch von den geischen Cycladen Inseln unter
Verwendung erster Resultate der CY.RE.P. (Cyclades Research
Project) angefhrt. Studien mittelalterlicher Tpferware in
Griechenland werden unter sozialwirtschaftlichen und kulturellen
Aspekten nachrmischer Keramik in Griechenland betrachtet.
Dabei wird versucht, den Zusammenhang mit Handelskontakten
zwischen Ost und West, wirtschaftlichen und sozialen
Ausformungen, sowie kulturellen und symbolischen Bedeutungen
und huslichem Leben darzustellen.
PotWeb: museum
documentation -
a world vision
Jeremy Haslam, Maureen Mellor
and Jonathan Moffett
This paper demonstrates how an English
museum is seeking to make its most
abundant heritage resource pottery
accessible world-wide, 24 hours a day.
The project, code named PotWeb
( is designed to benefit
a wide range of enquirers and to encourage
them to visit the collections in person.
The City of Oxford, England, is a major tourist destination:
5,000,000 visitors explore its university, colleges and other
attractions each year, some 300,000 visitors visit the Ashmolean
Museum each year. Among them in March 2000 were members
of the Medieval Pottery Research Group celebrating their 25th
anniversary. They will remember the welcome extended by the
director of the Ashmolean, Dr Christopher Brown, one
evening. He introduced them to PotWeb for the first time (this
was not in his briefing notes) and confirmed the museums
committed support for the project.
The Ashmolean and its world-class collections are a key
attraction in Oxford. The museum is a department of the
University, within which the collections are divided between
three research departments, Antiquities, Eastern Art and
Western Art, each with important ceramic collections. Keepers
have professorial status within the university, and Assistant
Keepers have lecturer status. The Assistant Keepers, in
consultation with the respective keepers, manage most of the
curatorial operations.
Origin of the museum
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology is Britains
oldest public museum, established in 1683 to house Elias
Ashmoles foundation collection (MacGregor 1983, 2001b).
Located at the heart of a major tourist city, the museum
provides the citizens of Oxford and their numerous visitors
with access to collections of national and international
importance, free of charge and with no direct or indirect cost to
the local community. The founder, Elias Ashmole, studied at
Oxford during the English Civil War (AD 1640s) alongside
many distinguished scholars, including Robert Boyle and his
assistants Robert Hooke and John Dwight, pioneering scientists
of the 17th century; but Ashmole himself is chiefly remembered
for not paying his college bills! His vision for the museum was
to provide public access. This theme has been taken up in 21st
century format by PotWeb, a project for museum
documentation with a world vision. Before considering the
methodology of the project, it may be helpful to summarise the
intellectual content of what is now Ashmoles legacy.
Ten millennia of ceramics
Many of the museums ceramic collections are among
the finest of their type in the world, designated as of
outstanding importance by Englands Museums, Libraries
and Archives Council. These wide-ranging but insufficiently
appreciated collections include ceramics spanning some
10,000 years. This material, ubiquitous among the
civilisations of the past, combines practical purpose and
artistic expression.
For the earlier civilisations, the museum houses the
Medieval Ceramics 25, 99107, 2001
excavated this material, as well as details of where the pots
were found or located or otherwise acquired.
The project design evolved within the Department of
Antiquities to include a database to help manage the
departments collections and Arthur MacGregor and
Maureen Mellor explored a number of possible partnerships
to help turn this concept into a reality. It was not until the
appointment of Dr Christopher Brown in 1998 that the
project was awarded a seed corn grant from the University,
matched by one from the museum. These were then
supplemented by a grant from the British Academy, local
charitable trusts and private individuals. In May 2000, a
small development group was appointed, each member
reflecting a different audience: a business man with an
interest in archaeology, a specialist in early English pottery
and publisher, an Oxford College development officer and
the director of a contemporary gallery and potter. A more
formal fundraising mechanism was devised and a glossy
leaflet on the project was printed and distributed within the
museum, at conferences, in local public places and sent out
in museum mailshots. The number of website hits began to
be recorded each month and a steady growth can be seen
throughout 2000 to 2003.
Project structure
The project builds upon the results of 150 years of historical
and archaeological research in Oxford. To mobilise this
extensive, intractable and, at present, largely inaccessible
body of material a comprehensive computerised database is
under development. It contains over 5,000 records of vessels
or sherd families (Orton, Tyers and Vince 1993), ranging in
date from the 1st century AD to studio pots of the 20th
century. When completed the database will contain more
than 20,000 complete vessels and thousands of sherd
families. In 2003 a fabric reference collection was made
available in the Museum: this ceramic resource for the post
Roman period is curated by the Antiquities department and
is available for consultation by scholars, students and the
interested public.
Project methodology
The project establishes an authoritative data standard for
museum documentation by examining paper archives;
accessioning vessels; sorting sherds into sherd families;
cataloguing and recording details on paper and carrying out
literature search for published references and data logging.
The ceramics database is enhanced with descriptive and
contextual information for the benefit of generalists and
specialists alike and feeds into the online Catalogue. In
future it will be used to improve the management of the
Museums collections.
Building on the above tasks, PotWeb provides primary
images which are held as photographic transparencies and
presented on the website in JPEG digital format. In the
project archive they are held as TIFF files.
PotWebs photography
One of the aims of the PotWeb project is to photograph
ceramics from the Museum collections in such a way as to
generate images which are suitable for presentation on the
website. In order to achieve this, a photographic set-up or
system has been developed which is both portable and
flexible in use. This consists of two independently switched
lighting units, each comprising a large aluminium reflector
fixed to a standard portable table-lamp, fitted into the top of
a tripod photographic stand. Each light provides illumination
from a 500W photographic bulb of the correct colour
balance for Fujichrome 64T transparency film. By this means
the angle and intensity of lighting, from two different
directions, can be easily adjusted and modified. The whole
system is therefore ideally suited to being set up in temporary
locations often in galleries when the museum is closed. The
preferred background for many ceramic and glass objects is
black flock paper. This absorbs rather than reflects or scatters
unwanted light and eliminates shadows. It highlights and
concentrates attention on the object itself in the final image.
With this basic equipment it has been easy to set up a
temporary photographic studio on a table, either in the
galleries or behind the scenes in the storeroom. A camera and
light tripod complete the ensemble.
At an early stage in the project we chose between using
conventional camera and film and using a digital camera.
The digital camera would allow images to be downloaded
straight to a computer and the website and would score in
some ways for convenience. A conventional camera,
however, offered many and some crucial advantages
a) it could be achieved using available expertise and
equipment. (a Nikon FM2 camera, Nikkor 28-50 zoom
lens, and Nikkor micro lens);
b) it would allow the greatest freedom in the choice of
exposure and camera aperture, the choice of lens
(standard, zoom or micro), and, importantly, the use of
a polarising filter;
c) it would also allow the use of a film type to suit a light
source of the appropriate colour temperature both
readily obtainable from photographic suppliers.
The cost of acquiring digital equipment which could match
these specifications would have been prohibitive at the time
(2000) (probably around 5,000). A further consideration
was that the amount of information (in grain size) on a
normal high-resolution 35mm film (64 ASA) far exceeded
Potweb: museum documentation - a world vision
original type series from which the ceramic chronology of
Ancient Egypt was established by Flinders Petrie in the 19th
century, including pots with delightful scenes from the River
Nile (c. 4000 3000 BC) and the best collection of Nubian
pottery in the world. A subsequent phase of collecting was
by the archaeologist Arthur (later Sir Arthur) Evans, who
resigned his directorship of the museum in 1908 in order to
concentrate on excavating the Palace of Minos at Knossos. A
superb Greek collection extends from the Neolithic to
Hellenistic and Classical periods and is represented by a
wide range of vessels for wine drinking, decorated with
scenes of sporting and everyday life. Roman ceramics
include Mediterranean fineware and Arretine and North
African slipware, as well as local pottery from an important
industry centred on Oxford itself. Post-Roman ceramics
include a range of Anglo-Saxon burial urns from East Anglia
and the Upper Thames Valley of the 5th to 7th centuries AD,
with the occasional imported Frankish or Rhenish wares
from the Continental Europe. Vessels from the most
accomplished medieval ceramic industry of England, the
Brill/Boarstall potteries in Buckinghamshire present a very
powerful display in the Medieval and Later Gallery. These
date from the 13th to the 16th century AD.
The Ashmolean has an outstanding collection of the art of
the European Renaissance potter, assembled by the Victorian
scholar C D E Fortnum. The collection of English Delftware is
one of its jewels, with decorative motifs often reflecting
contemporary social history. Social drinking seems to have
been the niche filled by the German stonewares which were
imported in Britain in large quantities from the late 15th
century. They made a big impact on Oxford taverns and inns,
reflecting the rise in popularity of ale houses in the 17th and
18th centuries. From the Orient, the museum has one of the
finest collections of Japanese export porcelain in Britain and
one of only two collections of pre-export porcelain from the
first half of the 17th century. The Chinese collection is
particularly strong in the Greenwares, (the finest collection
outside China) and other ceramics of the 3rd to 12th
centuries AD, with an extensive collection of later porcelain.
Reitlingers legacy to the Ashmolean of over 2000 pieces
of pottery included a remarkable collection of Islamic
pottery. His interest was stimulated by two expeditions to
Iraq, sponsored by the University of Oxford in the 1930s.
Public access is the most potent item on everyones agenda
(MacGregor 2001a).
Project aims
The museums objectives in PotWeb ( are
to mobilise these ceramic collections (amounting to many
tonnes of material) in a manner both dynamic and
genuinely useful
to transform the level of access to this important but
currently somewhat exclusive body of material by
presenting the salient features of every significant vessel on
the projects website
to provide an information gateway to individuals who
might otherwise find the museum intimidating on
cultural, racial or social grounds.
The aim is to share the resource with the widest
possible audience, including other museums, and we see
the Internet as the most efficient and economic medium by
which to achieve this. To this end, PotWeb is dedicated to
broadening understanding of ceramics in the worlds of art
and archaeology by the use of innovative methods. It
makes the collection available to a worldwide audience and
will develop to the full its educational and research
Project team
PotWeb is directed by Arthur MacGregor, curator of the
Medieval and Later collections. The projects co-ordinator
(2000-2003) is Maureen Mellor, an independent ceramic
consultant. Information technology expertise is provided
by the museums Information Technology Manager,
Jonathan Moffett. The project photographs have been
specially commissioned from a freelance photographer,
Jeremy Haslam, who has used traditional photographic
media in order to record maximum detail and generate
transparencies which will be available for further literature
on ceramics.
Project history
The concept of PotWeb was born in the 1996 when the
Department of Continuing Education was devising a new
course to teach applied archaeology to students. These
students had already completed several modules of study for
the Certificate of British Archaeology. One of the authors,
Maureen Mellor, started to look around for teaching aids to
help the students fix information and write their
assignments. Such students often lead busy lives during the
day, do not necessarily have access to relevant libraries and
do much of their research in the evenings and at weekends.
There were few virtual collections online and none dedicated
to ceramics. Near the department of Continuing Education
lies the Ashmolean where Maureen Mellor was researching a
handbook Pots and People, Ashmolean, 1997. In addition to
the public displays, a rich resource lay hidden away in
cupboards and basement stores, with the supporting paper
archives often stored well away from the material culture.
Amongst this documentation were gems of information
about the people who had made, designed, collected or
module. By re-visiting early excavations and by addressing
selected themes and employing up-to-date archaeological
methodology, we plan to observe sites with fresh eyes, and to
generate new information.
PotWeb as an interactive visitor facility
The final stage of the project will develop an interactive
facility for Museum visitors and researchers. This will greatly
enhance the experience derived from a visit to the
collections, and will represent an important extension of the
display capabilities of the Museum.
The site can be explored via several different pathways. The
chronological scope is illustrated under the heading of 2000
years of forms and shapes. This is currently being expanded
backwards in time. People and their collections includes case
studies of some of the collectors and excavators. The history
of consumers and users can be explored through A vessel for
everyman and his family. The potter and producer are
highlighted in Fingerprints of the maker.
A study module, The ABC of pottery in archaeology, is
already online and more are to follow. A new element,
Student presentations, allows students on short term
placements to present themes based on the resource, which
may be further developed after testing for browser feedback.
PotWebs IT methodology
For its website the museum uses a Sun Ultra 5 with Solaris
2.7 running Apache http Server 2. The database is run on a
Windows 98 PC using MS Access 2000; Visual Basic Code
produces HTML files which are FTP-ed to the web server.
Macromedia Dreamweaver 3 software is used to develop
themes for the study modules and to build the basic look of
the catalogue page. Search engines for use throughout the
whole museum website are currently under development.
Potweb: museum documentation - a world vision
the resolution (in pixels) of an image which it is possible
to obtain except with the most expensive digital equipment
and/or the largest file sizes. The digital scanning of a
transparency therefore allows more flexibility in image
formation than the use of an image from a digital camera.
It can create high resolution images, with little extra time
involved and, ultimately, at great saving in equipment
It was found that the most efficient way to capture the
final image for viewing on the PotWeb website was to scan
the transparency to the final size and resolution required.
A series of graduated image sizes was chosen to provide a
proportional representation of the real sizes of the vessel as
screen images. Once this was decided (partly through trial
and error), it was comparatively easy to establish the final
scanned image sizes from the heights (or widths, in the
cases of flat vessels) of the vessels recorded on film. This
process depends on the dimensions of each vessel being
recorded on a list of the PotWeb identity numbers, with the
museum reference numbers (accession numbers) and brief
descriptions of the pots. This numbered master list is then
used as a basic reference for the transparencies, so that each
can be scanned to the appropriate size using this
information. The thumb-nail images which appear in the
pages of the site are then reduced from these larger images
(Fig. 1). At present it is not planned to produce images
larger than those appearing with the descriptions of
individual pots. This could of course be done, although its
would require the original transparencies to be re-scanned
with the intended size in mind. The scanning and
manipulation of the images for web presentation is an
important aspect of the total process. Adobe Photoshop is
used extensively to re-size and modify images and to
eliminate unwanted elements such as dust specks,
highlights, and supports used as props for sherds or
incomplete pots. Prominent cracks in restored pots can
easily be either blended with the background or eliminated
not so much to create an illusion of completeness, but
rather to tone down striking contrasts which might distract
the eye from the overall image of the vessel. In this way it is
possible to present images which give the maximum
amount of information about the pots themselves,
including colour and surface texture, while at the same time
having optimum clarity and impact when viewed on the
The use of film means that the original transparency, rather
than the scanned digital image, remains the most important
secondary archive (the primary remains the artefact itself).
Since the scanned images are small in both size and resolution
(72 dpi TIFF format), the original transparency would be the
source from which images suitable for paper publication
would be derived for the lifetime of the photographic
medium scanned at probably 300 dpi in CMYK mode. These
digital images would then be used as source material for
illustrations for books, cards or posters, or for CD
PotWeb, the product
The online catalogue will revolutionise the accessibility of
the museums rich and varied collections, since they will be
universally available through the internet. Many items from
the reserve collections will be presented for the first time.
The online catalogue creates a visual thesaurus, an
invaluable guide for archaeologists, historians and collectors
using it as a reference tool, for craftsmen and designers seeking
inspiration and for an interested public. In addition to full
details of the vessels themselves, PotWeb will provide
information on the contexts in which they were produced,
traded, utilised and collected, combining a valuable dimension
of social history with the archaeological data. This will bring
the museum to a world-wide audience. Eventually links with
other museums will create a unique global resource.
The website begins with a homepage and the online
catalogue contains thumb-nail images (Fig. 1) with
recommended name for the form, a standard image with the
common name of the ware, its height and/or diameter,
specific date and contextual information with references to
publication and collection history (Figs 2ad and 3ad).
Where appropriate, detailed images of decorative motifs
(Figs 4, 4a d).
PotWeb as an interactive educational package
The online catalogue will be linked to a series of study
modules which each represent some 15 to 30 minutes of
study. This will develop the use of ceramics as a new way of
understanding the past and will disseminate this knowledge
to both scholars and lifelong learners in the world of higher
education. Internet users will be encouraged to follow up
online studies with a visit to the Museum, in order to gain
first-hand experience of the collection.
During August 2001 we produced our first draft study
Fig. 1 Thumb nail images act as a visual thesaurus with recommended
name for form (reduced from larger images).
Figs 2 a d Standard images of the highly Decorated period with more detailed information in catalogue format (more fields of information are
included on the database and could appear online too). The top level domain uk
identifies the computer as having a location in the United
Kingdom; the second-level ac indicates that the computer
is attached to the academic network; ox idenitifies Oxford
University; ashmol signifies the computer is on the
Ashmoleans network, and the final part is the computers
name. However, not all IP addresses are quite so detailed,
and unfortunately, not all computers have the second type
of IP Address. Of the 1,036 sessions, 830 actually have
useful IP addresses. We can use these to find out where, on
the Internet, the computers are based. Table 1 shows the
list of the 33 top-level domains represented (there are over
200 registered top level domains). However, five of these,
com, net, edu, org, and gov are not strictly countries. The edu
code is the USAs academic network (equivalent to,
while gov is the USAs government network (equivalent to Although the others may primarily represent the
USA, this is not always the case, but we will assume they do.
Consequently, we can say the majority of visitors come from
the USA, with the UK coming second. This is what would
be expected. Given that the largest number of computers
connected to the Internet is in the USA.
com.googlebot 95 com.alexa 37 82 com.btopenworld 30
com.inktomisearch 72 com.ntl 29 60 net.fastsearch 18 54 com.av 15
It is often quite interesting to look at the domains lower
down the table. Thus, there were single visits from Sweden
(se), Russia (ru), Ireland (ie), Croatia (hr), Switzerland (ch)
and Austria (at). However, PotWebs international audience, is
Potweb: museum documentation - a world vision
Access is free to anyone who surfs the web. The University
of Oxford is committed to keeping the online catalogue and
the interactive package accessible through its permanent
The November 2002 Web statistics were:
Total Requests (Hits): 42,072
Total Page Views: 14,096
Total Visits: 2,207
Total Sessions: 1,036
Where do all these hits come from?
To answer this we have to examine PotWebs access log.
Internet Protocol (IP) addresses are the unique identifying
numbers given to a computer, the equivalent of a telephone
number. There are two types. The first is as a series of four
numbers, e.g., unique to any computer
connected to the Internet. The second is more explicit, e.g.
Figs 3 a d Standard images of the Early Saxon period in catalogue format.
com 458 nz 3
net 150 mt 3
uk 126 dk 3
edu 27 be 3
ca 12 tr 2
it 10 il 2
au 10 de 2
us 8 cz 2
es 8 ar 2
org 7 se 1
tw 6 ru 1
sg 6 ie 1
nl 6 hr 1
pl 5 gov 1
jp 4 ch 1
gr 4 at 1
fr 4
Table 1 The 33 top-level domains represented
Table 2 2nd Level domains.
Figs 4 and 4 a d Decorative motifs, showing details of manufacture
and design of the Post Medieval period.
Cet article illustre comment un muse anglais essaie de rendre sa
collection la plus riche (la poterie) accessible au monde entier 24
heures sur 24. Le projet Potweb ( a t cre
pour incinter les personnes intresses venir visiter les
Dieser Artikel zeigt, wie ein englisches Museum versucht seine
reichsten berkommenen Ressourcen, nmlich Tpferwaren,
weltweit und 24 Stunden am Tag zugnglich zu machen. Das
Projekt unter dem Schlsselwort PotWeb
( ist so gestaltet, da es eine breite Palette
von Fragen beantwortet und anreizen soll, die Sammlung
persnlich zu besuchen.
Potweb: museum documentation - a world vision
shown by two sessions from Argentina (ar), ten from Australia
(au), three from New Zealand (nz) and six from Singapore
(sg).It is possible to examine IP Addresses further by looking
at the second-level domains (Table 2 [note: IP Addresses have
been reversed]). The top three can be identified as the IP
Addresses of search engines, and so most likely represent
computers that are mechanically trawling through the
Internet. Strictly speaking, these should be excluded as they do
not really represent people, but they could also be copying the
web pages to a local cache. This is a computer elsewhere on
the internet which is used to store web pages closer to home
so increasing the speed at which pages are transferred. For
PotWeb, this has the disadvantage that any request to a local
cache is unlikely to be registered in the PotWeb access log,
reducing the real number of human visits. In order to
balance the figures it is therefore reasonable to include
requests made by search engines, although there is no
ultimate method of determining how valid this is.
14 1
7 1
4 1
3 1
3 1
2 1
2 1
2 1
2 1
1 1
1 1
1 1
When looking at the 3rd level domains it pays to be more
selective. Table 3 lists the IP Addresses. It can be seen
that 24 UK Academic institutions are represented, with
Oxford University having the largest visitor figures. These
exclude any IP Addresses that are on the Ashmoleans
network, as these are automatically excluded from PotWeb
This pilot study has been an enormously valuable exercise in
how to present ceramics to a wider audience and how to
draw in new converts. We have put the user at the centre of
our activities and continually solicit feedback by email,
newsletter and telephone. We are still testing the market,
compiling the number of hits and sessions to the website
monthly and honing photographic techniques.
How many people are interested in ceramics? In 2001 the
project team was invited to give presentations at the
headquarters of the British ceramic manufacturers in Stoke-
on-Trent, Staffordshire and at Studio Pottery 2001 and 2002,
the annual festival of the Craftsmen Potters Association. At
the International Ceramics Fair in London the team met
connoisseurs of earthenware and porcelain to test the appeal
of the project. Feedback from America, Australia, Germany,
Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands and the British Isles has
come from practising craftsmen as well as collectors and
students and is invariably enthusiastic. PotWeb was
recognised by the Millennium Commission with awards
which allowed the project photographer and also a curator
from The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery to be seconded
to the project to share their own and PotWebs skills. The
recognition seems singularly appropriate: PotWeb has
already proved itself to be one of the most innovative
developments in present-day ceramic studies, presenting a
model that will recommend itself to other institutions
holding large bodies of ceramic and other archaeological
material whose range and complexity defies conventional
museum presentation.
MacGregor, A. 1983, Tradescants Rarities, Essays on the
foundation of the Ashmolean Museum, 1683, Oxford:
Clarendon Press.
MacGregor, A. 2001a, A plethora of pots Oxford Today 13, 3, 44-45.
MacGregor, A. 2001b, The Ashmolean Museum. A brief history of
the institution and its Collections, Oxford: Ashmolean Museum
and Jonathan Horne Publications.
Orton, C. R., Tyers, P. and Vince, A. G. 1993, Pottery in
archaeology Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mellor, M. 1997, Pots and People: Ashmolean Museum.
Mellor, M. 2000, PotWeb: Ceramics online @ The Ashmolean,
The Ashmolean 39, 22 - 23.
Mellor, M. 2002, Mobilising Collections PotWeb; Ceramics
online in F. Niccolucci and Sorin Hermou (eds.) Multimedia
Communication for Cultural Heritage, Budapest
Figures are copyright PotWeb except where stated otherwise.
Jeremy Haslam, Silver Street, Bradford on Avon BA15 1JZ
Maureen Mellor, 12 Lake Street, Oxford OX1 4RN
Jonathan Moffett, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford OX1 2PH
Jonathan Moffett, the IT Manager of the PotWeb Project, can
be emailed at
Table 3 domain.
Bath, Beehive Yard, The Tramsheds, (ST 7512065230). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 128. EX CP KF WA MO PM
Bath, Tramsheds, Beehive Yard, Walcot Street, (ST 7512065230).
Medieval Archaeol 45 256-257. EX DO EM HD MC UK
Blackford, The Grove, near Wedmore, (ST 41344784). ibid 257. EX
Bristol, Burchill. R The Pottery in R Jackson Archaeological
Excavations at Upper Maudlin Street, Bristol in 1973, 1976 and
1999. Bristol and Avon Archaeol 17 (2000) 77-91 (29-110). EX
Bristol, 15-29 Union Street/Fiennes Court and Sterling House,
Fairfax Street, (ST 59007321) Medieval Archaeol 45 259; Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 130-131. EX DO IM EM HD TO
Bristol, 30-38 St Thomas Street, (ST 59157255). Medieval Archaeol
45 258-259; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 129-130. EX DO RF WA
Bristol, 48-54 West Street, Old Market, (ST 5996373257). Medieval
Archaeol 45 260; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 129. EX SC DO EM
Bristol, King David Hotel, Upper Maudlin Street, (ST 58587332).
Medieval Archaeol 45 257-258. EX DO FT EM HD MN
Bristol, Temple. Jackson R Two groups of post-medieval pottery
kiln waste from Temple Quay, Bristol, 1994 Bristol and Avon
Archaeol 17 (2000) 111-118. EX WA OH GU 1694 MO PM ID
Bristol, Temple Quay, (ST 5951372630). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
Bristol, Upper Maudlin Street, King David Hotel, (ST 58587332).
ibid 131. EX DO FT HD MM
Knowle West, Inns Court, (ST 58816921). Medieval Archaeol 45 260.
Pucklechurch, (ST 69757675). Burchill R The pottery from Moat
Farm Watching Brief in J Samuel Watching Brief excavations at
Moat Farm, Pucklechurch, South Gloucestershire (2000). Bristol
and Avon Archaeol 17 (2000) 15 (1-16). EX DO SC WE SS EM
Hungerford, Croft Road, Hungerford Health Centre, (SU
33496859). Medieval Archaeol 45 260. EX DO SN TO
Hurley, Monks Garden, Mill Lane, (SU 82748396). ibid 260-261. EX
Newbury, Trinity School, Shaw House, Church Road, (SU
47536830). ibid 261. FI DO OE MC UK
Sonning, St Andrews Church Vicarage, (SU 75537558). ibid. EX DO
Wraysbury, Waylands Nursery, Welley Road, (TQ 00157395). ibid.
Ludgershall, Duck Lane, land adjoining Clovelley, (SP 66401778).
Medieval Archaeol 45 262; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 131. EX
Medmenham, Bockmer House, (SU 80718613). Medieval Archaeol
45 262. FI DO EM HD MM
Stoke Goldington, Gorefields, (SP 815490). Ivens R J The pottery
in D Mynard and R Ivens Excavation of Gorefields: A medieval
nunnery and grange at Stoke Goldington, Buckinghamshire.
Records of Bucks 42 (2002) 62-87 (19-101). EX CP DO IM RF
Ely, 3-5 Market Street/43 High Street, (TL 54228034). Medieval
Archaeol 45 262. EX DO PM TO
Fordham, Primary School, (TL 63367085). ibid 263. EX DO SN VI
Fulbourn Manor, Estate Survey, (TL 5265653756). ibid. FI DO MC
Huntingdon, 9-10 George Street, (TL 23657171). ibid. EX DO MC TO
Isleham, Chalk Farm, (TL 634724). ibid. EX DO EM HD MM
Melbourn, (TL 38344396). ibid. EX FU ES MS CM
Peterborough, Botolph Bridge, Orton Longeville, (TL 171973). ibid
263-264. EX DO EM HD PM SN VI
Soham, St Andrews House, (TL 593731). ibid 264. EX DO SN VI
Sutton, Red Lion lane, (TL 44387865). ibid. EX DO EM HD SN VI
Werrington, St John the Baptists Church, (TF 02680630). ibid. FI
Wilburton, Mitchells Farm, School Lane, (TL 484748). ibid. EX DO
Wilburton, Warren Lodge Farm, (TL 483748). ibid. EX DO EM HD
Chester, Amphitheatre, (SJ 408661). ibid 265. EX DO MC TO
Chester, Bridge Street, (SJ 4057566230). ibid; Post-Medieval Archaeol
Chester, Chester Cathedral, (SJ 40606649). Medieval Archaeol 45
265-266. EX DO FT AS MC CE MA RE
Chester, Dee House, (SJ 408661). ibid 266. EX DO MC CC
Penrith, Brougham Castle, (NY 537290). Zant J M An excavation at
Brougham Castle Trans Cumberland Westmoreland Antiq Arch
Bridport, 43 South Street, (SY 46629274). Loader E Other finds in
D Godden, J Grove and R J C Smith Medieval and post-
medieval Bridport: excavations at 43 South Street. Proc Dorset
Nat Hist Archaeol Soc 122 (2000) 119 (111-123). EX CP CG PM
Bridport, 43 South Street, (SY 46629274). Mepham L Pottery in
ibid 115-119. EX DO IM SC WE GU CG TY EM HD LM PM
Annual Bibliography 2001
Liz Pieksma, Peter Davey
and Philippa Tomlinson
The bibliography covers the British Isles and
is divided into six sections: General, England,
Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales.
The individual sections start with general
works, listed in alphabetical order by county
and then by town or parish. The Greater
London entries are grouped alphabetically
by borough. Information about the content
of each entry is provided using the codes
that are listed in full at the end of the
bibliography. The 2001 bibliography has
been generated from computerised entries
held in the MPRG National Bibliography
database, which can be consulted online at The database
has been compiled using the old county
structure and so this bibliography does not
take account of recent boundary changes. For
brevity, the full title of project summaries
from Medieval Archaeology, volume 45,
and Post-Medieval Archaeology, volume 35,
have been omitted. Any site-specific entries
from these volumes with pages in the ranges
listed below are taken from the following
compilations: Bradley J and Gaimster M
(eds.) Medieval Britain and Ireland in
2000 Medieval Archaeology 45 (2001),
252-379 and Ponsford M (ed) Post-medieval
Britain and Ireland in 2000 Post-Medieval
Archaeology 35 (2001), 122-289. Unless
otherwise stated the year of publication is
2001 in all cases.
Barton K J, Hodges R, Lewis J, McCarthy M, Orton C, and
Verhaeghe F The Medieval Pottery Research Group at twenty-
five: past, present and future Medieval Ceramics 24 (2000) 3-
11. SY
Blake H The formation of the second generation: a documented
version of the origin and early history of the MPRG ibid 12-22.
Davey P J The Medieval Pottery Research Groups Bibliography
The Recorder 57 (1998) 17. SY
Edwards J Pottery studies in the North-West 1975-2000 Medieval
Ceramics 24 (2000) 40-48. SY
Fairclough O (Review) Eighteenth-century Ceramics: Products for a
Civilized Society by Sarah Richards, Manchester University Press,
1999 Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 310. SY
Goodwin J (Review) The Limehouse Porcelain Manufactury:
Excavations at 108-116 Narrow Street, London, 1990 by Kieron
Tyler and Roy Stephenson. London: Museum of London
Archaeology Service, 2000 ibid 312-313. SY
Higgins D, Davey P J, Tomlinson P and White S Annual
Bibliography 2000 Medieval Ceramics 24 101-118. SY
Hughes M J and Evans J Fabrics and food: 25 years of scientific
analysis of medieval ceramics ibid 79-90. SY DO IM MC
Hurman B and Nenk B The Gerald Dunning archive and the
study of medieval ceramic roof furniture ibid 63-72. SY RF MC
Hurst J G Imported ceramic studies in Britain ibid 23-30. SY IM
Orton C Reinventing the sherd: 25 years of pottery statistics ibid
73-78. SY
Richardson A (Review) The medieval tiles of Wales by J M Lewis,
Cardiff: National Museum of Wales, 1999 and Medieval tiles
by Hans van Lemmen, Princes Risborough: Shire Publications,
2000. Medieval Archaeol 45 (2002) 414-415. SY FT MC MO
Straube B A Surrey-Hampshire border ware double dish in Virginia
Medieval Ceramics 24 (2000) 93-95. EX DO SS TPQ PM
Vince A Ceramic petrology and post-medieval pottery Post-
medieval Archaeol 35 106-118. SY
Drury P Aspects of the production, evolution and use of ceramic
building materials in the Middle Ages Medieval Ceramics 24
(2000) 56-62. EX FT OE RF HD SN
Brown D H (Review) Alejandra Gutirrez Mediterranean pottery in
Wessex households (13th to 17th centuries). BAR 306 (2000). 257
pp, 119 figs ibid 99-100. SY
Hurst J G (Review) ibid Medieval Archaeol 45 422-423. SY IM EM
Medieval Ceramics 25, 108122, 2001
post-medieval manor houses and later Thames-side industrial
sites ibid 93-131. EX DO FT RF SC WE OO CG TY EM PM ID
Brent, Dollis Hill Reservoir, 92 Brook Road, (TQ 22358628).
Medieval Archaeol 45 271. EX DO MC ID
Camden, 6-10 Kirby Street and 119-124 Saffron Hill EC1, (TQ
31458081). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 140. EX CP DO PM TO
Camden, City Literary Institute, Keeley House, Keeley Street, (TQ
30548123). Medieval Archaeol 45 272. EX DO MS UK
City of London, 49-52a Bow Lane, (TQ 32408110). Medieval
Archaeol 45 272; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 141. EX FI CP DO
City of London, Athene Palace, 66-73 Shoe Lane and 22 St Andrew
Street, (TQ 31458141). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 140. OT DO
City of London, European House and Clements House, 25 Milk
Street/14-18 Gresham Street, (TQ 32358132). Medieval Archaeol
45 272-273. EX DO EM HD SN TO
City of London, Farringdon Street (Centre), North of Ludgate
Circus, Leb Shaft, (TQ 31628126). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
City of London, Ibex House, The Minories, (TQ 337809). Medieval
Archaeol 45 273. EX DO OE EM TO
City of London, Paternoster Square, Area 4 and Paternoster Row,
(TQ 31928132). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 141. EX DO PM TO
City of London, St Helens Church, Bishopsgate, (TQ 33208128).
Medieval Archaeol 45 274. EX DO FT EM HD CC
City of London, St Pauls Churchyard, West End, (TQ 31948113).
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 142. EX CP DO FT MO PM TO
Croydon, 14-30 High Street, 40-45 Surrey Street, Middle Street, the
former Grants Building, (TQ 32256549). ibid 142-143. EX CP
Croydon, Lodge Lane, Addington. Bell C Excavation of multi-
period sites at Lodge Lane Addington, Geoffrey Harris House
and Lloyd Park, South Croydon Surrey Archaeol Col 88 235-265.
Croydon, Pampisford Road, Haling Manor School Site, (TQ
31856321). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 143. EX CP DO MO TO
Croydon, Queensway, Waddon Factory Estate, (TQ 31006410). ibid.
Greenwich, 32 Courtyard, Eltham, (TQ 425742). Medieval Archaeol
45 275. EX OE MC CM
Greenwich, Ye Old Pie House, 45 Greenwich South Street, (TQ
38267773). ibid. FI DO MC UK
Hackney, 30-36 Upper Clapton Road, (TQ 34868635). ibid. EX DO
Haringey, Tottenham, 628 High Road, (TQ 33989050). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 145. EX DO MO PM TO
Harrow, Uxbridge Road, RAF Stanmore Park, (TQ 16609200). ibid.
Hillingdon, 182 Bury Street, Ruislip, (TQ 08628857). Medieval
Archaeol 45 276. EX DO EM SN UK
Hillingdon, Hayes, Blyth Road, former EMI Factory, (TQ
09457950). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 146. EX DO OE MO UK
Hounslow, Brentford Gasworks, Brentford High Street/Kew Bridge
Road, (TQ 18407780). Medieval Archaeol 45 276. EX DO MC FA
Hounslow, Brentford, 4-6 Brentford High Street, (TQ 18607780).
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 146-147. EX DO MO ID
Hounslow, Sleworth, The Limes, Park Road, (TQ 16797620). ibid
Islington, 21 Popham Street, (TQ 31958387). Medieval Archaeol 45
276; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 147. EX DO HD FA PM TO
Islington, 43-51 Worship Street and 1 Paul Street, (TQ 32978212).
ibid 148. EX DO MO PM TO
Kensington and Chelsea, 2-4 Old Church Street SW1, (TQ
27087765). ibid. EX DO MO CC
Kingston, Rotunda, Cromwell Road, (TQ 1838096450). Medieval
Archaeol 45 276-277; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 148. EX CP DO
Kingston-on-Thames, (TQ 18386945). Anon Bentalls Depository,
Bus Garage, and Pineworld Surrey Archaeol Bul 355 (2002) 8.
Kingston-on-Thames, Woodbines Avenue, (TQ 179686). Bishop B
A multi-period site at Woodbines Avenue, Kingston ibid 350.
Lambeth, 2-18 Albert Embankment, Queensborough House, (TQ
31537861). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 149. EX KF WA MO PM ID
Lambeth, 9 Albert Embankment, (TQ 30567866). Anon 9 Albert
Embankment, 5 Salamanca Place, 87 Black Prince Road Surrey
Archaeol Bul 355 (2002) 8. EX IL TY MO ID TO
Lewisham, Deptford Bridge, the Old Seager Distillery, (TQ
37407675). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 150. EX OE MO ID
Merton, Furniture Land, (TQ 26307010). Anon Furniture Land,
High Street, Merton Surrey Archaeol Bul 355 (2002) 8. EX IL RF
Merton, Furnitureland, High Street, (TQ 23607010). Medieval
Archaeol 45 277. EX WA LM ID
Merton, Mitcham, 80 Morden Road, Mitcham Enterprise Park,
former CMA site, (TQ 26906825). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
151. EX CP PM ID
Mortlake, 77 High Street, (TQ 20777601). Anon 77 High Street,
Mortlake Surrey Archaeol Bul 348. EX IL TY MO PM ID TO
Old Malden, St Johns Vicarage, (TQ 21206615). Andrews P
Excavation of a multi-period settlement at the former St Johns
Vicarage, Old Malden, Kingston upon Thames Surrey Archaeol
Col 88 161-224. EX DO IM RF SC WE OO CG TY EM HD SN
Putney, 1 High Street, (TQ 24207558). Anon 1 High Street,
Brewhouse Yard, ICL House, Putney Surrey Archaeol Bul 355
(2002) 10. EX CP DO RF TY MO PM VI
Richmond, 77-91 Mortlake High Street, (TQ 20717599). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 152. EX KF WA MO TO
Richmond, Hampton Wick, 1 High Street, The White Hart Public
House, (TQ 17526943). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 152. EX DO
Southwark, 135-137 Bermondsey Street, (TQ 33297965). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 153. EX DO PM MN
Southwark, 151-153 Bermondsey Street, (TQ 3329079605).
Medieval Archaeol 45 278; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 153-154.
Southwark, 165 Rotherhithe Street, (TQ 35648026). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 156. EX CP KF WA PM ID
Annual Bibliography 2001
Bridport, South Street, (SY 46619270). Valentin J Bridport, South
Street. ibid 166. EX DO CG TY EM HD TO MA RE
Cranborne, Pennys Farm, (SU 059132). Mepham L Pottery in
P S Bellamy Excavations at Pennys Farm, Cranborne. ibid 89-
Portesham, Manor Farm, (SY 603859). Valentin J Portesham,
Manor Farm ibid 163. EX DO CG TY HD SN MA RE
Shaftesbury, Bell Street, (ST 86352311). Draper J Medieval and
post-medieval pottery in J Valentin and S Robinson
Archaeological excavation and recording of land between 28
and 30 Bell Street, Shaftesbury, Dorset. ibid 106-8 (99-109). EX
Verwood, Potters Wheel, Manor Road, (SU 08690908). Whelan J
Verwood, Potters Wheel ibid 164. EX WA CG TY MO ID MA RE
Wareham, Bestwall Quarry, (SY 935883). Ladle L Bestwall Quarry
excavations 2000- Interim Report ibid 160. EX DO CG TY EM
Hatfield Heath to Matching. Pieksma E Medieval pottery in E B A
Guttmann Excavations on the Hatfield Heath to Matching Tye
rising main, north-west Essex. Essex Archaeol Hist 31 25-26 (18-
Pleshey and Writtle. Wickenden N P, Hughes M and Nenk B A
medieval octagonal chimney stack: evidence from Pleshey and
Writtle ibid 32 168-177. SY RF GU US LM MU RP
Brentwood, Kings Road/Hart Street, (TQ 592932). Medieval
Archaeol 45 267. EX DO EM HD TO
Burnham-on-Crouch. Walker H An Ipswich-type ware vessel from
Althorne Creek Essex Archaeol Hist 31 (2000) 243-244. CF DO
Castle Hedingham, Queen Street, Trinity Hall, (TL 78453535). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 137. EX OE AS PM VI
Clavering, land to the west of the parish church, (TL 46983180).
Medieval Archaeol 45 267-268. EX DO EM SN TO
Colchester. Mellor M (Review) John P Cotter Post-Roman pottery
from excavations in Colchester, 1971-1985 English Heritage
Monograph, Colchester Archaeological Report 7 (2000), 398 pp
248 illus., 6 colour plates. Medieval Ceramics 24 (2000) 98-99.
Colchester, (TM 01332468). Walker H A summary of the medieval
and post-medieval pottery in H Brooks Excavations at 79 Hythe
Hill, Colchester, 1994-5. Essex Archaeol Hist 31 (2000) 116-119
Colchester, High Woods, (TM 002267). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
137-138. FI CP DO IM PM TO MA RE
Fingringhoe, land south of Fingringhoe Ballast Quarry, (TM
03101980). Medieval Archaeol 45 268. FI DO AS CM
Foulness, Great Burwood Farm, (TR 009911). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 138. EX DO HD LM FA
Harlow, (TL 472096). Walker H The medieval and post-
medieval pottery in M Medlycott Prehistoric, Roman
and post-medieval material from Harlow: investigations at
Church Langley, 1989-1994. Essex Archaeol Hist 31 (2000)
70-75 (33-94). EX KF WA SC WE GU US HD PM ID MA RE
Harlow, (TL 47330955). Walker H Medieval and later pottery in
Harlow, (TL 4755009310). Walker H The medieval and post-
medieval pottery in ibid 77-78. EX KF WA SC WE US HD LM
Hatfield Peverel, (TL 821108). Tyler S Saxon Pottery in K Reidy
and D Maynard Possible Saxon burials at Hatfield Peverel: an
evaluation at Smallands Farm, 1993. Essex Archaeol Hist 31
(2000) 283-284. EX DO SS MS CM MA RE
Helions Bumpstead. Walker H The medieval and post-medieval
pottery in T Ennis Helions Farm, Helions Bumpstead. ibid 32
162-165 (154-167). EX DO SC WE GU SS EM HD LM MO PM
Leigh-on-Sea, High Street, Strand Wharf, (TQ 83898565). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 138. EX DO LM PM TO
Newport, The White House, High Street, (TL 52103386). Medieval
Archaeol 45 269. EX DO EM HD TO
North Weald Bassett, A414 Dualling, (TL 47450765). ibid; Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 139. FI OT DO KF WA EM HD LM PM ID
Stock. Tyler S Saxon pottery in M Germany Fieldwalking at
Crondon Park, Stock. Essex Archaeol Hist 32 182 (178-188). FI
Stock. Walker H Medieval and post-medieval pottery in ibid 182-
Takeley, Thremhall Priory Farm, (TL 53002140). Medieval Archaeol
45 269. EX DO EM HD MM
Wimbish. Walker H Medieval and post-medieval pottery in D
Gadd Medieval remains at Parsonage Farm, Wimbish. Essex
Archaeol Hist 31 (2000) 303-305. EX DO WE US EM HD LM
Churchdown, St Andrews Church, Station Road, (SO 88361981).
Medieval Archaeol 45 270. EX DO SN CC
Gloucester, (SO 83141836). Ferris I, Mynard D, Vince A Medieval
and post-medieval pottery in I Ferris Excavations at Greyfriars,
Gloucester in 1967 and 1974-75. Trans Bristol Glos Arch Soc 119
129-138 (94-146). EX DO SC GU SS EM HD LM PM SN MN
Lechlade, Kent Place, Sherborne Street, (SP 21329968). Medieval
Archaeol 45 270. EX DO ES MS SN TO
Newland, The Vicarage, (SO 553094). ibid. FI DO HD CC
Pucklechurch, Moat Farm, (ST 69647674). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 176-177. EX DO RF HD PM MM
Greater London
Barking and Dagenham, Abbey Retail Park, Unit 7, (TQ 43958380).
Medieval Archaeol 45 271. EX DO MS SN MN
Battersea, Althorpe Grove, (TQ 26867679). Blackmore L and Cowie
R Saxon and medieval Battersea: Excavations at Althorpe
Grove, 1975-8 Surrey Archaeol Col 88 67-92. EX DO SC WE OO
Battersea, Battersea Flour Mills, (TQ 2683776909). Cooke N
Excavations at Battersea Flour Mills, 1996-7: The medieval and
Cotter J Medieval shelly wares in Kent: a summary of recent
research Canterburys Archaeology 1999-2000 24 (2002) 56-60.
A2/M2 widening, Cobham to Junction 4, (TQ 567803). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 166. EX CP UK
Canterbury, St Gregorys Priory. Cotter J The pottery in M Hicks
and A Hicks St Gregorys Priory, Northgate, Canterbury,
Excavations 1988-1991. The Archaeology of Canterbury New
Series 2 231-266. EX DO IL IM SC EV OO SS CG AR 1084 WE
Canterbury, St Gregorys Priory. Cotter J Ceramic building
materials in ibid 221-223. EX IL RF MV OO SS CG AR 1084
Canterbury, Station Road West. Harrison L The brick from the
clamp kiln at Sation Road West, Canterbury Canterburys
Archaeology 1998-1999 23 65. EX WA SC OO SS OX HD LM
Canterbury, Station Road West. Denton A and Willson J Medieval
and post- medieval brick clamps found at Station Road West,
Canterbury ibid 7-8. EX WA SC OO SS OX HD LM PM ID MA
Cobham to Junction 4, TQ 567803/169700 -569443/169552, (TQ
5617). Medieval Archaeol 45 291. EX DO EM HD LM MO PM
Gravesend, No. 17 and 67-76 High Street and Nos. 36-38 Princes
Street. Cotter J Post-medieval pottery and clay pipes from
Gravesend Canterburys Archaeology 1998-1999 23 65-69. EX CP
Iwade, Hillreed Homes, Site A, (TQ 900675). Medieval Archaeol 45
Iwade, Hillreed Homes, Site C, (TQ 90216740). ibid. EX DO EM
Ramsgate, harbour approach road. Riddler I Anglo-Saxon ceramic
weights from the Ramsgate harbour approach road
Canterburys Archaeology 1998-1999 23 64-65. EX OE SC EV
Rochester, Boley Hill. Cotter J Rare miniature teapot from
Rochester Friends Canterbury Archaeol Soc Newsletter 49 (1999)
Rochester, Boley Hill. Horne J Discoveries in Kent (Rochester) in J
Horne English pottery and related works of art 2002. Auction
Catalogue (2002) 38. EX CP DO IM MV OO TY 1698 MO TO
Sandwich, Castle Field, (TR 33555796). Cotter J The pottery and
clay tobacco pipes in I J Stewart Archaeological investigations at
Sandwich Castle. Archaeol Cantiana 120 (2000) 68-70 (51-75).
Seasalter/ Whitstable/ Tankerton/ Swalecliffe, Oyster Coast. Allan T
The Anglo-Saxon and later ceramics in T.Allan The origins of
the Swale: an archaeological interpretation. ibid 176-78 (169-
Teynham, Teynham Palace. Cotter J Teynham: pottery and tile
report in P Wilkinson Field School News. Practical Archaeology
(Kent Archaeological Field School) 5 (2002) 10-11 (10-15). EX
Teynham, Teynham Palace and Church. Cotter J Pottery, floor tiles
and pegtiles in P Wilkinson Further investigations at Teynham
Palace in ibid 4 16-19. EX DO FT RF SC WE OO SS US TY EM
Tonbridge, East Street, Lyons, (TQ 59204660). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 166. EX KF MO TO
Chipping, Wolfen Hall, off Fish House Lane, (SD 60674475). ibid
168. FI DO PM MM
Whalley, Walley Abbey, The Sands, (SD 7311436004). Medieval
Archaeol 45 292; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 170. EX FI DO FT
Bringhurst, Bringhurst cemetery, (SP 841922). Pollard R Bringhurst
Cemetery, Bringhurst, Leicester in Archaeology in Leicestershire
and Rutland (2000). Trans Leicestershire Archaeol Hist Soc 75
136 (129-162). EX DO EM ES MN
Burrough on the Hill, Burrough House, 16 Main Street, (SK
756104). Thomas J Somerby, Burrough House, 16 Main Street,
Burrough on the Hill in Archaeology in Leicestershire and
Rutland (2000) in ibid 154. EX DO SN VI MA RE
Caldecott, Snelston DMV, (SP 8694). Pollard R Caldecott in ibid
157. EX DO EM VI
Coalville, Donington le Heath Manor House, (SK 420126). Liddle P
Coalville: Donington le Heath Manor House in ibid 142-143
(129-162). EX RF HD MM MA RE
Edith Weston, Church Lane, (SK 927053). Rayner T Edith Weston,
Church Lane in ibid 157. EX DO EM HD VI
Empingham, Main Street, (SK 951087). Rayner T Empingham,
Main Street in ibid. EX DO MC VI
Garthorpe, St Marys Church, (SK 831209). Browning J Garthorpe,
St Marys Church in ibid 143. EX DO EM HD CC MA RE
Geeston, (SK 989042). Malone S Geeston, River Welland Bank in
ibid 158. EX DO ES VI
Glaston, Grange Farm, (SK 896005). Cooper L and Thomas J
Glaston, Grange Farm in ibid 158-159. EX DO MC VI MA RE
Kegworth, (SP 478284). Butler A, Coward C and Priest V Kegworth,
Fulcrum site in ibid 147. EX DO MC VI MA RE
Ketton, St Marys Church, (SK 981043). Medieval Archaeol 45 293.
Leicester, (SK 587045). Derrick M 65 Market Place Leicester in
Archaeology in Leicestershire and Rutland (2000). Trans
Leicestershire Archaeol Hist Soc 75 132 (129-162). EX DO EM SN
Leicester, Great Central Street, (SK 582473). Derrick M 61a Great
Central Street, Leicester in ibid 130-131. EX MC PM SN TO
Leicester, Leicester Abbey, (SK 5805). Buckley R and Butler S
Leicester Abbey in ibid 129-130. EX DO FT ES LM MC PM
Annual Bibliography 2001
Southwark, 168 Tower Bridge Road, (TQ 33467962). Medieval
Archaeol 45 278. EX DO MC TO
Southwark, 20-22 New Globe Walk, (TQ 32228048). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 155. EX KF WA PM OY
Southwark, Bear Wharf, Riverside House, (TQ 32268048). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 153. EX DO PM ID
Southwark, Southwark Bridge Road, Southwark Business Village,
(TQ 3232580230). ibid 156. EX DO PM UK
Sutton, Grove Park Car Park, High Street, Carshalton, (TQ
24016451). Medieval Archaeol 45 279. EX DO EM MM
Sutton, St Nicholas Way and junction with Crown Road, (TQ
25726472). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 157. EX DO MO UK
Tower Hamlets, 38-40 Dock Street, (TQ 34148072). Medieval
Archaeol 45 279; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 157. EX DO EM HD
Tower Hamlets, A13 CCTV pits, (TQ 36158105). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 157. EX DO PM UK
Tower Hamlets, Isle of Dogs, Winkleys Wharf, (TQ 37307880). ibid
157-158. EX KF WA MO PM OY
Tower Hamlets, Victoria Wharf, Limehouse, (TQ 36348077).
Stephenson R The ceramic finds in K Tyler The excavation of
an Elizabethan/Stuart waterfront site on the north bank of the
River Thames at Victoria Wharf, Narrow Street, Limehouse,
London E14. ibid 77-82 (53-95). EX DO IM SS PM TO RE
Wandsworth, 74-80 Upper Tooting Road, (TQ 27807215). Medieval
Archaeol 45 279. EX DO EM HD LM PM UK
Westminster, Covent Garden, 28-30 James Street, (TQ 30308100).
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 160. EX DO OE PM TO
Alton, 18-20 High Street, (SU 71803944). Medieval Archaeol 45 281.
Kings Somborne, Land adjoining Fromans, Cow Drove Hill, (SU
36023120). ibid. EX DO EM SN UK
Old Basing, Bartons Lane, (SU 66375388). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 163-164. EX DO EM MO SN VI
Sherborne St John, The Vyne, (SU 63605678). ibid 164. EX DO PM
Southampton, 189 Priory Road, (SU 44351141). Medieval Archaeol
45 283. EX OE RF MC MN
Southampton, 23-27 Bellevue Road, (SU 42181268). ibid 281. EX
Southampton, 31-67 Hill Lane, (SU 41201265). ibid 282. EX DO
Southampton, 57-58 High Street, (SU 42071118). ibid. EX WA EM
Southampton, Andersons Road, (SU 42851140). ibid 281. EX DO
Southampton, Andersons Road Lorry Park, (SU 42811152). ibid.
Southampton, Castle Way, (SU 41941124). ibid 281-282. FI DO SN
Southampton, Charlotte Place Car Park, (SU 42201250). ibid 282.
Southampton, Cook Street, (SU 425116). Brown D H Pottery and
Medieval pottery in M F Garner A middle Saxon cemetery at
Cook Street, Southampton (SOU 823). Proc Hampshire Field
Club Archaeol Soc 56 182 and 188 (170-191). EX DO IM SC WE
Southampton, Hawkeswood Road Parts Centre, (SU 4328013292).
Medieval Archaeol 45 282. EX DO ES TO
Southampton, Houndwell Park, (SU 42161168). ibid. EX DO MS TO
Southampton, St Mary Street Redevelopment, (SU 424120). ibid
284. EX DO MS TO
Southampton, St Marys Church, Ascupart Street, (SU 42751210).
ibid 283. EX DO MS TO
Southampton, St Marys School, Footbridge, (SU 48211221). ibid. FI
Southampton, St Marys Stadium, Britannia Road, Northam, (SU
429120). ibid 283-284. EX FU ES TO
Southampton, Trimline, Paget Street, (SU 4287811519). ibid 285. EX
Winchester, former Evans Halshaw Site, Hyde Street, (SU
48103000). ibid 286. EX DO LM TO
Winchester, The Elizabethan, Jewry Street, (SU 48012970). ibid 285.
Hereford & Worcester
Fownhope, land adjacent to Fownhope House, (SO 79304460). ibid
Hereford. Vince A The Pottery in R Stone Archaeological
excavations at 46 Commercial Street, Hereford. Trans Woolhope
Nat Field Club 49: 2 (1998)192-203 (182-214). EX DO FT RF
Hereford, County Hospital, (SO 50743974). Medieval Archaeol 45
287. EX RF MC MN
Hereford, St Martins Street, (SO 50803930). ibid. EX DO RF EM
Leominster, (SO 49605910). Ratkai S Pottery in J D Hurst, E A
Pearson and S Ratkai Excavation at the Buttercross, Leominster,
Herefordshire. Trans Woolhope Nat Field Club 49:2 (1998) 229-
244 (215-261). EX DO OH GU SS EM HD LM PM TO MA RE
Leominster, The Old Priory, (SO 499593). Medieval Archaeol 45 287.
Ross-on-Wye, 33 High Street, (SO 59922405). ibid 287-288. FI IL
Tyttenhanger, (TL 191044). ibid 288. EX DO C14 EM HD UK
Grimsby, Abbey Road (North-East Lincolnshire UA), (TA
26700884). ibid 289. FI DO EM HD LM PM SN MN
Grimsby, Garth Lane (North-East Lincolnshire UA), (TA 26950960).
ibid. EX RF MC PM UK
Stallingborough, Station Road (North-East Lincolnshire UA), (TA
19801135). ibid 290. FI DO MC VI
Watton Priory, (TA 023499). ibid. EX FT MC MN
North Yorkshire
Sherburn, Land adjacent to 52 St Hildas Street, (SE 96037722).
Medieval Archaeol 45 336-337. EX DO MC UK
York, Bootham Engineering Works, Lawrence Street, (SE 61705240).
ibid 337. EX DO C14 LM OY
York, Britannia Car Park, Heworth Green, (SE 60955251). ibid. EX
Rockingham Forest. Foard G Medieval woodland, agriculture and
industry in Rockingham Forest, Northamptonshire ibid 41-95.
Crick, Land off Main Road, (SP 590726). ibid 307. EX DO EM HD VI
Fotheringhay. Blinkhorn P Pottery from Fotheringhay in G
Johnston Excavation of an ossuary at Fotheringhay Church,
Northamptonshire. Northamptonshire Archaeol 29 (2002) EX
Marefair, Sol Central, (SP 750604). Medieval Archaeol 45 307-308.
Northampton, Moat House Hotel, (SP 75266060). Blinkhorn P The
Saxon and medieval pottery in A Chapman Excavation at the
Moat House Hotel, Northampton 1998. Northamptonshire
Archaeol 29 (2002) EX CP DO SC WE GU SS EM LM PM SN
Southwick. Blinkhorn P Pottery from Southwick 1982 in A G
Johnston, B Bellamy and P J Foster Excavations at Southwick,
Northamptonshire 1996. ibid. EX DO SC WE GU SS EM HD
Berwick-upon-Tweed, Berwick Police Station, (NT 999529). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 173. EX DO PM TO
Keighton, University Park, (SK 542383). Medieval Archaeol 45 308-
Nottingham, 14 Plumtre Street, (SK 57803972). ibid 309. EX DO
Banbury, 58-66 St George Street, (SP 45634047). ibid 310. EX DO
Bicester, Chapel Street, (SP 58452230). ibid. EX DO ES MS TO
Brighthampton, The Orchard, Standlake, (SP 38451355). ibid. FI
Cassington, The Chequers, Church Lane, (SP 45391066). ibid. EX
Childrey, Parsonage Farm, Sparsholt Road, (SU 36058760). ibid. EX
Oxford, 20-26 Queen St/1-10 St Ebbes Street, (SP 512061). ibid 311-
312. EX DO MC TO
Oxford, Oxford Science Park, Grenoble Road, (SP 5302). ibid 311.
Shipton-Under-Wychwood, Church Street, (SP 27971790). ibid 312.
Thame, 13 Bell Street, (SP 70550606). ibid. FI DO EM HD UK
Wallingford, 21B and 22 St Marys Street, (SU 60738923). ibid. FI
Wallingford, Land to the rear of Market Place, (SU 60668942). ibid.
Weston-on-the-Green, Beecroft Yard, Church Road, (SP 53251870).
ibid. EX DO ES UK
Witney, Land to the east of Cogges Hill Road, (SP 36900970). ibid
312-313. EX DO MC MO PM UK
Witney, Rear of 68-72 High Street, (SP 35760999). ibid 313. FI DO
Benthall, Bridge Road, (SJ 669025). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 175.
Legges Hill, Broseley Wood, (SJ 670024). ibid 175-176. EX CP DO
Ludlow, Corve Street, (SO 512750). Medieval Archaeol 45 313. EX
Glastonbury, Glastonbury Abbey, (ST 501388). ibid 315. FI DO EM
Glastonbury, Northload Hall, Northload Street, (ST 49753915). ibid.
Hinton St George, St Georges Church, (ST 41851270). ibid 316. EX
Ilchester, 6 West Street, (ST 52062254). ibid. EX DO MC TO
Meare, St Marys Road, (ST 44874160). ibid. EX DO EM HD SN UK
Middlezoy, Perhams Cottage, (ST 37683272). ibid. EX DO SN UK
Stoke-sub-Hamdon, Castle Primary School, (ST 47521760). ibid
Wells, 52-54 High Street, (ST 548456). ibid. EX DO EM HD LM PM
Westhay, Meare, (ST 43754125). ibid. FI DO EC MO PM VI
Wookey, Court Farm, (ST 518456). ibid 318. EX DO FT MC CE
South Yorkshire
Barnby Dun, Church Lane, (SK 61300970). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 177. EX DO HD FA
Denaby Main, Denaby Main Diversion, (SK 49349971). ibid. EX DO
Rotherham, Rawmarsh, Top Pottery, (SK 437960). ibid 177-178. EX
Shafton, Land off High Street, (SE 39151070). ibid 178. EX DO PM ID
Burslem, School of Art, (SJ 86904970). ibid 179. EX WA LM PM ID
Annual Bibliography 2001
Leicester, St Margarets Baths, Vaughan Way, (SK 58400475).
Medieval Archaeol 45 293. FI DO MC TO
Leire, Little Lane, (SP 5289). Pollard R Leire: Little Lane in
Archaeology in Leicestershire and Rutland (2000). Trans
Leicestershire Archaeol Hist Soc 75 147(129-162). EX DO EM LM
Loughborough, The Rushes, (SK 453319). Parsons Archaeology
Loughborough, The Rushes in ibid 148. EX CP KF WA MO ID
Saxby, (SK 822199). Thomas J Saxby, Saxby Village Drain in ibid
Sproxton, Church Farm, Saltby, (SK 845265). Coward J Sproxton,
Saltby, Church Farm, Leicestershire in ibid 154. EX DO MC FA
Walton, Old Forge Cottage, Hall Lane, (SP 595872). Derrick M and
Warren S Walton, Old Forge Cottage, Hall Lane in ibid 156. EX
Wymeswold, The Memorial Hall, Clay Street, (SK 600234). Clarke S
Wymeswold, The Memorial Hall in ibid 156. EX DO EM HD
Billingborough, (TF 127332). Healy H Post-Iron Age pottery from
later features and deposits in P Chowne, R M J Cleal, A P
Fitzpatrick and P Andrews Excavations at Billingborough,
Lincolnshire, 1975-8: A Bronze-Iron Age settlement and salt
working site. East Anglian Archaeol 94 (2000) 56. EX DO SC SS
Boston, London Road, (TF 326434). Medieval Archaeol 45 293. EX
Burgh Le Marsh, Hall Lane, (TF 500648). ibid 294. EX DO OE ES
Coningsby, Silver Street, (TF 22305798). ibid. EX DO MC VI
Culverthorpe-Kelby Pipeline, TF 003414 - TF022404, (TF 0241).
ibid. FI DO MC UK
Fleet, Conservation Area, (TF 389247). ibid. FI DO MS VI
Grantham, Gonerby Hill Foot, (SK 899370). ibid 294-295. FI DO
Lincoln, Brayford Wharf East Flats, former Hercocks Warehouse,
(SK 97377112). ibid 296. EX DO FT MC TO
Lincoln, Cornhill, Tourist Information Centre, (SK 97517105). ibid.
Lincoln, Greestone Centre, Lindum Road, (SK 97907160). ibid. EX
Lincoln, Newland, Northern Subsidiary Sewer, (SK 96857160). ibid
297. FI DO SN UK
Lincoln, Spring Hill, (SK 97527163). ibid. FI KF EM FA
Little Cawthorpe, Back Lane, (TF 35798383). ibid 298. FI DO SN VI
Maltby-Le-Marsh, Main Road, (TF 468818). ibid. FI DO MC VI
Millthorpe, Millthorpe Drove, (TF 11543096). ibid. FI DO SN VI
Old Leake Commonside, Plots 2 and 3, Caleb Hill Lane, (TF
399524). ibid. EX DO HD ID
Sleaford, The Castle, (TF 06454555). ibid. EX DO RF MC CN
Spalding, Acres Mill, High Street, (TF 250225). ibid 299. EX DO
Stamford, High School, Kettering Road, (TF 02810649). ibid. EX
Swineshead, Market Place, (TF 23874023). ibid 300. FI DO LM PM
Thorpe St Peter, St Peters Church, (TF 48506068). ibid. FI DO OE
Toynton All Saints, Main Road, (TF 39286372). ibid. FI DO WA MC
Welbourn, Castle Hill, (SK 968543). ibid. EX DO TAQ EM HD SN
Wallasey, 3 Clarendon Road, (SJ 319916). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
Bowthorpe, St Michaels Church. Dallas C Pottery in O Beazley
and B Ayers Two medieval churches in Norfolk. East Anglian
Archaeol 96 90-91. EX SC PA SS EM HD MS PM SN CC MA RE
Bowthorpe, St Michaels Church. Fryer V Brick and tile in ibid 91.
Burgh Castle, SS Peter and Pauls Church, (TG 47630496). Medieval
Archaeol 45 301-302. FI OE MC CC
Great Yarmouth, 73-75 Howard Street South, (TG 52380756). ibid
North and South Creake, Sewer pipeline. Anderson S Post-Roman
pottery in A Shelley Excavations at North and South Creake,
1997. Norfolk Archaeol 43:4 579-581 (566-588). EX DO SC WE
Norwich, 10 White Lion Street, (TG 2303509435). Medieval
Archaeol 45 305. FI DO MC TO
Norwich, 12-14 Heigham Street, (TG 22470919). ibid. FI DO SN TO
Norwich, St Martin-At-Palace Church. Huddle J Tile and Brick in
O Beazley and B Ayers Two medieval churches in Norfolk. East
Anglian Archaeol 96 43-44. EX OE RF SC PA SS HD LM PM CC
Norwich, St Martin-At-Palace Church. Huddle J and Lentowicz I
The pottery in ibid 42-43. EX DO SC OO SS EM HD LM MS
South Walsham, St Lawrences Church, (TG 36591328). Medieval
Archaeol 45 306. EX DO FT LM MC MS CC
Thetford, Brunel Way, (TL 859842). Friedenson V and Friedenson S
Early Saxon pottery in K Penn and P Andrews An early Saxon
cemetery at Brunel Way, Thetford. Norfolk Archaeol 43:3 (2000)
425-434 (415-440). EX FU SC GU CG ES CM MA RE
Thetford, St Lawrences Church, (TL 86708260). Medieval Archaeol
45 306-307. EX DO SN TO
West Walton, Greenfields, Mill Road, (TF 47161456). ibid 307. FI
Wymondham. Lentowicz I Pottery in H Wallis Excavations in
Abbey Meadows and Westfields, Wymondham, 1992-93. Norfolk
Archaeol 43:4 561 (545-565). EX DO SC OO SS EM HD LM PM
Musty J Pottery, tile and brick in: P. Saunders (ed), Salisbury
Museum Medieval Catalogue, Part 3, 132-212. SY DO IM RF EM
Collingbourne Ducis, Cadley Road, (SU 244540). Medieval Archaeol
45 332. EX DO MC UK
Collingbourne Ducis, Cadley Road, (SU 24455400). Timby J
Pottery in J Pine The excavation of a Saxon settlement at
Cadley Road, Collingbourne Ducis, Wiltshire. Wiltshire Archaeol
Nat Hist Mag 94 96-102 (88-117). EX DO SC WE GU CG TY
Devizes, land to the rear of Cromwell House and 33 Market Place,
(SU 00406155). Medieval Archaeol 45 332. EX DO EM HD CN
Heytesbury, Park Street Gates, (ST 93154265). ibid 333. EX DO SS
Marlborough, Marlborough College Swimming Pool, (SU
18406885). ibid. FI DO EM HD SN TO
Salisbury, 38-44 Endless Street, (SU 14503050). ibid 334. EX DO
Seend Cleve, Seend Cleve Pipeline, Little Michels Farm, (ST 9361).
ibid. FI DO EM HD VI
Wilton, 3 Kingsbury Square, (SU 096313). ibid 334. EX DO MC TO
Wilton, Kingsbury Square, (SU 09713117). Timby J Pottery in K
Taylor The excavation of medieval and post-medieval features
at 3 Kingsbury Square,Wilton. Wiltshire Archaeol Nat Hist Mag
94 70-74 (68-74). EX DO SC WE PA CG TY EM HD LM PM
Comber M Trade and Communication Networks in Early Historic
Ireland J Irish Archaeol X 73-92. SY DO SS ES
Ballycarry, Templecorran, (J 44859367). Crothers N Rescue
excavations at Templecorran, County Antrim Ulster J Archaeol
59 (2000) 29-46. EX DO SC SS EM HD MO PM CC MU MA
Carrickfergus, First Presbyterian War Memorial Hall, (J 413874).
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 186. EX DO LM PM TO
Demesne Townland, (D 14955080). Wiggins K A rescue excavation
on Rathlin Island, County Antrim Ulster J Archaeol 59 (2000)
Dunineny Castle, (D 114419). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 186-187.
Armagh City, Loughgall Road, Mullynure, (H 87774722). Medieval
Archaeol 45 338. EX DO MC UK
Cork City, 5 Barrack Street, (W 671717). ibid 339. EX DO EM HD
Cork City, Red Abbey, (W 700711). ibid 340. EX IM HD MN
Dunboy Castle. Breen C The Gaelic maritime lordship of
OSullivan Beare J Cork Hist Archaeol Soc 106 21-36. OT DO SC
Farrancoush, Sherkin Island. O Sullivan J The friary at
Farrancoush, Sherkin Island, Co Cork ibid 37-52. EX DO SC
Kinsale, Old Head. Cleary R M Old Head, Kinsale, County Cork
ibid 1-20. EX DO RF SC SS MO PM CN
Killybegs. Anon Killybegs Plantation evidence Archaeol Ireland 15:
4 7. EX DO PM VI
Newry, (J 08732610). Crothers N Excavations at the site of Newry
Abbey, County Down Ulster J Archaeol 59 (2000) 71-78. EX DO
Strangford Loch, Mahee Island, (J 52626376). Medieval Archaeol 45
339. EX DO Dendro MS UK
Dublin City, 46-50, 52-57 South Great Georges Street/
58-67 Stephens Street Lower, (O 156338). ibid 341. EX DO MC
Dublin City, St Jamess Hospital, Jamess Street, (O 136335). ibid. EX
Jamestown, Pale Ditch, (O 211241). ibid. EX DO LM OY
Laughanstown. Seaver M Digging on the doorsteps of
the ancestors Archaeol Ireland 15: 1 8-10. EX DO EM HD
Swords, Church Road, (O 182467). Medieval Archaeol 45 342. EX
Aghavea, (H 37063883). ibid 339. EX DO MC CC
Tralee, The Abbey Car Park, (Q 836144). ibid 343. EX DO FT TPQ
Ardree, (S 688924). ibid. EX DO EC TO
Kildare, St Brigidis. Harbison P (2000) Some views of St Brigidis
Cathedral, Kildare 1738-1836 J Co. Kildare Arch Soc 19:1 83-95.
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Chartley, Chartley Hall, (SK 006285). ibid. EX IM PM MM
Longport, Station Street, (SJ 85804960). ibid 179-180. EX WA MO ID
Stafford, Baswich Lane, St Thomas Mill Farm, (SJ 950229). Medieval
Archaeol 45 318; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 179. EX DO FT MC
Bromeswell, Tranmer House, (TM 2849). Medieval Archaeol 45 318.
Bury St Edmunds, Andrews and Plumtons Yard, St Andrews Street
South, (TL 8563). ibid 319. EX DO ES SN TO
Carlton Colville, Bloodmoor Hill, (TM 5290). ibid 320-323. EX DO
Freckenham, (TL 6672). ibid 323. FI DO ES UK
Gisleham, Gisleham Manor, (TM 5187). ibid. FI DO LM PM MM
Hadleigh, Aldham Mill Hill, (TM 0243). ibid 323-324. EX IM ES
Hinderclay, St Marys Church, (TM 0276). ibid 324. FI FT HD LM
Ipswich, 24 Lower Brook Street, (TM 1644). ibid 325. FI DO MS TO
Ipswich, Cardinal Works Site, College Street, (TM 1644). ibid 324-
325. EX DO ES TO
Lavenham, 50 High Street, (TL 9149). ibid 325. FI DO EM HD LM
Lowestoft, John Wilde School, Wildes Score, (TM 5593). ibid. FI
Orford, land at Castle Hill, (TM 4249). ibid 326. EX DO EM HD
Snape, (TM 402593). Carnegie S Catalogue in W Filmer-Sankey
and T Pestell Snape Anglo-Saxon cemetery: excavations and
surveys 1824-1992. East Anglian Archaeol 95 17-192. EX FU MV
Sutton, Anderson S A late medieval pottery production site at
Sutton, Suffolk Medieval Ceramics 24 (2000) 91-93. FI KF RF
Sutton, (TM 2849). Medieval Archaeol 45 328. FI WA LM PM ID
Wherstead, Bourne Hill, (TM 158413). Wade K The Ipswich Ware
in D Gill, J Plouviez, R P Symonds and C Tester Roman pottery
manufacture at Bourne Hill Wherstead. East Anglian Archaeol
Burgh Heath, Chapel Way, (TQ 23685805). Medieval Archaeol 45
328. EX DO HD ID
Epsom, Waterloo House, (TQ 20636070). ibid. FI DO RF EM HD
Ewell, London Road, Benhill Motors site, (TQ 223631). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 182. EX DO RF MO UK
Guildford, 137-143 High Street, (SU 99784950). Andrews P A late
16th century timber-framed building at 137-143 High Street,
Guildford Surrey Archaeol Col 88 267-288. EX DO RF OO CG
Guildford, 9-11 Chertsey Street, (SU 99874969). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 182. EX DO MC PM TO
Merstham, Heronswood Mere. Wilson T and Williams D An Italian
maiolica albarello from Merstham, Surrey. ibid 119-121. CO IM
Mitcham, Mitcham St Peter, 21 Church Road, (TQ 271686).
Medieval Archaeol 45 329. FI DO SN UK
Reigate, Cliftons Lane, (TQ 239514). Williams D A medieval site at
Cliftons Lane, Reigate Surrey Archaeol Bul 356 (2002) 2. OT
Richmond, Richmond Palace, (TQ 17457492). Smith T P Building
materials from Trumpeters House garden in R Cowie and J
Cloake An archaeological survey of Richmond Palace, Surrey.
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 36-46 (3-52). SY FT RF PM RP
Walton on Thames, 10-12 Bridge Street, The Rodds Site, (TQ
10106655). ibid 184. EX KF PM TO
Sussex (E & W)
Climping, Church Farm Cottage, Church Lane, (TQ 00350252).
Medieval Archaeol 45 331-332. FI DO LM VI
Hastings, 5 High Street, (TQ 827098). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
136-137. EX DO IM MO PM TO
Alderminster, Goldicote, (SP 246513). Medieval Archaeol 45 328. EX
Atherstone, Dolphin Inn, Long Street, (SP 311976). ibid. FI DO HD
Kenilworth, (SP 28507215). Lisk S Roof and floor tile in S Palmer
The excavations of medieval buildings at the Abbey of St Mary,
Kenilworth, in 1989. Trans Birmingham and Warwickshire Arch
Soc 104 (2000) 86-87 (75-91). EX FT RF SC HD MC MN
Kenilworth, (SP 28507215). Ratkai S Pottery in ibid 84-86. EX DO
Kings Norton, (SP 492787). Ratkai S The pottery in L Jones,
S Ratkai and P Ellis Excavations at No.15, The Green, Kings
Norton, 1992. Trans Birmingham Warwickshire Arch Soc
104 (2000) 112-118(101-121). EX DO SC EM HD LM PM VI
Ladbroke, Old Post Office, Banbury Road, (SP 417588). Medieval
Archaeol 45 330. FI DO HD VI
Lea Marston, Blackgreaves Lane, (SP 198942). ibid. EX DO MC MM
Rugby, Coton Park, (SP 517788). ibid. EX DO EM HD SN VI
Warwick, (SP 284647). Palmer N Warwick Castle West Midlands
Archaeol 43 (2000) 103-4. OT FT AR HD CN
Warwick, Warwick Castle, (SP 285647). Medieval Archaeol 45 331.
West Midlands
Solihull, Church of St Mary, Temple Balsall, (SP 207760). ibid. FI
West Yorkshire
Pontefract, Pontefract Castle, (SE 461224). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 185. EX CP DO PM CN
Easter Raitts, (NH 777023). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 230. EX DO
Urquhart Castle, (NH 530286). Medieval Archaeol 45 361. EX DO
Cramond, Roman Fort, (NT 18997698). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
203. EX DO LM UK
Dalmeny, Dalmeny Estate, (NT 18677702). ibid. EX RF MO
Dunbar, 75-79 High Street, (NT 679788). Medieval Archaeol 45 356.
Edinburgh, 42-50 Water Street, Leith, (NT 27107635). ibid 359. EX
Edinburgh, Calton Road Gasworks, (NT 26367377). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 204. EX DO EM HD LM PM TO
Edinburgh, Craiglockhart Hill, Edinburgh City Poorhouse midden,
(NT 321701). ibid 206-207. EX DO MO OY
Edinburgh, High Street, Sandeman House, (NT 26107370). ibid 210.
Edinburgh, Holyrood North Plot J, (NT 26537379). ibid. EX DO
Edinburgh, Holyrood North, Plot F, (NT 26537379). Medieval
Archaeol 45 357-358. EX DO LM TO
Edinburgh, Royal Edinburgh Hospital Orchard, (NT 236710). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 215. EX DO MO OY
Edinburgh, St Patricks Church, Cowgate, (NT 260736). Medieval
Archaeol 45 359. EX DO EM HD LM PM SN TO
Humbie, Ewingston Farm, (NT 492648). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
197-198. EX RF MO FA
Leith, 42-50 Water Street, (NT 27107635). ibid 218. EX IM LM TO
Leith, 6-7 Mitchell Street, (NT 273763). ibid 217. EX DO PM TO
Leith, Ronaldsons Whaft/Sandport Street, (NT 26937650). ibid 217-
218. EX OE LM ID
North Berwick, St Andrews Blackadder Church, (NT 552852). ibid
Stenhousemuir, Stenhouse, (NS 88048314). Hall D W and Hunter D
The rescue excavations of some medieval redware pottery kilns
at Stenhousemuir, Falkirk between 1954 and 1978 Medieval
Archaeol 45 97-168. EX DO FT KF WA LM ID MA RE
Traprain Law, (NT 582746). ibid 356-357. EX DO MC UK
Lerwick, 13 Charlotte Street, (HU 47534146). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 253. EX CP DO MO TO
Argyll, Dunstaffnage Castle, (NM 882344). ibid 194. EX DO MO CN
Bothwell, Fairyknowe, (NS 70555865). Medieval Archaeol 45 367. EX
Bothwell, Fairyknowe, (NS 70555865). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
Cardross, Mains of Cardross, (NS 389758). ibid 265. EX CP MO MM
Carmichael, Townfoot of Netherton, (NS 917415). ibid 258. FI CP
Coatbridge, Summerlea Ironworks, (NS 729655). ibid 243. EX DO
Covington and Thankerton, Sherrifflats Farm, (NS 976380). ibid
Greengairs, Linnyate, (NS 77207105). ibid 243. EX DO PM
Hamilton, Motherwell Road/Castle Street, (NS 726556). ibid 260.
Hamilton, Muir Street, Low Parks, (NS 724559). ibid 260. EX IM
Irvine, Seagate Castle, (NS 31923915). ibid 242-243. EX DO LM CN
Lanark, 17-23 Bloomgate, (NS 88024366). Medieval Archaeol 45
Lanark, Coxs Garage, (NS 881437). ibid. EX DO EM HD SN
Montrose, Chapel Works, (NO 71905770). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 193. EX DO MO UK
Perth, Skinnergate, Skinnergate House, (NO 11932369). ibid 248.
Western Isles
Bornais, (NF 729302). Medieval Archaeol 45 368. EX DO MC
Lochs, Shiant Islands, Mary Island, (NG 4398). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 267-268. EX DO MC MO FA
South Uist, Airigh Mhuilinn, (NF 741269). ibid 269. EX DO MC
South Uist, Eriskay Causeway, (NF 7811to7814). ibid 270. EX DO
South Uist, Ormiclate Castle, (NF 73993180). ibid 271. EX DO MO CN
South Uist, Rubha Ardvule Bothy, (NF 717298). ibid 271-272. EX
Stornaway, Fishermans Mission, (NB 422327). ibid 272-273. EX CP
Stornaway, Holm, (NB 444308). ibid 273. EX DO N/A UK
Stornaway, Nether Holm, (NB 445307). ibid. EX DO MC MO PM UK
Stornaway, Point Street, (NB 42193278). ibid 273-274. EX DO MO
Buckley. Davey P J and Longworth C M The identification of
Buckley pottery Archaeol in Wales 41 62-72. SY CP DO PM FA
Valle Crucis Abbey, (SJ 204442). Courtney P The pottery in: B
Annual Bibliography 2001
Kilkenny City, 26-29 John Street Upper, (S 510562). Medieval
Archaeol 45 344. EX DO EM HD TO
Kilkenny City, Abbey Street/Abbey Square, (S 505560). ibid. EX FT
Kilkenny City, St Marys Lane, (S 507560). ibid. EX DO EM HD TO
Derry City, 26-28 Bishops Street Within, (C 434165). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 187-189. EX CP DO PM TO
Ardee, Castle Guard Motte, Dawsons Demesne, (N 971905).
Medieval Archaeol 45 345. EX DO EM HD CN
Drogheda, Caffreys Monumental Works, Dyer Street, (O 089750).
ibid 345-346. EX DO IM HD LM CC
Whiterath, (O 041985). ibid 346-347. EX DO EC OY
Laytown, Ninch, (O 161721). ibid 347-348. EX IM EC VI
Drumquin, Lackagh Church, (H 31297423). ibid 339. EX DO EC CC
Waterford City, Johns Lane, (S 610123). ibid 349. EX DO EM HD
Waterford City, Lady Lane, (S 609118). ibid. EX DO EM HD SN TO
Wexford, Junction between Cornmarket and Abbey Street,
(T 046220). ibid. EX DO EM HD LM TO
Davey P J Identity and ethnicity: a ceramic case study from the Isle
of Man Medieval Ceramics 24 (2000) 31-39. SY DO EM HD
Davey P J Clay pipes in A M Cubbon, P J Davey and M Gelling
(eds). Excavations on St Patricks Isle, Peel, Isle of Man, 1982-88,
prehistoric, Viking, medieval and later by David Freke. Liverpool:
Liverpool University Press (2002) 428-434. EX CP SC MV GU
Davey P J Pottery in ibid 363-427. EX DO FT IM SC MV GU SS
Davey P J At the crossroads of power and cultural influence: Manx
archaeology in the High Middle Ages in P Davey and D
Finlayson (eds). Mannin revisited: twelve essays on Manx culture
and environment Edinburgh: The Scottish Society for Northern
Studies (2002) 81-102. SY MU
Hall D, Haggarty G and Murray C Scottish pottery studies:
25 years on Medieval Ceramics 24 (2000) 49-55. SY DO KF MC
Clackmannan, Clackmannan Tower, (NS 90659195). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 195. EX DO PM OY
Perth, Pullars/Kinnoull House, Mill Street/Curfew Row, (NO
116237). Medieval Archaeol 45 363-364. EX DO EM HD TO
Dumfries & Galloway
Botel, Buittle Castle Bailey, (NX 819616). ibid 353-354. EX DO IM
Ingleston Motte, (NX 774579). ibid 355. EX DO EM CN
Cupar, Bonnygate/West Port, (NO 3714). ibid 359-360. EX DO MC
Dundee City, former Next building, Panmure Street/Murraygate,
(NO 40403055). ibid. EX DO MC TO
Kirkcaldy, Linktown Pottery, (NT 27759064). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 222. EX DO OE MO ID
Monimail, Monimail Tower, (NO 29841409). ibid 223. EX DO LM
Moonzie Church, (NO 33861760). Medieval Archaeol 45 360. FI DO
St Andrews, 101-103 Market Street, (NO 50861675). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 224. EX DO MC TO
St Andrews, St Johns Court, 71 South Street, (NO 510166). ibid. EX
Aberdeen, Robert Gordons College, (NJ 938064). ibid 189. EX CP
Birnie, (NJ 210585). Medieval Archaeol 45 361. FI DO MC ID
Dyke and Moy, Brodie Castle, South-West Tower, (NH 979577).
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 240-241. EX DO PM CN
Fetternear, Bishops Palace, (NJ 723170). Medieval Archaeol 45 350;
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 191. EX RF MC CE
Friars Dubbs, (NO 831727). Medieval Archaeol 45 350. EX DO EM
Loch Davan, (NJ 447007). ibid. FI DO EM HD MM
The following codes have been used to collect information about
each reference entered into the bibliography. The codes are shown
here sub-divided into their respective sections. Each two letter code is
unique so that the string of codes following each reference in the
published bibliography can be related to one of these sections.
2. Type of report
EX Excavation
CO Collection
FI Fieldwalking
SY Synthesis
CF Casual Find
OT Other
3. Ceramic categories present
DO Domestic
KF Kiln Furniture
OE Other
IL Industrial
WA Wasters
RF Roof Furniture
M Imports
FT Floor Tiles
CP Clay Pipes
FU Funerary Urn
4. Ceramic descriptions: quantification & fabric
SC Sherd Counts
EV Estimated Vessel Equivalents
WE Weight
OH Other
MV Minimum Vessels
GU As Guidelines (Blake and Davey 1983)
OO Other
TS Thin Section
PA Partial
5. Dating
ES Early Saxon 400-650
MS Middle Saxon 650-850
SN Saxo-Norman 850-1150
EM Early medieval 1150-1250
HD Highly Decorated 1250-1400
LM Late medieval 1400-1500
PM Post-medieval 1500-1750
MO Modern 1750+
Broad period
AS Anglo-Saxon (general)
EC Early Christian (general)
MC Medieval - Date uncertain
Dating method
SS Stratified sequence
CG Closed groups
US Unstratified
CS Coin
CH Coin hoard pot
AR Architecture
TY Typology etc.
TPQ Terminus post quem
TAQ Terminus ante quem
CD C14
DE Dendrochronology
TH Thermoluminescence
OX Other analyses
6. Site
MU Multi-site
UK Unknown
7. Type of site
MN Monastic
CE Cathedrals & ecclesiastical palaces
CC Churches & chapels
CM Cremation
RP Royal Palaces
MM Moats/manors
TO Towns
VI Villages
ID Industrial
CN Castles & naval earthworks
FA Farms
CO Communications
SP Sports & pastimes
WR Wrecks
OY Other
8. Location
MA Material
RE Records
Blake H and Davey P (eds.) 1983 Guidelines for the processing and
publication of pottery from excavations, Directorate of Ancient
Monuments and Historic Buildings, Occasional Paper No 1.
Annual Bibliography 2001
Silvester, Archaeological works at Valle Crucis, Denbighshire.
ibid 90 (87-92). EX DO RF HD MN
Haverfordwest, Perrots Road, (SM 951158). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 285. EX DO HD TO
Pembroke. Compton J Pottery in M Lawler Investigation of the
town wall and burgage plots at South Quay and Castle Terrace,
Pembroke. Archaeol Cambrensis 147 177 (159-180). EX DO RF
Glamorgan (W, M & S)
Cardiff, Ely, Trelai New School, (ST 14437600). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 276. EX DO PM UK
Margam, Eglwys Nunnyd Farm, (SS 80338480). ibid 282-283. EX
Neath, Neath Abbey, (SS 737976). ibid 283-284. EX CP DO MO MM
Rumney, Beili Bach, The Lodge, (ST 215792). ibid 276. EX DO PM
Rumney, The Lodge, Beili Bach, (ST 215792). Medieval Archaeol 45
St Athan, Castleton Farm, (ST 02406838). ibid 379; Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 289. FI DO MC PM FA UK
Swansea, 61 Wind Street, (SS 65739294). Medieval Archaeol 45 379.
Abergavenny, Cross Street. Clarke S H The Norman defences of
Abergavenny: a watching brief at Cross Street Archaeol in Wales
41 78-81. EX DO EM TO
Abergavenny, Lewis Chapel, (SO 301141). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
279. EX CP LM CC
Abergavenny, St Marys Church, The Tithe Barn, (SO 301141). ibid
278-279. EX CP DO MC MO PM CC
Caerleon, 12 Church Street, (ST 339907). ibid 284. FI DO PM TO
Caerleon, 5 Uskside Cottages, (ST 343904). ibid. FI DO PM TO
Caerleon, Isca Grange, (ST 348900). Clarke S H A medieval pottery
kiln at Isca Grange, Caerleon Archaeol in Wales 41 81-83. EX
Caerwent, Cherry Trees, (ST 471905). Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
280. EX DO PM TO
Caerwent, Vine Tree Cottage, (ST 469905). Medieval Archaeol 45
369; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 280. EX FI DO EM HD PM TO
Grosmont, Town Farm, (SO 40402430). Medieval Archaeol 45 369;
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 280. EX DO SN PM TO
Llanfair Kilgeddin, St Marys Church, (SO 35660871). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 280. EX DO PM CC
Magor, Dorset House, (ST 425872). Medieval Archaeol 45 371. FI
Magor, Rose Cottage, (ST 424872). ibid; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35
Michaelston, Y Fedw, St Michaels Church, (ST 241846). Post-
Medieval Archaeol 35 284. FI DO RF MC PM CC
Monmouth, 1-3 Monnow Bridge, (SO 50421251). Medieval Archaeol
45 372. EX DO HD UK
Monmouth, Dixton Mound, (SO 51781475). ibid 371. FI DO EM
Monmouth, Great Osbaston Farm, (SO 5014). ibid 372. FI DO MC
Monmouth, Monmouth School, (SO 59091272). ibid. EX DO EM
Monmouth, St James Garage, (SO 509129). ibid. FI DO SN UK
Monmouth, Drybridge House, (SO 501124). Post-Medieval Archaeol
35 281. EX DO MO PM TO
Monmouth, St Jamess Garage, (SO 509129). ibid 281. FI DO PM
Monmouth, The Punch House and the Bull Inn, (SO 508127). ibid.
Portskewett, 7 Crick Road, (ST 498883). ibid 282. FI DO PM UK
Portskewett, New School Development, (SO 498883). Medieval
Archaeol 45 374; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 282. EX FI DO MC
Skenfrith, The Bell Inn, (SO 458203). Medieval Archaeol 45 374;
Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 282. FI DO LM PM TO UK
St Maughans, Church Farm, (SO 461172). Medieval Archaeol 45
374; Post-Medieval Archaeol 35 282. EX DO EM HD PM FA UK
Trelech, Chi-Rho, Greenway Lane, (SO 502056). Medieval Archaeol
45 375. FI DO MC UK
Trelech, Church Field West, (SO 499054). Howell R Medieval
buildings at Church Field West, Trelech: an interim report on
excavations, Archaeol in Wales 41 34-41. EX DO EM HD LM
Trelech, The Lion Inn, (SO 502055). Medieval Archaeol 45 375. EX
Usk, 37 Mill Street, (SO 376008). ibid 377; Post-Medieval Archaeol
Ynys Enll (Bardsey Island), (SH 120222). Arnold C J Excavation of
Ty Newydd Ynys Enll: (Bardsey Island), Gwynnedd Archaeol
Cambrensis 147 (1998) 96-132. EX DO FT SC US HD MO CM
Abermule, Dolforwyn Castle, (SO 152950). Medieval Archaeol 45
378-379. EX DO MC CN
Caersws to Machynlleth Gas Pipeline, (SH 870040). Post-Medieval
Archaeol 35 286. EX DO PM UK
Presteigne, Broad Street, The White House, (SO 31506440). ibid
287-288. EX DO MO TO
Talgarth. Courtney P Medieval and later pottery in N Ludlow
Excavation within medieval Talgarth, Powys. Brycheiniog 32
(2000) 24-28 (11-48). EX DO SC SS EM HD LM MO PM TO
As ever, we are very grateful to all the regional contributors who
have searched their local journals for references to ceramics and
without whom the wide coverage of this bibliography would not
have been possible: S Anderson, D H Brown, R Burchill, J P Cotter,
G J Dawson, J E C Edwards, C Fletcher, D P Hurl, B M Hurman, J D
Hurst, T Hylton, J R Kenyon, R Meenan, L Mepham, D Sawday and
H Walker.
Liz Pieksma, 58 High Street, Sharnbrook, Beds, MK44 1PE
Dr P J Davey, Reader in Archaeology, Department of Archaeology,
University of Liverpool
Dr P R Tomlinson, Centre for Manx Studies, Douglas
Medieval Ceramics
Katherine Barclay, Scientific Analysis of
Archaeological Ceramics: A Handbook of Resources
Oxbow Books, 2001. 64 pp, 1 fig, 3 tabs.
ISBN 1842170317. Price: 4.95 paperback
I greeted this handbook with enthusiasm. For years, working
in a laboratory, I have been looking for a small, user-friendly
book I can press into the hands of prospective clients. It
would explain the underlying principles of the scientific
techniques currently employed in archaeological ceramic
research, and make it easier for both archaeologists and
scientists to see how these techniques can be most usefully
applied. Scientific analysis is expensive, not only because the
equipment is expensive to buy and maintain, but because it
requires specialised analysts to prepare the samples, perform
the analysis and interpret the results, and their time is
expensive. If the archaeologist can come to the laboratory
with good background information about available
techniques, much valuable time and energy to say nothing
of money and samples can be saved.
The introduction is good, with sections on planning,
sampling, costing, combining techniques, evaluating and
publishing results, suggestions for journals and useful web
pages to consult for up-to-date information, and last but not
least, sources of funding. Barclays emphasis is very much
upon structuring the analytical programme to meet well-
defined and realistic objectives. She issues caveats about falling
into the trap of thinking that the cost of the testing is the cost
of the analysis - A proper scientific report consists of analysis
AND interpretation, and stresses the need for careful
sampling, involving the analyst in the choice of suitable
material. There is a list of questions (page 3) which the
archaeologist might put to the analyst, and a brief discussion
of the reasons for carrying out analytical work why are we
doing it? - and some of the approaches and methods that
might be considered appropriate. References to past projects
drawn from both the archaeological and scientific press
illustrate and enlarge on the points she is making; the
bibliography constitutes almost a fifth of the booklet.
The handbook then divides into seven sections, each
dealing with some aspect of scientific investigation
mineralogical, chemical, technological, dating, organic analysis,
statistics and authentication. Each section starts with some
background knowledge needed for the range of techniques to
be discussed, and the subsections then introduce and explain
individual techniques, with examples of projects undertaken. It
was in these more technical sections I sensed a lack of good
editing by a scientist. Although most of the necessary
information is there, sometimes the ordering is odd and can
lead to confusion the section on compositional analysis, for
example, opens with definitions of major, minor and trace
elements, and an explanation of what is meant by quantitative,
semi-quantitative and qualitative analysis, and only explains
what elements, isotopes, atomic weights and atomic numbers
are in paragraph three. Paragraph four begins with a rather
cryptic statement For some techniques, the range of
elements detectable is given by reference to Z. (which we have
just been told is the atomic number). I think this is a reference
to the fact that some techniques are limited to analysing
elements with atomic numbers above or below some critical Z,
but it is not made clear. Similarly cryptic, AAS has a low
detection limit, and so may be preferred for very small
samples, when detection limit has not been explained. Table 2,
which summarises the main features of different analytical
methods in the same section, has several mistakes under
sensitivity; it looks rather as if ICP-OES and OES have been
confused, and the major elements (M) have been left out of
the AAS column.
Some of these slips and omissions are just irritating. Table
1 has a row labelled Accuracy and (sic) and a heading X-RD
for a technique which a couple of pages later appears variously
as XRD and X-R D. Page 21 has a reference to SEM (see
below 4.5) but there is no section 4.5. Thermal ionisation
mass spectrometry is usually abbreviated (for obvious reasons)
to TIMS, but this does not appear in the main text or in the
index of analytical techniques and their acronyms. Dates are
missing from some of the bibliography entries.
However, some of the shortcomings are more serious. On
page 17 the definitions of accuracy and precision are reversed so
that as they stand, each is a good definition of the other the
observation that many people confuse the two terms is shown
to be only too true. And Table 2 makes no distinction at all
between the two; they are lumped together as Accuracy and
precision high 2%, semi-quantitative, high 1-5% with
nothing to explain whether the technique possesses high
accuracy (i.e. produces results close to the true values) and/or
high precision (repeat analyses of the same material will
produce the same result). Archaeologists may not need to use
these terms, but they do need to understand the implications;
as Barclay observes, analytical results based on a series of
measurements come with errors, and these may be important
when, for example, pottery is being compared to similar
pottery analysed by a different method, or dates obtained by
C-14 are being used alongside dates from thermoluminescence
and dendrochronology.
The work has suffered for being several years in press.
Five years is a long time in the scientific world; methods
come and go. Neutron activation analysis is still a popular
technique for provenance work in the States, but as reactors
have closed in UK, it is no longer available here and is being
replaced by other techniques. Laser ablation inductively
coupled mass spectrometry could have done with a mention
it was around, even in 1999. Personal computers now have
increased capabilities to carry out statistical work and
databases combining scientific and stylistic information can
be relatively easily set up; a brief mention of suitable
programs would have been useful.
Was this the book of my dreams? Im afraid it wasnt,
although I felt that with more careful editing, it could have
been. I look forward to the revised edition.
Helen Hatcher
Katherine Barclay
Scientific Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics:
A Handbook of Resources
Ian M Betts
Medieval Westminster Floor Tiles
John Black
British Tin-Glazed Earthenware and
Anthony Ray
English Delftware
Mark Brisbane and David Gaimster
Novgorod: the Archaeology of a Russian Medieval
City and its Hinterland
Duncan H. Brown
Pottery in Medieval Southampton c.1066-1510
Ivor Nol Hume
If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000 Years
of British Household Pottery
Jean Rosen
La Faence en France du XIVe au XIX sicle.
Histoire et Technique
with suggestions on how to take ones interest further.
The bulk of Rays book consists of pairs of pages, one
with a description and the other with a colour photograph
of a single vessel (or a group of two or three related vessels),
arranged in more-or-less chronological order.
These are very informative and well referenced, quoting
parallels in other collections, likely influences and possible
attributions. There is a very short (four-page) Introduction,
setting the historical scene from 9th- century Iraq to 18th-
century England, which in passing makes it clear that the
English of the books title simple reflects the fact that there
are no pieces of certain Scottish or Irish origin in the
Black takes a more thematic approach, with
sections headed Introduction, Manufacture and techniques,
Decorative styles, Marks and inscriptions, Attribution, and A
note for collectors, together with a short bibliography and
suggestions for places to visit (including websites). This is
more explicitly didactic than Ray, and certainly contains a
lot more
basic information. It is also possibly more confusing, as
plates are chosen to illustrate particularly points made in
the accompanying text, with the result that the earliest
examples do not occur until halfway through the
It has to be said that both books are, in the strict sense,
biased, in that neither presents a representative view of the
production of the British delftware industry. Ray makes a
selection from a collection, and both authors are keen to
show the wide range of shapes and decorative styles
produced. Both remark that plain white undecorated vessels
probably constituted over half the production, but only one
example, a fuddling cup (and how common are they?) is
illustrated (by Black). Incidentally, this information does not
tally with my recollection of excavated collections, where the
only common plain forms (chamber pots, ointment pots,
and perhaps salts) seem to constitute far less than half of the
total. Black, in particular has a penchant for open wares,
especially plates, and neither has an illustration of an
albarello, despite that forms abundance in 17th-century
Both books are well produced, with a quality of
colour illustration that is amazing in books of this price,
and which show just how much printing technology has
developed in recent years. Black in particular would be a
useful starting point for anyone just setting out to study
this vast topic, while Ray is a good read of relaxed
Ray, Anthony 1968, English Delftware Pottery in the Robert Hall
Warren Collection, London.
Clive Orton
Mark Brisbane and David Gaimster, Novgorod: the
Archaeology of a Russian Medieval City and its Hinterland
The British Museum: Occasional Paper Number 141, 2001.
136pp, 122 figs, 4 full colour plates.
ISBN 0 86159 141 0. Price: 25.00 paperback
Until 1992 the only information available to non-Russian
speakers about the archaeology of Novgorod came from a
small book, edited by Michael Thompson, which drew on a
series of Russian monographs documenting the
archaeological investigations in the town, which had been
carried out almost continuously since the 1930s (Thompson
1967). Even this slim source, however, was enough to show
that the work at Novgorod was of major importance: both
for the methodologies employed and for the range of
wooden artefacts and structures found. Despite this, few
western European archaeologists had first hand experience
of Novgorod whilst the Russian archaeologists too were
working in isolation from the west.
The past ten years has seen this situation change beyond
recognition. In 1992 the Society for Medieval Archaeology
published a monograph in English but written by Russian
archaeologists involved in the work and edited by Mark
Brisbane (Brisbane 1992). Following on from that
publication, collaboration between western European and
Russian archaeologists at Novgorod has increased
considerably, mainly through projects funded by the EU. The
first of these examined environmental data (plant remains
and animal bones) and ran from 1994 to 1997. The second,
from 1998 to 2001, covered ceramics, the use of wood,
wooden objects and dendrochronological data. The third,
which started in 2001 and is scheduled to be completed in
2004 is examining craft production.
The volume under review is the result of a seminar held
at Bournemouth as part of the European Association of
Archaeologists conference in 1999 and thus includes surveys
of both work in progress and completed projects in advance
of their full publication. All of these papers are of interest
but I will concentrate here on those relating to medieval
ceramics. The first of these is a Swedish contribution, by
Torbjrn Brorsson with Hannelore Hkansson from Lund
University. They report on a study of 21 samples of coarse-
gritted pottery, two loom weights and seven samples of local
clay from the site of Ryurik Gorodishche, the predecessor of
Novgorod situated just its south. Scandinavian metalwork
has been found at that site and documentary sources testify
to the presence of Viking traders there. Despite this, the
majority of the samples were definitely locally made,
including vessels whose typology places them in
Scandinavian and Finno-Ugrian groups. This attribution is
based on Hkanssons study of the diatoms which shows that
they are of freshwater origin. Two fabrics without diatoms
were noted but in both of these some of the samples were
typologically identified as of local origin. At the most, two of
the samples could be Scandinavian imports (Nos 9 and 15)
since they are typologically of Scandinavian type and
Ian M Betts, Medieval Westminster Floor Tiles
MoLAS Monograph 11, 2002. pp. xii + 78, 49 figs,
ISBN 1 901992 24 1. Price: 11.95 paperback
This monograph is an important and comprehensive survey
of the work of one of the earliest commercial producers of
paving tiles in England, named after surviving pavements in
Westminster Abbey. Ian Betts convincingly grounds the
major production centre in Farringdon Road, just outside
the walls of the city of London, and establishes the
production period as spanning from the 1250s or 60s to
around the end of the 13th century. This places
Westminster tiles as early as any other known slip-
decorated (rather than inlaid) tiles, alongside those of the
Paris Basin (Norton 1986, 290).
At such a date, a mosaic component of the repertoire is
to be expected; stylistically, the mosaic tiles found at Merton
Priory, Stratford Langthorne Abbey and Waltham Abbey
need not predate the production period of the slip-
decorated tiles. If they really do belong to the second quarter
of the 13th century, as proposed by Betts (page 43), then it is
somewhat misleading to include them within the
Westminster appellation when, as he says, they are likely to
have been produced at or for the monastic houses at which
they have been found, albeit from the same basic raw
materials. London mosaic might be more appropriate.
However, the archaeological dating evidence cited (page 41)
only establishes a terminus post quem of c.1230 for the mosaic
fragments at Merton.
There is a full description of the manufacturing process
(page 6), based on close examination of the tiles, illuminated
by documentary references. However, tiles are made by
throwing clay into a wooden form on a sanded surface, not
rolling the clay out like pastry, which tends to make the
finished tiles curl up in firing. The idea that two colour tiles
can be produced by using a wooden stamp dipped in white
slip printing - was suggested by Lloyd Haberly in 1937. In
the early 1970s, in response to the results of experimental
work, he admitted that he could never make the method
work (Drury and Pratt 1975, 139-40), but the myth persists.
Slip decorated tiles can be produced by applying the slip
either before or after applying the stamp. Where the pattern
happens to remain below the finished surface of a tile, and
the glaze is thin, one can tell which technique was used,
according to whether the vertical edge of the design is
devoid of slip or coated in it. Unusually for the products of a
single workshop, both techniques have been observed by this
reviewer on Westminster tiles from the London region,
although most appear to have the slip applied after
stamping, emphasising the derivation from the inlay
Betts is surely right that the Midlands group was made
by tilers moving from London, taking their stamps with
them. But any direct association between the tiles from
Clifton House, Kings Lynn included here and the London
and Midlands Westminster tiles is most unlikely. Rather, the
Clifton House tiles appear to be part of an East Anglian
tradition of tile making which originated with itinerant tilers
whose mid-13th century products (made using the same
stamps) have been found both at Waltham Abbey in Essex
and Horsham St Faith Priory in Norfolk (Keen 1976).
Subsequent regional developments are complex, but the
commercial series to which the Clifton House designs
belong occurs widely, if thinly, scattered across East Anglia
(e.g. Binham, Bury St Edmunds, Campsea Ash, Castle Acre,
Ely, Horsham St Faith, Langley, Norwich, Thetford) and
probably dates to the late 13th-early 14th centuries.
Deroux, D. (ed.) 1986, Terrres cuites architecturales au moyen ge,
Mmoires de la Commission dpartmentale dHistoire et
dArchologie de Pas-de-Calais, 22.2, Arras.
Drury, P. and Pratt, G. D. 1975, A late 13th and early 14th-
century tile factory at Danbury, Essex, Medieval Archaeol 19
(1975), 92-164.
Keen, L. 1976, The Floor Tiles, in Sherlock, D, Discoveries at
Horsham St Faith Priory, 1970-73, Norfolk Archaeol, 36.3
(1976), 202-23.
Norton, C. 1986, The origins of two-colour tiles in France and
England, in Deroux, D (ed.), 256-93.
Paul Drury
John Black, British Tin-Glazed Earthenware
Shire Publications Ltd. Princes Risborough, 2001.
40 pp, many colour illus., bibliog.
ISBN 07478 0512 1. Price: 4.50 paperback
Anthony Ray, English Delftware
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 2000.
80 pp, 51 colour illus., bibliog.
ISBN 1 85444 130 2. Price 11.95 hardback
ISBN 1 85444 129 9. Price: 7.95 paperback
These two small books, published within a year of each
other, pose an interesting exercise in compare and
contrast. Superficially, we have a hardback on English
tin-glazed ware from the Ashmolean Museum (Ray) and a
paperback on British tin-glazed ware from the publishers
of a well-known series of pocket books on artefacts of all
types (Black). The former is a selection of 51 vessels from
the collections of the Ashmolean Museum (as the sub-
title, not apparent on the cover, makes clear). It can
perhaps be seen as a more popular version of Ray (1968),
aimed at visitors looking for an attractive and durable
memento of a visit. The latter is very much in the Shire
mould of a short introduction to a wide-ranging subject,
imposition of such an analytical system on a material type
which is notorious for its variability might be considered
debatable, it nevertheless has the benefit of being
consistently and rigorously applied. The pottery was sorted
between 1982 and 1986, and a type series of fabrics created
(a total of 466 fabrics altogether). These are presented here
in a three-tiered hierarchical system comprising fabric
(referred to by number), ware and Ceramic Group, although
the latter are rarely referred to in the text, being useful
mainly as a classificatory tool during analysis. Wares that are
quantitatively significant are defined as Major Wares (e.g.
Southampton Whiteware). It would, perhaps, have been
useful to see an introductory table listing all the wares (not
just the Major Wares), and I have to admit to being confused
as to why the codes given in the typology in Chapter 2 do
not match those elsewhere in the volume (e.g. Table 1 in
Chapter 3), and indeed why the list of Major Wares in
Chapter 3 is not the same as that given in Appendix 1.
These quibbles aside, Browns typology is nevertheless an
invaluable framework within which to view the pottery from
Southampton and its immediate environs. He carefully
defines what is meant by local wares those whose
characteristics conform to the pattern of the local drift
geology, which were probably made within 20 miles of the
medieval walled town (the limits of a days journey), and
which, interestingly, are not distributed far beyond the town.
Alongside the local wares are what might be described as
regional wares, i.e. those originating from outside the
immediate hinterland but whose presence within the town
can be easily explained by the trade networks obtaining
across central southern England, such as wares from Dorset
and Wiltshire). Then there are other British wares, such as
Ham Green wares from Bristol and Cornish wares, whose
presence in Southampton is perhaps less easy to explain, but
which may be associated with the growth of Southamptons
commercial network during the high medieval period, the
Cornish wares, for example, perhaps reflecting the traffic in
It is, however, with the continental wares, particularly the
French wares, that Brown demonstrates a formidable
amount of research. Southampton has produced one of
Britains largest assemblages of medieval French wares, with
an emphasis on those from the Saintonge area, and Brown,
aided by the unrivalled experience of such luminaries as Bob
Thomson and Ken Barton, has devoted much time and
effort to unravelling the various types and sources
represented in Southampton from the Anglo-Norman
period onwards.
The catalogue of fabrics and forms is followed by a
number of thematic chapters. In the first of these, on
Quantification, is a useful pottery matrix showing the
percentage occurrence by weight of each Major ware with
every other Major ware. In other words, this is a tool used to
demonstrate the probable contemporaneity of wares, and
forms the basis for the definition of the three ceramic
periods used for discussion throughout the volume: Anglo-
Norman, High Medieval and Late Medieval.
The chapter on Technology explores the changing
technological characteristics through time. This includes a
convincing argument for the hierarchical organisation of the
Saintonge industry the techniques visible on the Saintonge
products in Southampton (poorly finished vessels, handles
carelessly applied) show evidence for rapid manufacture
perhaps using unskilled labour. Brown also shows how it is
possible to identify local types on the basis of, for example,
rim form and decoration, which gives an insight into the
skill of the local pottery makers.
The following chapter, on Production and Distribution,
considers the mechanisms of distribution and
Southamptons role as a market and as a port. In this respect
the importance of Southampton as an international trading
port cannot be overemphasised, since this was instrumental
in the arrival of an imported assemblage of such size and
variety. Brown has always been strong on the significance of
traded wares within Southampton, and this theme has
formed the basis of more than one previously published
paper. The historical background is not ignored here, and
Brown is adept at weaving the various strands of evidence
together; ceramic, documentary and contextual, to pursue
this theme. He argues, for example, that the Saintonge wares,
in particular, could even be described as local wares within
the context of Southampton, imported because there was a
market for them there, and because they were easy to supply.
They do not seem to have been imported for redistribution
elsewhere, being rarely found outside Southampton and
other ports along the south coast. In the late medieval
period the ceramic evidence is augmented by that of the
brokage and port books, which record goods coming into
Southampton, and those leaving it by road. I have always
been intrigued by the record of Italian pots travelling to
Salisbury, since the evidence of 15 years of excavation there
suggests that the city is singularly bereft of any sort of
imported wares what happened to them?
Just as important here, and indeed elsewhere within the
volume, is a consideration of other materials within the
medieval assemblage, such as pewter and glass, which, on the
basis of the documentary evidence, were more highly valued
than pottery. We should not be seduced into thinking that
what we perceive as exotic in ceramic terms was necessarily
valued in the same way by its consumers. In addition, some
pots were apparently imported for their contents (e.g.
mercury jars) rather than as objects in their own right; the
port and brokage books demonstrate how frequently
ceramic containers were used. However, it is only in the late
medieval period that there is clear evidence of pots being
imported specifically for redistribution.
The chapter on Interpretation draws together the
evidence of the preceding chapters, attempting to show how
the ceramic and depositional information for each phase can
be related to the settlement history of the town. Here there is
an invaluable opportunity to relate ceramic assemblages to
known tenements and hence to named occupiers. Brown
contain angular granitic sand in a diatom-free clay. However,
even these two samples might be local copies.
The next paper is by Peter Malygin and Clive Orton and
looks at the grey coarsewares from Novgorod. The authors
use Tyers and Ortons Pie-Slice package (here rebranded as
the Psl package) as a means of investigating the material,
looking for patterning. Data on context, fabric, form, rim
diameter and decoration were included in the analysis and
the preliminary results indicate associations between context
and fabric, context and form and context and decoration. In
all three cases the results make archaeological sense,
confirming that the traditional fabric, form and decoration
classifications and chronologies are based on real trends.
They also confirm that there is little evidence for residuality
or intrusion in the sequence. Perhaps of more potential
interest, however, the authors found other patterns but as
yet these deep patterns are difficult to describe or explain,
but work on them continues.
The final ceramic-based paper is by David Gaimster and
examines the western European imports at Novgorod and
Pskov (200 km to the west, on the Livonian border). These
imports are small in number and mainly of 13th to 15th
century date. The stonewares are mostly of Rhenish origin
with a smaller quantity of Saxon stonewares. The lead-glazed
earthenwares include definite examples of Rouen ware,
Grimston ware and Low Countries redware but the majority
have to be classed as Low Countries/Southern Baltic wares
since there is so much visual similarity between the two, no
doubt due to the influence of Flemish potters on the
Scandinavian red earthenware industries and even the
possibility of Flemish migrant potters. These imports are
evidence for a Hanseatic presence at both cities but Gaimster
points out an interesting difference between the two.
Whereas at Pskov, as in most Baltic and Scandinavian towns,
the western European wares are found throughout the town
and indicate either that the town was solely occupied by
Hanseatic merchants or the widespread adoption of their
material culture in Novgorod these finds are clustered. This
seems to indicate the presence of enclaves of foreign
merchants amid a general population who rejected their
culture. Further papers in the volume illuminate this
situation further. Martin Comey surveys the widespread
finds of wooden vessels, many of them stave-built whilst Jon
Hather examines the wood turning technology used in the
city. Given the level of preservation found at Novgorod it
may be possible there, as in few other places, to study the
interaction between pottery and treen use, both through
time and spatially. A contrast with the Western European
pottery is seen in Pokrovskayas study of the Finno-Ugrian
jewellery from Novgorod. This study shows that there was a
market for such jewellery from the 10th to the 14th
centuries, although there does not appear to be any
concentration of finds and there is some evidence for both,
the development of new types based on Finno-Ugrian
prototypes and the use of genuine imports in different ways
from those seen in the Finno-Ugrian homelands.
The papers in this volume show that Novgorod and its
region has a huge potential for the study of medieval
archaeology and that pottery studies are an important and
exciting element in that study. Like many of the individual
authors, I would like to thank and congratulate Mark
Brisbane for this model of international cooperation.
Mark Brisbane, 1992, The Archaeology of Novgorod, Russia. Soc
Medieval Archaeol Monogr Ser 13 Lincoln, Soc Medieval
Thompson, M. W. 1967, Novgorod the Great. London
Alan Vince
Duncan H. Brown, Pottery in Medieval Southampton
CBA Research Report 133, Southampton Archaeology
Monograph 8, 2002. 220pp, 130 figs, full colour plate section.
ISBN 1 902771 30 3. Price: 28 paperback
The world of medieval ceramics has been waiting a long
time for this volume, and it is to Duncan Browns enduring
credit that he has continued to push for its publication
despite all obstacles in his path. Moreover, he has benefited
from the delay in being able to incorporate more recent data
and research which would otherwise have been omitted, and
which enhance the various themes pursued in the volume.
It is perhaps invidious to compare this volume with John
Cotters recently published Post-Roman pottery from
excavations in Colchester, 1971-85 (Colchester Archaeological
Report 7, 2000), another long-awaited publication of a
substantial medieval urban assemblage. These are two very
different publications, Cotters concentrating on a detailed
typology of wares, with a relatively brief concluding
discussion on the development and supply of pottery in
Colchester, while Brown spends relatively little time on the
typology, instead devoting most of his volume to the
discussion of a number of themes arising from his analysis
of the Southampton assemblage. We might have wanted
more discussion from Cotter, and there may well be those
who find Browns typologies of wares and vessel forms a
little too brief, but both volumes succeed admirably in their
own way.
It is worth pointing out at the start that Browns volume
is based on a relatively small overall assemblage around
half a metric tonne (c.36,000 sherds). The nine sites which
produced this total were chosen on the basis of having
yielded significant quantities of pottery and/or the most
coherent site records. The methods of analysis are set out in
Chapter 1, and Brown is at pains to stress that while the
and, finally, a well-organized index.
The book is enhanced by over 600 colour photographs,
most of which were taken by British-born Gavin Ashworth.
His colours are stunningly accurate, and his attention to
detail is exceptional. Ashworth raises the standard for
ceramic photography in this handsomely illustrated volume.
Subsidized by the Chipstone Foundation, the value of
this book far exceeds its price. The only shortcoming is its
hefty size. Although beautifully printed and bound with two
ribbon bookmarks, it is somewhat difficult to manage
because of its weight. But happily, though it is hard to pick
up, this highly engaging volume is even harder to put down!
It belongs on the bookshelves or bedside tables of curators,
archaeologists, collectors, ceramic historians, and material
culture specialists alike.
Merry A. Outlaw
New Discoveries editor Ceramics in America
J Rosen, La Faence en France du XIVe au XIX sicle.
Histoire et Technique Editions Errance, 1995.
215 pp, numerous plates, some in colour.
ISBN 2877721078. Price: 195Fr
As stated on the back cover of this attractive volume, faience
is an important testimony to changing technology, fashions,
ideas, trade and exchange. Many French studies of the
subject have, in the past, concentrated on one aspect of the
subject to the detriment of others. In this case, however, the
author is a doctor of art history and archaeology, who has
excavated at the production centres of Dijon, Nevers and
Meillonas. This well-presented volume thus rises admirably
to the challenge of blending these interests with technical
information and social context as evidenced by documentary
sources. Here it might be appropriate to explain that in
France there is no distinction between different forms of tin-
glazed ware, all of which are referred to as faience. This bulk
of the pottery illustrated in this volume, does, however,
correspond with the understanding of the term faience in
England and the Netherlands, being tin-glazed on both
surfaces (Hurst et al., 1986, 120). The 18th-century faience
fine, however, has nothing to do with the use of a tin glaze,
but emulates cream ware.
The volume is divided into two parts, each with a brief
introduction, although the organisation is at first a little
unclear (English readers may be somewhat confused by the
fact that the index is at the end of the book). There is no
glossary, no index or list of plates (indeed both these and the
different chapters are unnumbered), nor is there an English
or German summary, all of which would have been useful.
For this reason this review outlines the content more fully
than is perhaps usual. The bibliography, however, is
extensive and the photographs are on the whole clear and
attractive. A minor complaint is that the pottery plates lack
scales and where these are included they lack numbers.
Part 1 (pages 11-72) is concerned with matters technical.
It commences with a summary of previous publications,
both contemporary technical treatises from the 14th to the
19th century, and art-historical studies of the 19th and 20th
centuries. Of these, the most important contribution is
clearly that of Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847), a multi-
faceted scientist, not only professor of mineralogy at the
National History Museum but also director of the Svres
pottery from 1800-1847. Brongniart can be considered the
founding father of modern ceramic studies in France, and
his work is frequently quoted in the following sections.
These commence with explanations of the characteristics of
different clays and their preparation, production techniques
(throwing and the use of moulds), biscuit ware, techniques
of decoration (including painting and glazing), kilns, firing
and wasters. Among the titbits of information we are told
that it was common practice to store and transport the
prepared clay in biscuit ware wasters, as these would allow
the humidity to evaporate. If the clay has rested for less than
three months following its preparation, the potter can expect
a 75% failure rate, especially when making flatwares. The
different stages of firing and the required temperatures are
clearly explained (usually c. 800
for the biscuit ware and c.
for the glazed ware), as are the terms grand feu
and petit feu, or au rverbre. The former involves applying
the tin glaze to the biscuit ware, and decorating it with up to
five colours (blue, purple, green, yellow and red) derived
from metallic oxides. As the physical and chemical
properties of the paints are compatible with those of the tin
glaze or enamel, the decoration is completed in the second
firing. Decoration by petit feu involves painting the
decoration onto a plain white glaze that has already been
fired, and refiring to a lower temperature in a special muffle
kiln; this technique allows a wider range of colours to be
used. It is stated that this section is not intended to be
comprehensive, but it is certainly adequate and, most
importantly, clear and easy for the non-specialist to follow.
Most interesting to the archaeologist will be the discussions
of kilns, firing and wasters as these include details of
excavations and finds, some of which were, in 1995,
unpublished. Examples of the different wares (e.g. biscuit
ware, grand feu and petit feu) and paint effects such as
cameu (painting in different tones of the same colour,
usually monochrome) are presented in twelve colour plates.
Twelve further plates, also in colour, show different styles of
decoration (e.g. compendiario, Chinese style, stencilled
designs). In both cases the images are arranged
chronologically. Other illustrations show, inter alia, moulds,
paint pots, test pieces, excavated kilns and kiln furniture, and
examples of faults in firing and decoration.
Part 2 outlines the history of faience production in
France, in a series of chronological sections, although there
is a certain amount of chronological overlap between them.
The first section summarises the origins of the tradition in
uses this as the basis for an interesting exploration of
cultural affinity. This is not entirely convincing, as illustrated
by the almost complete absence of Italian pots from the 15th
century West Hall, occupied almost throughout that century
by Italians. However, as he concludes, surely the prime
consideration for the inhabitants of Southampton would be
whether the pottery they used fulfilled its function
efficiently, in which case there would be no reason why
Italians should choose to use Italian pots in preference to
local wares. Instead, Brown concludes that what can be seen
in Southampton are cultures of pottery use, which changed
through time. Anglo-Norman pottery may have defined
ethnicity, but was also the vehicle for change. Pottery in the
high medieval period more clearly reflects trade patterns,
while in the late medieval period pottery reflects scales of
consumption and the importance of display.
Brown rightly emphasises that however comprehensive
this volume appears, it is, nevertheless, only an interim
statement, a stepping-stone to improved analysis and
theories. There is, of course, much more that could be done,
and he highlights a few areas of potential future research.
The type series itself represents a considerable resource, but
could be enhanced by providing a regional context through
matching fabrics with other locally identified wares. This is,
indeed, something which is notably absent from this volume;
Brown cites evidence from various local and regional sites,
but resources have not allowed a detailed programme of
comparative work. The Isle of Wight, for example, has
produced a useful (and recently published) comparative
assemblage from Carisbrooke Castle which it might prove
profitable to re-examine in the light of this volume. More
work could be done on relating vessel form to fabric, and
indeed on the subject of vessel form and function generally,
which is treated relatively briefly in Chapter 6. Nevertheless,
this is an admirable first step, and one that is unlikely to be
surpassed for some time. Buy it now!
Lorraine Mepham
Ivor Nol Hume, If These Pots Could Talk:
Collecting 2,000 Years of British Household Pottery
Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England for the
Chipstone Foundation, 2001. 472 pp, 648 illus. (544 colour).
ISBN 158465 161 X. Price: $75.00 Hardcover
In the summer of 1949, Ivor Nol Hume began his
archaeological career at the Guildhall Museum as a volunteer
on post-war London construction sites under the tutelage of
the keeper, Adrian Oswald. Later that year, Nol was hired by
the museum, and soon, unexpectedly, found himself charged
with the monumental task of salvaging Londons buried
history. In early 1950, he acquired his first volunteer helper,
Audrey Baines, a gifted graduate of Bristol University, and
former student of famed archaeologist Sir Mortimer
Wheeler. That fortuitous event led to their marriage later in
the year, and to the beginning of their forty years of
collecting British ceramics together.
Spanning a period of 2,000 years, the objects in the
Audrey and Ivor Nol Hume Collection are diverse and their
manufacture is international. Each item in the assemblage
relates to their forty years of archaeological work or
historical research together, and each tells a story. After
Audreys untimely death in 1993, officials from the
Chipstone Foundation in Milwaukee, Wisconsin offered to
house the collection and use it for teaching purposes, if Nol
would write a book sharing the knowledge that binds it.
The result If These Pots Could Talk: Collecting 2,000 Years
of British Household Potteryis a Herculean production,
remarkable for its impressive content, and immensely
interesting because of Nols legendary prose.
In Chapter one, Khnum Ptah, and the Clay of Life, Nol
notes that, from his earliest days at the Guildhall, he was
already was beginning to look past the pot to the people
who had made, owned, used and broken it. Fortunately,
Audrey shared his inquisitive nature, and the perfect
partnership resulted. Their first discovery, the 20ft deep
buried ruins of Roman Londonand the Romano-British
pots withinprompted the Nol Humes to find out more
about the who, what, when, why and where of them. Their
search led them to the Roman kiln sites in the Upchurch
Marshes in Kent, the major source of ceramics in the region
at that time. As he describes their first humorous foray into
the marshes, we find ourselves carefully stepping to avoid the
foot-sucking quagmire. Amazingly, their first expedition
linked not only to their quest for information about
Romano-British ceramic vessels, but also to English brown
stoneware, which became a later area of collecting.
And so it goes, throughout the book Nol describes
the vast and diverse ceramic collections he and Audrey
owned, and their reasons why. He explains the complex,
multi-layered associations of the assemblage to the worlds of
their makers and their owners. He shares with us the
principles that guided their professional work and their
collecting habits from the Eureka! of finding to the more
important joy of finding out. Through his absorbing
narrative prose, the collection speaks to us as well.
Included among the chapters are detailed discussions of
Romano-British pottery, medieval and post medieval British
coarse earthenware, Southwark delftware, Rhenish brown
stoneware, Westerwald blue and grey stoneware, English
brown stoneware, 18th-century English delftware and
French faience, white saltglazed stoneware, creamware,
pearlware, and English porcelain of the late 19th and early
20th centuries. From chamberpots and hunt jugs to
commemorative souvenirs and heraldic porcelains, the
subjects of the thematic chapters are wide-ranging and are
well thought-out. Also, the volume includes a useful 12-page
glossary of terms, a list of measurements and inscriptions of
illustrated objects, enlightening footnotes, a bibliography,
the Near East to Spain and the first French products of the
13th and 14th centuries (pages 77-82). Brief mention is
made of the archaeological finds from the 13th-century
pottery complex at Marseille and various 14th-century
tileries. The short-lived growth of the tradition in the 14th-
century was fostered by royal and ecclesiastical patronage
(notably the Ducs de Berry and the Pope). At the papal
palace of Avignon green-and-brown wares were produced by
Spanish potters brought in for specific commissions. The
next chapter (pages 83-5) explains the various socio-
economic problems that hindered the development of the
tin-glazed tradition in 14th-century France, and considers
the chronological development in 15th- and 16th-century
Spain and Italy. This is followed by a consideration of the
Renaissance revival in France. Although brief (pages 87-91),
this section covers several key events. Arguably the first
indication of 16th-century production is at Lyon, where, in
1512, the Florentine potter Angelo Benedetto was working,
together with four others, possibly at the invitation of
Franois I. This move led, indirectly, to the development and
expansion of the later industry at Nevers. In 1527 the same
king invited Girolama della Robbia, another Florentine
potter, to decorate, on a scale greater than anything known
in Italy, certain parts of a copy of the castle of Madrid that
was being constructed in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris. This
work, which lasted more than 25 years, was to influence the
decorative arts of the late 16th century. Also considered in
this section are the innovatory works known as St Porchaire
and those produced by Bernard Palissy and Massot
Abaquesne of Rouen, the pavement in the church at Brou
(source unknown), and the late 16th-/17th-century maiolica
production of the Langeudoc.
The next section (pages 93-7) outlines the development
of the industry in the first half of the 17th century, noting
the decline of Lyons, the move of various Italian glassmakers
and potters from Lyons to Nevers, and the rise of that
factory. Of interest here are the political influences that
influenced the course of the arts. A key event was the
marriage of Louis de Gonzague, an Italian born in Mantua
but brought up in the court of Franois I, and Henriette de
Clves, heiress of the duchy of Nivers, which he acquired in
1652. Exponents of the Renaissance, this couple not only
fostered the Italian arts, but also protected the Protestants. It
was they who invited four glassmakers from the area of
Albisola to Nevers, and these men were soon followed by
Italian potters, initially coming from Albisola, but in 1584
also from Faenza; from c. 1600 the name Faenza became
increasingly synonymous with tin-glazed pottery. Of the
other contemporary potteries that are noted (e.g.
Montpellier), Italian potters were present at Nantes, Cosne-
sur-Loire and possibly at Orlans.
During this period of revival, both documentary and
archaeological evidence show that tin-glazed pottery became
established as a luxury commodity, even if it was only hired
for specific events (indeed, we are told that it was largely the
rising prices that led to the downfall of the industry at
Lyons). By the mid-17th century, the three main production
centres were Nevers, Nantes and Rouen, with Montpellier
supplying pharmaceutical wares. During the reign of Louis
XIV (1638-1715), there was a move to cut down on
imported goods and to promote not only French products
but their export, and to establish France as a leader of
European fashion (pages 99-101). Another factor was the
need of the Treasury to compensate for the cost of various
wars, which was solved by gathering in items of precious
metal from a select nobility that could be melted down and
recycled (pages 101-3). This contributed to an increasingly
widespread use of tin-glazed pottery, and the development
of armorial decoration. Together with royal commissions,
these factors led to both the growth of the existing centres
and the opening of new potteries (e.g. Toulouse and
Quimper). The latter was aided by the head-hunting and
dispersal of various potters working at established centres,
and by the use of potters from the Low Countries (e.g. at
Rouen and Lille). The increase of production (especially for
tiles) to a quasi-industrial level is demonstrated by several
examples, including the Trianon de porcelaine at Versailles in
which tin-glazed tiles were used by the thousand.
The production of armorial wares between c. 1680-1725
is seen as the final peak of the period in which faience was
primarily the preserve of the aristocracy. In the following
years, increasing diversity and personalisation of decoration
and typology was matched by a subtle move towards the
bourgeois market, and a functional emphasis on the serving
of wine. The bulk of next two sections (pages 105-124)
concentrate on the period 1720-1780, although divided by a
block of twelve black and white plates (slightly on the dark
side) that are intended illustrate form and function. The first
outlines the economic situation and the general
development and marketing of faience at this time. The
second details various factories, the problems faced by them
in the mid-18th century (such as inspections and
maintaining adequate fuel supplies), and the recovery and
growth seen in the latter part of the century. This is followed
by a more lengthy consideration of the social background
and factors that influenced the development of faience, such
as the increasing use of porcelain (pages 125-34). As the
latter took hold of the upper end of the market, so faience
became the pottery used by the bourgeoisie and even the
middle classes. The development of the petit feu technique,
however, was intended to provide a product that could
complete with porcelain for the market in luxury goods.
Other developments, which mirror changing social customs
and dietary habits, include the creation of a new body that
could withstand heat (terre feu and faience brune), and
thus be used for serving or drinking tea, coffee and
chocolate. Other innovations were the use of pipeclay and
the adoption of methods of production used at Stoke-on-
Trent, specifically for cream ware. The French equivalent,
known as faience fine, at first produced in a range of bodies,
was made at numerous factories, but was ultimately
overshadowed by imported English wares.
The remaining sections mainly consider the late 18th and
19th centuries. Entrepreneurs and clients are discussed on
pages 135-139, while political factors such as the Treaty of
Vergennes (1786) following the American war, and the
French revolution, are considered on pages 141-145 and
146-152 respectively. The former led to the increase of
English imports and a decline of faience production in
France, which was sealed by the latter. The 19th century is
discussed in two sections, divided somewhat uncomfortably
by a block of black and white plates illustrate form and
function, mostly of 18th-century pieces.
The penultimate section (pages 175-183) covers the
historiography of the subject, the first exhibitions, of which
that at Svres was the first permanent display, and other
matters such as fakes and private collectors. The last section
(pages 185-193) presents the main avenues for further
research, stressing that identification by decoration alone is
unlikely to succeed, not least because, as already explained,
there was a national trend towards uniformity in the 18th
century and few kiln sites have been adequately excavated
and studied (page 122). Furthermore, it is pointed out that
at its peak the industry may have had up to 1000 industries,
and even those that are known are poorly understood. There
is a need, therefore, for more archival research, for
archaeological excavation, and scientific analysis of the
fabrics. The latter, one might be surprised to read, was
attempted as early as the mid-19th century, but real progress
only came in the late 1980s with work on material from
Rouen and Meillonas. The techniques used are mainly NAA,
XRF and optical spectrography, which are explained in
outline, together with seven stages of questions to be asked
of the material and the need for co-ordinated research that
can build up a reference collection of analytical data. It
would be interesting now to see how the new technique if
ICPS has influenced this work; being rather cheaper it will
hopefully overcome budgetary problems that in the past
have resulted in only small numbers of samples being
The test of a good book is whether it stands the test of
time. Despite the lapse between publication and this review,
it can be said the book remains an important contribution
to the subject, because it is a departure from the norm.
Those seeking detailed typologies and discussion of form
will be disappointed, but such studies can be found
elsewhere. As stated in the title, the main emphasis of this
book is on history and technology. The period covered spans
the 14th to 19th centuries, but the main emphasis is on 18th
and 19th centuries. It is not intended as a mere supplement,
or counterpart, to more art-historical studies, although this
is largely achieved. The overall aim is, overtly, to not to
provide a definitive text, but to give a better understanding
of the subject; behind this, however, other aims can be
detected. Firstly, to give a wake-up call to alternative
approaches and interests, both for the amateur and the
professional student of ceramics. Secondly, to bring a
relatively modern period, for the most part the domain of
the collector and connoisseur, to the attention of the
archaeological world, and show that this material has much
to offer the study of earlier industries. Much of the text is
quite simple, yet the content is scholarly and enhanced by
numerous quotes used to support the argument in question.
The narrative is balanced by the number and range of the
illustrations, including photographs of pottery, 19th-century
engravings of potters at work and their equipment and views
of archaeological sites, which ensure that the publication will
appeal to a wide audience. One of the most appealing
photographs is of a dish from Nevers showing a pottery at
work (page 104).
Had this been a travel book, a map would have been
provided. Given the number of other illustrations and that
the book is aimed largely at the amateur market, who could
be forgiven for not knowing where different industries were
based, this oversight is both unfortunate and disappointing
(especially for the foreign reader unfamiliar with the
geography of France). In this reviewers opinion, this
omission could be taken as the books weakest point. In
other respects, however, it functions well as a guide.
Signposts are offered, summary details of the possible
destinations are supplied, mainly in manageable, bite-sized
essays of no more than four sides, and these inspire further
expeditions. It is up to the reader to make the journey to
follow the road back from finished object to its origins, and
to consider new avenues of research. The author may,
therefore, be congratulated for presenting a holistic
approach that can, and should, be applied not only to the
study of faience, but any other major ceramic tradition. It is
fitting to round off this review, as the author prefaces his
own conclusions (page 194), by drawing attention to a plate
of c. 1770-1780 from Moustiers which shows a figure
(presumably a potter) holding a flag inscribed vive la fayence.
Lyn Blackmore
J. M. Lewis, The Medieval Tiles of Wales (Cardiff 1999)
Several minor mistakes that are likely to bewilder and irritate the
close reader went undetected during the proof-reading of the
above. Errata slips, even if conscientiously inserted by the
publisher, are notoriously liable to become mislaid, so it might be
helpful if they are published here, with accompanying apologies
for the necessity of having to do so.
p.24 column 2
under Group 10, in lines 3-4:
delete The Whitland example...........this group.
p.41 column 1
in line 26: for 248, 250 read 248-49.
in line 29: for 250 read 249.
p.70 column 1
in line 5: for 458-60 read 461-63.
p.71 column 1
in line 8: for 472 read 474;
under Group 27: in line 2 for 474-81 read 478-84;
in line 3 for 482-87 read 485-90.
p.75 column 1
under no.504, for 501 read 503.
column 2
in line 8, for 489 read 491-92.
p.104 column 1
in line 16, for 812 read 815.
p.233 column 2
under Group 24, for 394A read 394B.
p.235 column 2
in line 15 and under Group 26, for 473 read 476.
p.237 column 2
under Group 62, for 813 read 812.
p.239 column 2
in line 4, for 60 read 61;
under Group 21, for 318A read 318B.
p.240 column 2
in line 9, for RCAM 1900 read RCAHM 1911.
p.245 column 2
under Ungrouped tiles, for 498 read 501.
p.246 column 2
under Group 27, for 474-87 read 477-90.
p.248 column 2
under Group 62, for 812 read 815.
p.259 column 2
under Group 26, for 465 read 467.
p.260 column 1
under Group 24, for 394A read 394B.
p.263 column 1
under Group 28, for 488-9 read 491-92.
J. M. Lewis
Medieval Ceramics
John Evans
1940 2002
John Evans established a reputation as a chemist who
studied organic residues found in archaeology. Such
knowledge is hard-won and, when he first began
contributing to this field, he was the recognised authority in
the subject. Even today the numbers of archaeological
scientists involved in chemical analysis of organic materials
is relatively small compared to other areas of archaeological
science. It is a difficult area to study because of the huge
numbers of different organic compounds found in the
natural world, the complexity of mixtures of organic
compounds in a single natural material, and the effects of
degradation that obscure and modify the original
chemistry. Hence the interpretation of residues that are
found at the present day on archaeological material require
a sure grasp of organic chemistry. Among the materials he
studied were food residues associated with pottery. He made
numerous studies of this type, often of small numbers of
samples, but studied chemically very carefully, and drew
conclusions about the original materials from the results.
He was pre-eminently a chemist of organic materials with a
long and wise experience of such complex materials.
Understanding very thoroughly the chemistry and having a
vast knowledge of the subject involved enabled him to
interpret the analysis results. Other scientists who worked
with him commented that he had a great natural ability for
tackling the chemical analysis of organic archaeological
After an initial period of teaching in schools, he took up
an appointment at West Ham Polytechnic in Stratford, East
London; he remained there throughout his career, as the
institution went though mergers to form first the North East
London Polytechnic and then in 1992 the University of East
London (UEL).
He had a great natural ability and popularity as a teacher
and lecturer. A constant stream of students came to see him
for advice. Many of his former students remained in touch
with him long after they had graduated. His lectures were
always laced with humour and he would use well-directed
questions to the students to drive the message home. He saw
it as his role to build up students confidence in themselves,
and he was immensely pleased and proud that the practical
skills he passed on to his students through laboratory classes
enabled many to go straight on to employment after
graduating. Discoveries he and his students made in the
laboratories often featured as news items in UEL newsletters,
as they were invariably interesting or curious. He was a well-
known and dedicated representative of UEL at higher
education and history fairs, which he greatly enjoyed. For a
time he was the Higher Education representative on the
Council of the Royal Society of Chemistry, though
committee work was not really to his taste.
He used Museum visits to memorable educational effect
(the tasks he set were invariably couched in jokey form, but
with serious intent), but was careful to schedule the annual
visit to the Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of
Surgeons (to view evidence of disease left on bone) before
lunch. The British Museum, with less stomach-turning
displays, was explored in the afternoon.
He was at home in the chemical laboratory he is
pictured talking to students in his laboratory, with an X-Ray
fluorescence spectrometer (used to analyse for inorganic
elements) in the background. He would often have two or
three scientific instruments simultaneously running his
samples - a feature of his experimental approach was to use
several techniques, organic and inorganic, to examine
material. A practical example of this was the identification of
residues on Chester ware pottery (Evans 1985) where a
variety of organic and inorganic compounds was identified,
leading to the conclusion that the residue resulted from a
vegetable and meat (salted?) soup which had been thickened
with flour. One of the approaches he used consistently
(appearing in many of his published reports) was the
selective dissolution of organic compounds from residues
using a variety of chemical solvents. This separated the
compounds into chemical classes and made for easier
interpretation of the subsequent chromatography and
spectroscopy tests on these separated fractions.
He collaborated on projects with scientific research
groups in Continental Europe and the USA, as well as with
numerous archaeologists, museum curators and other
researchers in the UK. He was an Associate Editor of the
journal Archaeometry, recognised as the pre-eminent journal
in the subject.
He bore his illness with great strength, and followed the
progress of his students even when he had to retire from
work shortly before his death. His friends in many countries
are very glad to have known him.
Evans, J. 1985, Organic residue on a Chester Ware sherd, in
D.J.P.Mason (ed.) Excavations at Chester, 24-42 Lower Bridge
Street 1974-6: The Dark Age and Saxon periods, Appendix 4,
Mike Hughes
Peter Farmer
1946 2002
Over the last twenty years Peter Farmer had the unfailing
habit of bursting into my life unexpectedly. We would
usually have an exceptionally good dinner then he would
disappear the next day not to be seen again for several
Peter was a man of many talents, he was a superb
cabinetmaker, metalworker, and was a gilder of international
repute. Above all he was a workaholic who was always on the
move. One of his many important commissions in this area
was for a 6 ft high iron pendant for the Ashmolean Museum,
which he built, gilded and installed. He also gilded and
oversaw the erection of the large Muses at the Barbican and
constructed a 10ft diameter corona for the refurbishment of
the medieval apartments at the Tower of London. His
knowledge of early chandeliers was equal to that of anyone
in the country. After the fire at Hampton Court, at the
request of Historic Royal Palaces, he developed a waxcoated
electric chandelier candle unit to comply with the UKs
electrical regulations. He also constructed for the Kings
Apartments, at Hampton, a set of 6 candelabra decorated
with rock crystal following a 17th- century design.
At another stage Peter dealt in antique furniture, was an
expert on the etchings of Rembrandt and one way or
another was involved in some of the most important
renovations carried out in British stately homes over the last
20 years. However, Peter told me that the work that had
given him the most satisfaction was the transformation that
he accomplished for his good, friend Frank Chapman, at
Norberry Park House.
The first time I met Peter was on a horrible wet day in
Yorkshire, where I had gone to visit a friend who was digging
for Daniel Brewster. Later in the pub Peter and the rest of
the diggers sat around a huge fire with steam rising in clouds
as they tried to dry their wet cloths. Through this and the
thick cigarette smoke, like some sort of apparition, Daniel
Brewster kept popping up with warnings to be vigilant as the
men from Special Branch were watching him and he did not
want the diggers talking to them. Peter and the others would
just smile or nod. Not surprisingly I declined to stay the
I did not meet Peter again until the 1975 Chester
Pottery Conference. There, if I remember correctly, we
literally banged into each other as we crept out of a Lloyd
Laing poetry recital. We fled to the pub where I got drunk
and learned to my cost how fanatical Peter was on the
subject of pottery, as I received a very long introduction to
the pottery industry of Scarborough. I later learnt that
Peter had already carried out a number of archaeological
excavations in Scarborough and had published a number of
articles, the most important of which was his 1976 paper,
Scarborough Harbour and Borough from the 10th to the 16th
It was shortly after this that many of us living in towns
bordering the North Sea got to know Peter well, as we played
host to him and his wife Nita, as they were by now spending
all of their holidays travelling around examining shards of
Scarborough ware and recording archaeological contexts. It
was this research that led to the publishing, in 1979, of his
privately printed Introduction to Scarborough Ware and A Re-
assessment of Knight jugs.
Peter soon became aware of the controversial nature of
the dates and relationships that he had given to Scarborough
fabrics I and II, when they were applied to the stratified
pottery sequences then being excavated in ports like
Aberdeen, Perth and Hull. It was with these difficulties in
mind that he returned to the subject again. First he initiated
the support of the late John Hurst and the predecessor of
English Heritage in a program of thin-sectioning
Scarborough type pottery at the Department of Archaeology,
at the University of Southampton. This led to two important
Saxon period, stimulated perhaps by the discovery of the
Ipswich ware kilns at Cox Lane and the need to understand
the ceramic landscape into which the late Saxon industries
were introduced and the recognition of pre-Viking
continental imports such as Badorf and Tating wares on sites
in the British Isles.
Having sketched out the main features of the locally
produced pottery of mid and late Saxon pottery, Johns
interests seem to have shifted towards the later medieval
and post-medieval periods, and in particular the recognition
and study of imported wares, unusual forms and English
finewares. This interest is shown in print by 1963 with
short notes on curfews, stoneware and lobed cups in the
report on the Hangleton DMV, Sussex, and continued
almost to the end of his life. John kept his records on
index cards and a familiar site at MPRG meetings was to
see John diligently recording these exotica. As information
accumulated he would then publish synthetic accounts,
such as his work on the later products of the Saintonge
(Hurst 1974), Langerwehe stoneware (Hurst 1977a) and
Spanish imports (Hurst 1977b). The landmark publication
of the van Beuningen collection catalogue brought
together and updated most of these strands of research,
providing an accessible and lavishly produced, yet scholarly,
work which is essential reading for anyone studying later
medieval pottery in the field (1986).
John was quick to recognise the value of scientific
techniques for the study of medieval pottery, both for dating
(such as the archaeomagnetic dating of kilns) and for
characterisation. He was particularly excited by the possibilities
of thin section and chemical analysis and took a major role in
the selection of samples for the British Museums programme
of Neutron Activation Analysis of Netherlandish and Italian
maiolicas carried out by Mike Hughes.
For those of us lucky enough to be taught by John,
formally or informally, it is that aspect of his life which be
most sorely missed. For many years he ran evening classes in
medieval pottery at Goldsmiths College, attended by several
members of the MPRG, and anyone who received a JGH site
visit will know that he was generous to a fault with his
knowledge, both face to face and through his inimitable
typed letters in which ideas were so compressed that, as
someone recently remarked, John could lay claim to have
invented TXT shorthand long before the advent of the
mobile phone.
Hurst, J. G. 1955 Saxo-Norman pottery in East Anglia: part I
General discussion and St Neots ware. Proc Cambridge Antiq
Soc 49, 43-70.
Hurst, J. G. 1956 Saxo-Norman pottery in East Anglia: part II
Thetford ware. Proc Cambridge Antiq Soc 50, 42-60.
Hurst, J. G. 1957 Saxo-Norman pottery in East Anglia: part III
Stamford ware. Proc Cambridge Antiq Soc 51, 37-65.
Hurst, J. G. 1974 Sixteenth- and seventeenth-century imported
pottery from the Saintonge. in V. I. H. H. Evison and J. G.
Hurst, (eds.) Medieval Pottery from Excavations: Studies
presented to Gerald Clough Dunning, with a bibliography of his
works, John Baker, London, 221-56.
Hurst, J. G. 1977a Langerwehe Stoneware of the Fourteenth and
Fifteenth Centuries in M. R. Gilyard-Beer and A. D. Saunders
(eds.) Ancient Monuments and their Interpretation: Essays
Presented to A J Taylor, Chichester , 219-38.
Hurst, J. G. 1977b Spanish pottery imported into medieval
Britain. Medieval Archaeol XXI, 68-105.
Hurst, John G., Neal David S. and van Beuningen, H. J. E. 1986
Pottery Produced and Traded in North-West Europe 1350-1650.
Rotterdam Papers VI Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van
Alan Vince
John Hurst a personal tribute
I first met the very shy and unassuming John Hurst back
in the late 1970s when I was working on Scotlands first
stratified group of 12th-century pottery. It was at the
suggestion of the then assistant inspector of ancient
monuments, Chris Tabraham, that we ask John, the well
known pottery expert, to come to Scotland to view our
material and identify the imports. That first encounter was
memorable as John had asked Chris if he could see any other
pottery that had been excavated over the last few years. I laid
out what I could find in the store and followed him around
with my note book as John filled out his white cards. To this
day I remember being amazed that he could tell that a single
sherd in a pile was French. It was from a Saintonge Chaffing
Dish, which because of my ignorance John had to sketch.
For the next two decades, or so, I would generally only
meet John once or twice a year at conferences and this
was often only to show him my problem sherds and
exchange pleasantries. As years passed as I worked on more
pottery like many others I would wrap up my small bags
of ceramic imports and send them down to Johns office
in London. Usually I would get them back a couple of weeks
later with a badly typed and at times almost unreadable
note. To one of the worlds worst spellers these notes were a
source of pleasure as I thought if John can get to the top
with spelling like that maybe there was hope for me.
Slowly as the years passed and as I got to know John
better I found that we could talk for longer and he seemed
to be more comfortable in my company. Firstly with Steve
Moorhouse and subsequently alone when he was in Scotland
he would stay with my wife and myself and I soon learned
that in the evening after a good meal John liked nothing
better than for us to sit at the window talking about pottery
while he watched the sea.
In 2001, when we in Scotland began to survey all of our
ceramic imports and I began to look at the French material,
papers, written for a Symposium On Scarborough Ware,
and published in Medieval Ceramics 6. These were The
Dating of the Scarborough Ware Pottery Industry and The
Summary and Conclusions, the articles in which Peter and
Nita brought the results from all the other papers together
and re-analysed them.
It would be fair to say that despite all this work
the inherent problems with the dating of Scarborough
ware were never resolved, and today it is still a subject
at the forefront of European medieval ceramic studies.
It had always been Peters wish that he could find time
to write up his unpublished work and carry out further
research on the subject. When he found out that he
was ill and that his time was limited he started to make
plans. It was to check on the dating evidence from Ireland
and to renew old acquaintances that he went to the
Medieval Pottery Conference in Dublin, in 2002, a trip
which he later said was one of the most enjoyable
of his life.
Sitting at Dublin Airport was the last time I spoke to
Peter face to face. And it was there that he told me that as a
child he had often wandered around Scarborough with his
grandfather, who he said had been the most important
influence on his upbringing. On these walks he had been
encouraged to look into workmens trenches and from that
simple beginning had sprung his desire to study the
medieval ceramics of Scarborough, and without doubt it
will be for his work on this hugely important medieval
pottery industry that he will be best remembered.
Only weeks before he died Ann Jenner circulated, on
Peters behalf, an e-mail asking for information on any new
Scarborough ware finds spots and any new dating evidence.
Work on this paper must continue, as there could be no
more fitting memorial to Peter, and nothing that he would
have liked better than to have published, in his honour, a
re-evaluation paper of the important medieval Scarborough
pottery kilns which he did so much to elucidate.
It was Peters wish that his ashes be interred on the small
island in the centre of the Clowance Estate, in Cornwall. This
was been done, with his ashes being placed in a copy of a
Scarborough ware knight jug, superbly potted by John
Farmer, P. 1976 Scarborough Harbour & Borough from the 10th to
the 16th centuries. Scarborough Archaeol Hist Soc, Local History
Booklet 1
Farmer, P. and N. Introduction to Scarborough Ware and A Re-
assessment of Knight jugs. Hove.
Farmer, P and N. The dating of the Scarborough Ware pottery
industry and The Summary and Conclusions in Symposium
on Scarborough Ware, Medieval Ceram 6, 66-119.
George Haggarty
John Hurst
1927 2003
John Hurst and the study of medieval pottery
John Hurst, one of the founding members of the Medieval
Pottery Research Group, died on 29th April 2003 having
been the victim of an unprovoked attack at Great Casterton,
Lincolnshire, where he had lived since his retirement from
English Heritage.
Johns role in the development of the discipline of
Medieval Archaeology and the study of medieval settlements
will be, for many, the lasting achievements of his career but
for students of medieval ceramics it is the unrivalled and
irreplaceable position he occupied in the study of medieval
pottery for which we will remember him best and miss him
John seems to have come to medieval pottery studies
initially because of his interest in deserted medieval villages
(he was a founding member of the Deserted Medieval
Village Research Group in 1952) and the need to be able to
date pottery in order to provide a framework for excavations
(such as that at Northolt, Middlesex, which he started to
excavate in his second undergraduate year at Cambridge).
Within a couple of years, however, John had embarked on
his survey of Saxo-Norman pottery in East Anglia which
resulted in three papers in the Proceedings of the Cambridge
Antiquarian Society which set out a
classification and chronology for these wares which was
quickly accepted and form the basis for virtually all
subsequent work on these wares (Hurst 1955, Hurst 1956
and Hurst 1957).
Johns interests were also extending back to the middle
THE GROUP 20012002
President Clive Orton
Vice President David Barker* (i)
Victoria Bryant* (ii)
Secretary Lorraine Mepham
Assistant Secretary Susan Anderson*
Treasurer Robert Will
Assistant Treasurer Alison Turner-Rugg*
Editors Jacqueline Pearce*
Lucy Whittingham*
Assistant Editor Jennie Stopford*
Regional Groups Officer Christopher Cumberpatch*
Meetings Secretary Anne Jenner
Ordinary Members Debbie Ford
Alejandra Gutierrz
Nigel Jeffries
Sara Lunt (i)
Liz Pieksma (ii)
Co-opted members Clare McCutcheon
Frans Verhaeghe
(i) Until May 2001
(ii) From May 2001
* Denotes member of the
Editorial Committee
Accounts for the year ending 31 January 2001
I found myself talking regularly to John on the phone and
when he was out Stephen would answer and we would often
chat. In 2002 Historic Scotland paid for John to come to
Scotland for five days as part of our Survey and it was on
one of these evenings as we talked, that John told me
although I have been unwell I am happy, life is good to me, I
am well looked after at home and I have two daughters that I
am proud of. On the Friday when I saw him on to the train
for the last time his last words to me where now that you
have finished the French wares you must take on the
German material, your work is for Scotland as important as
John Allans is for England. That gave me a real lift as only
the night before he had told me at some length how much
he admired Johns work. It was only a few weeks later when I
phoned, Stephen told me the terrible news. When my wife
said I will send some flowers to your friend I realised she was
right, after all these years that was just what the shy and
modest man had become.
The utter futility of Johns death came to me as it did to
all his friends in the world of medieval ceramics as a great
shock and he has left a void that will be very hard to fill. My
one regret is that at Johns Funeral I never got to meet
Stephen and thank him for keeping me informed about
Johns condition during the long weeks that he was in hospital.
George Haggarty
Income Notes Year to 31.1.01 Year to 31.1.00
Subscriptions current 2466.95 2484.25
Late subscriptions (+) or Arrears written off (-) 230.00 202.15
Other debts written off (-) or liabilities cancelled (+) 1 0.00 0.00
Back number sales (+PCs) 1169.70 143.92
Guide Sales 2 1248.86 3111.50
Publication Grants 3 840.00 80.00
Donations 0.00 0.00
Advertising income 0.00 0.00
Conference Income 4 6758.25 4785.25
Training courses (including grants) 0.00 0.00
Bank Interest 302.94 217.10
Total Income 13016.70 11744.17
Expenditure Notes Year to 31.1.01 Year to 31.1.00
Current Journal (production, packaging and postage 5 8067.17 5891.37
Guide production 45.17 1850.62
Other publications 6 1600.00 0.00
General Costs (including newsletter and sales (p&p) 976.15 307.38
Conferences 4 7496.24 3737.43
Training Courses 0.00 0.00
Bank Charges 0.00 0.00
Postcards 7 754.00 0.00
Total Expenditure 18938.73 11786.90
+Surplus-Deficit for the year -5922.03 -42.73
Accumulated Fund Balance from previous year 13628.56 13671.29
Balance carried forward 7706.53 13628.56
(difference between AFB from previous year and deficit)
Assets represented by Notes Year to 31.1.01 Year to 31.1.00
Balances at bank 6926.69 13828.56
Debtors and pre-payments 8 979.84 0.0
Other assets 9 -200.00 -200.00
Total assets
Less current liabilities 0.00
Accumulated Fund 7706.53 13628.56
Income and expenditure account for the year ending 31 January 2001
Balance Sheet for the year ending 31 January 2001
Scottish Group of Medieval Ceramicists
Following the MPRG conference in Edinburgh the Scottish
group have been working on producing a new review of
medieval pottery imported into Scotland, as outlined in a
recent Newsletter (No. 44, December 2002). Several group
members took advantage of Duncan Browns invitation to
view the remarkable collection of Italian maiolicas and olive
jars from a shipwreck off Kinlochbervie in the Highlands.
Imported pottery from 75 High Street, Perth
Derek Hall and George Haggarty are trying to organise the
laying out and viewing of all the imported pottery from the
excavations at 75 High Street, Perth (aka Marks and
Spencers, PHSE). It is their intention to organise this for
October and contact has already been made with those
specialists who they would like to invite.
Unidentified greywares
A group of greywares from Perth have been compared with
material from Jutland, Northern England and East Anglia
using ICPS. There is some correlation with sherds from
Woodbastwick and Kirstead (both East Anglia). However
some material remains unsourced and further sampling
needs to be carried out, particularly involving further
samples from Denmark.
Derek Hall
55 South Methven Street, Perth PH1 5NX
Tel. 01738 622393
The South East Midlands Pottery Research
Group 2001-02
SEMPER (South East Midlands Pottery Research Group) try
to hold two meetings a year (although three were held in
2001-2), jointly with the East Anglia Pottery Group. The
Autumn meeting is always at the Buckinghamshire County
Museum in Aylesbury, and the Spring meeting venue varies
depending on members current interests and willingness to
host it.
The Autumn meeting was held in Aylesbury in
November, 2001, on a double theme of regional updates in
the morning and a discussion of Ceramic Type Series in the
afternoon. It seems many of us are trying to work towards
the same ends, although all of us are facing the same
problem of lack of funding.
Our previously postponed Spring meeting was finally
held at West Stow, on Saturday 27 April 2002. It was an
excellent meeting, organised by Sue Anderson, on the theme
of Anglo-Saxon pottery and attracted wide-ranging
contributions from across the region and beyond. The venue
was perfect and we had plenty of time to look around the
village and museum. About thirty people attended, some of
whom are not regular SEMPER members we hope to see
them again at our next meeting.
A third meeting was held on 26th October 2002 in
Aylesbury to discuss pottery from urban contexts. Due to
clashes with various other events on that day, far fewer
people attended than usual, twelve in total. Nevertheless, we
had a series of interesting talks and a lively discussion the
advantage of small numbers! We also had plenty of time to
look at all the pottery, which people had brought along.
The first meeting for 2003 is planned for April 5th at
Harlow Museum to look at pottery from Harlow and the
surrounding area.
Further details will be sent to all on the mailing list. To get
your name on the list, contact
Anna Slowikowski
Albion Archaeology
St Marys Church, St Marys Street
Bedford MK42 0AS
Telephone: 01234-294005
The South-West Region Medieval Pottery
Research Group
The Bickley Kiln Project has continued with an unsuccessful
experiment with coal-firing. Olly Kent and Dave Dawson
have concluded that it could not be achieved without a
specially designed firebox.
The Dunster post-medieval kiln, thought to be the
earliest standing in the country, has been written up for
publication by David Dawson and Olly Kent.
In Bristol the Bedminster pottery (c.1770-1851) has been
excavated by Adrian Parry of Bristol and Region
Archaeological Services.
At Westbury-on-Trym, four miles from the centre of
Bristol, Mike Ponsford evaluated a site in Henbury Road
which produced quantities of waste thought to be from the
17th-century Westbury pottery. The products included
sugar-cone moulds, syrup-collecting jars, chimney pots and
horticultural wares, many of these being advertised for sale
in local journals and probably used in the many sugar-
processing sites in the city.
The material from Cleeve Abbey has been published by
John Allan in the Procedings of the Somerset Archaeological
and Natural History Society 2001. John Allan has also been
working on a group of sites in east Devon centred on Hembury.
The Barnstaple collection is being assessed for a
publication programme by the Devon unit.
The pottery from Launceston Castle, Cornwall, has been
researched by Alan Vince and Duncan Brown.
Mike Ponsford
12 Seymour Road
Bishopston, Bristol BS7 9HR
Regional Group Reports 20012001
2001 2002
The London Area Medieval Pottery Research Group
No meetings were held by the London Group in 2001
Nigel Jeffries
Museum of London Specialist Services
46 Eagle Wharf Road
London N1 7ED
Telephone: 0207 566 9312
The South Central Medieval Pottery Research Group
No meetings were held by the South Central Group in 2001
Lorraine Mepham
Wessex Archaeology
Portway House, Old Sarum Park
Salisbury SP4 6EP
The East Midlands Pottery Research Group
A series of meetings were held during the year to discuss the
possibility of setting up a fabric type series for Lincolnshire.
Jane Young
Lindsey Archaeological Services
25 West Parade, Lincoln LN1 1NW
Telephone 01522 544554
The Welsh Medieval Pottery Research Group
There have been some developments in Welsh medieval
pottery studies over the last year, including the discovery of
wasters at Llandaff, but the Welsh group has not met,
although the possibility of a meeting is in prospect.
Steve Sell
c/o Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust
Ferrybridge Warehouse, Bath Lane, Swansea SA1 1RD
Mark Redknap
Department of Archaeology and Numismatics
National Museum and Gallery
Cathays Park , Cardiff CF1 3NP
Accumulated fund balance carried forward:
Signed Robert Will, Hon Treasurer, May 1997 present
Auditors Report to Members of the Medieval Pottery
Research Group
I have audited the financial statements of the medieval pot-
tery research grouping accordance with auditing standards.
In my opinion it gives a true and far view of the state of the
Groups affairs at 31st January 2001
Ann Gow
1. 1,169.70 this unusually high sales figure includes sales
on behalf of Oxbow Books Ltd at the conference and
sales of postcards.
2. Guide sales down third year of publication.
3. Trondheim Redware 840 was spent this year.
4. 25th anniversary conference in Oxford was very well
attended which lead to an increase in costs.
5. This years volume was a double volume resulting in
increased production and postage costs.
6. Trondheim Redware grant carried over.
7. 25th anniversary postcards, the cost of producing the
postcards falls into this financial year while the income
received from them will come in over the next few years.
8. Expenditure on the conference is higher than the income
due to VAT being added to the final invoice- to be
claimed back and additional costs of photocopying etc.
9. This money has come in from sales of Cities in Sherds
that have been ordered through MPRG, this money has
still to be sent to Michael Bartels.
North-West Regional Medieval Pottery Research
The North West Region MPRG held one meeting in 2001.
A very enjoyable day was spent at the Liverpool Museum
stores examining pottery from the Buckley kilns. Christine
Longworth and Peter Davey led the discussions and
attendees contributed by bringing along pottery excavated
from sites in the region.
Although the group did not meet in 2002, a meeting has
been planned for January 2003 to discuss the Regional
Research Framework for Archaeology in the North West as
well as recent work in the region. Plans are also in hand for
further meetings in 2003.
Those who would like to be kept informed of group
meetings should contact:
Julie Edwards
c/o Chester Archaeology
27 Grosvenor Street
Chester CH1 2DD
The West Midlands Medieval Pottery Research
The West Midlands group did not meet in 2001-2.
Stephanie Ratkai
7 Pinehurts Drive
Kings Norton
B38 8TH