The Mortarium Stamps by K.F. Hartley

Cite this as: Hartley, K.F. 2015, The Mortarium Stamps, in M. Atkinson and S.J. Preston Heybridge: A Late Iron Age and Roman Settlement, Excavations at Elms Farm 1993-5, Internet Archaeology 40.

Forty-three mortarium stamps were examined. Four fabrics were identified, with the highest number of stamps recorded in the 'local kiln' fabric (BUFM). Other sources were identified as Colchester (COLBM), Verulamium (VRWM) and northern France (NEGM). Full fabric descriptions can be found in the Fabrics section. Mortaria made at Colchester and those made elsewhere in Essex, including Heybridge, are difficult to differentiate and form distributions, and the stamps are necessary for any certainty. The fabrics for northern France are also difficult to isolate because the geology on either side of the Channel is similar. For instance, Q. Valerius Veranius and Q. Valerius Se-- almost certainly worked in different potteries, but both are in northern France. The stamps have been grouped and described by fabric and the local kiln products are grouped by stamp type, i.e. the name stamps are followed by the 'trademarks'.

Note: When applied to mortarium stamps, 'right-facing' and 'left-facing' indicate the relation of the stamp to the spout looking at the mortarium from the outside.

Local kiln products, probably Heybridge

A large quantity of mortarium fragments had been built into pottery kiln 1618, in particular, the clay lining and the pedestal. It is assumed that these mortaria had been made nearby, and attention is drawn to the similarity in fabric and form between these vessels and others made locally, including Colchester.

Name stamps

All of the stamps were impressed vertically down the 'collar' of the mortarium and in all examples the die has been applied in the same way with the name reading downward from the rim. In all, there are six to seven mortaria impressed with this stamp. Five to six mortaria had been used in the construction of the pedestal, 1578, but the fabric of all seven shows crazing to some degree, presumably the result of overfiring. It is interesting that similar fabrics made at Colchester, and sold in quantity to Antonine sites in Scotland, show crazing that looks similar, though in that instance it probably results from the acid soil conditions.

One possible reading of this potter's stamps could be CVINO\[.]M, (N reversed), but the interpretation is unclear. No other stamps from the same die have been recorded. Names beginning CVNO-- are common enough, but the only potter whose name, stamps and mortaria have any similarity to these, is Cunopectus, who worked at Colchester (Symonds and Wade 1999, 199, S28-S32). Cunopectus sometimes used Λ or Y for V and used a stamp border of generally similar type; a few of his mortaria can be matched among the Heybridge mortaria. There are, however, difficulties in reading these stamps as any version of his name, and the similarities in the lettering, are not close enough for us to assume that they are his. Any final decision about the reading must wait until a stamp is found that records the missing letter in full; if it is an upside down P, identification with Cunopectus would then be much more likely. If the stamps are not his, then they are the stamps of a hitherto unrecorded potter. In either case, the dearth of mortaria with stamps from the same die indicates that they represent a minor production. Sale was probably limited to local communities around Heybridge.

The discovery, on a kiln site, of seven mortaria stamped with the same unknown die is adequate reason to believe that they were made there. Moreover, they are in an appropriate fabric and have appropriate rim profiles for the area. The fragments of the six mortaria used in the construction of the pedestal of Kiln 1618, nos 1-6, are clearly residual and pre-date the use of the kiln (assuming the construction of the pedestal to be contemporary with the building of the kiln). We may reasonably assume that they are wasters from the firing of an earlier kiln in the vicinity.

The potters at Heybridge were making their mortaria in the Colchester tradition and their mortaria can be dated by comparison with Colchester products. The rim profiles used by CVINO\[..]M combine features of Cam 498 and Cam 499. All have the wide bead of Cam 498; nos 6 and 7 have its outward-going flange, thinner at the distal end, while the rest have the incurved flange of equal thickness demonstrated in Cam 499. Both types are among the latest types being stamped at Colchester (Hull 1963, and see 153, fig. 87, nos 1-4 and 13) and both forms are likely to have continued in production after the practice of stamping ceased. A date in the late 2nd century is most likely, perhaps around the period AD 180/190. This estimation is based on those rim profiles associated with stamps, which continued to be made after stamping ceased; also the complete absence from Scotland of potters like Cunopectus, Acceptus and, the perhaps slightly earlier, and much more common, Martinus 2.

The fact that this die is not represented elsewhere indicates that the potter was serving a local market. Mortaria like nos 5 and 6 continued to be made after the practice of stamping ceased, so that his later work could be unstamped. The optimum date for his stamped mortaria is c. AD 170-190. There is no reason to suppose that these mortaria were stamped for a special reason.

Figure 316
Figure 316: Mortarium stamps

1. Fabric BUFM. Mortarium with deep collar; the damaged potter's stamp reads downward from the rim, CVIN(reversed)O\[..]. The letter panel has upper and lower borders, each composed of parallel diagonal bars. 1615, Part of kiln pedestal 1578, Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

2. Fabric BUFM. A second mortarium of similar type. Enough of the borders survive to indicate that the stamp is from the same die as No. 1, but only the last letter at the bottom of the collar can be deciphered; this could be M. Stamps 1 and 2 together show that there are plain zones at both ends of the letter panel. In fact, these two zones are part of the outer border which is just a plain panel surrounding the letter panel and its upper and lower borders with diagonal bars. Collation of the two stamps shows that the entire stamp is 50mm long and 21mm wide with the letter panel approximately 46mm long and 7mm wide. The length of the letter panel would fit with M as the only letter following the incomplete letter, giving CVINO\[.]M, (N reversed), as a possible complete reading. 1615, Part of kiln pedestal 1578, Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4 Note: the stamps have been superimposed in Figure 316, forming a composite stamp.

3. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. This fragment is probably part of the above mortarium, No. 2, carrying the complementary stamp. The right-facing stamp is too damaged for any part of it to be easily identified, but the tiny part of the surviving border together with the similarity of the mortarium to 1 and 2 suggest that the stamp is from the same die; being from the same context is also significant. 1615, Part of kiln pedestal 1578, Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

4. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. A different mortarium of similar type to those above. The left-facing stamp is too damaged to be read, but the borders are identical to those of the above stamps, showing it to be from the same die. 1615, Part of kiln pedestal 1578, Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

5. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. A mortarium of generally similar but not identical type to the above. The stamp is too damaged to be read; only O with the first stroke of the following letter survive, but the borders allow it to be attributed to the same die as the above stamps. 1615, Part of kiln pedestal 1578, Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

6. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. This could well be part of No.5, but it has been treated as a different vessel because of some very small differences which may not be significant. The letter panel of the stamp is too damaged to be read, but the borders allow it to be attributed to the die used in stamp Nos 1-3. 1615, Part of kiln pedestal 1578, Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

7. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. A collared mortarium with incomplete rim section, but of generally similar type to 5. The borders of the damaged stamp permit it to be attributed to the same die as 1-3; part of ]NO[ can be distinguished. There is a white deposit on most surfaces, including one of the fractures. Fill 2929, Ditch 2924, Group 314, Area W, Period 2B-4

'Trademark' stamps

Thirteen 'trademarks' (Figure 316, no. 15) have survived; all are likely to be from different vessels. Two mortaria stamped with the same die have been recorded from earlier excavations at Heybridge (Wickenden 1986, 45, fig. 24, no. 199), and one from Brampton, Norfolk (unpublished). This potter's distribution was clearly limited and it is perhaps surprising that his work should be recorded from Brampton. There is of course an outside chance that he came to Heybridge from Brampton (or vice versa), but this possibility can only be considered when further work is done on the pottery found at Brampton.

On all of his mortaria the stamp was impressed down the collar, all the same way round. Considering the nature of this trademark, such consistency suggests that the die was either made or marked in such a way that it could always be picked up the right way round. The same is implied for the die used for the name stamp, CVINO\[.]M?, which was also impressed consistently. The 'trademark' mortaria, including earlier finds, are more consistent in rim profile than those of the named potter who shows slightly more variety in rim profile and perhaps an earlier tendency. There is, however, a notable general similarity in their rim forms and some of the named potter's profiles are identical with those of the 'trademark' potter (namely Nos 5 and 6). Production at about the same date is certainly indicated. The spout indicated by the stump on No. 3 (CVINO\[.]M?) could be of the type in common use earlier (Hull 1963, fig. 63, no. 9), while the spout of No. 10 (trademark), is especially indicative of late 2nd century production (Hull 1963, fig. 87, 'Pottery from Kiln 24', nos 2-3).

8. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Two joining sherds. Poor impression of trademark stamp. Crazed surface. West side packing 1213, Part of construction for Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

9. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Incomplete rim profile. Broken, right-facing trademark stamp (good impression). 1512, East side packing 1619, Part of construction for Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

10. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Five joining sherds, one has a crazed surface. Left-facing trademark stamp survives. The splayed sides of the spout are unusual and of similar type to those found at Kiln 24 at Colchester (Hull 1963, fig. 87, 'Pottery from Kiln 24', nos 2-3). The mortaria associated with Kiln 24 are among the latest stamped at Colchester. Hull dated Kiln 24 to AD 220, but his evidence was often limited and, where it can be checked, his dating of kilns tends to be rather late for the associated mortaria. 1512, East side packing 1619, Part of construction for Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

11. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. The position of the trademark stamp suggests that it is the right-facing one. 1512, East side packing 1619, Part of construction for Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

12. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. The position of the trademark stamp suggests that it is the right-facing one. 1512, East side packing 1619, Part of construction for Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

13. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Seven joining sherds giving the full profile of the vessel. No indication of use. The right-facing trademark stamp survives. 1532, East side packing 1619, Part of construction for Kiln 1618, Group 906, Area W, Period 4

14. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM, crazed. Two joining sherds. Trademark stamp. 1502, Part of fill 1002, Stoke-hole 1589, Group 910, Area W, Period 4

15. Fabric BUFM, surface crazed. Could be part of No. 12, but treated as a different vessel. Trademark stamp. Fill 1029, Stoke-hole 1589, Group 910, Area W, Period 4

16. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM, crumbly. Trademark stamp. Fill 1029, Stoke-hole 1589, Group 910, Area W, Period 4

17. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Trademark stamp. Fill 1029, Stoke-hole 1589, Group 910, Area W, Period 4

18. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM, discoloured to brown. Trademark stamp. Fill 1029, Stoke-hole 1589, Group 910, Area W, Period 4

19. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM, fired to greenish-cream. Two joining sherds. The edge of an impression of the trademark stamp survives, probably the left-facing stamp. Fill 1211, Stoke-hole 1589, Group 910, Area W, Period 4

20. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Surface of sherd pitted. Trademark stamp. Fill 051, Cut 015, Building 69, (Group 932) Area W, Period 6

21. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. Numerous tiny fragments in a very friable, pale brownish version of the kiln fabric. A broken stamp survives, but only one border of diagonal bars is clear. The fabric, and its condition, indicates a local product, but it is not from either of the two dies which are so far attributable to Heybridge (Figure 316, nos 1, 15). If it is a local product, then mid-2nd century is probably as early as it could be. Fill 9336, Ditch 9325, Group 776, Area D, Period 3-4

Comments on both potters

Fragments from six mortaria with the trademark stamp and five or six mortaria with the name stamp were used in the construction of Kiln 1618. Since there is no indication of refurbishment to Kiln 1618, all of these mortaria must pre-date the use of the kiln. All were clearly at hand when the kiln was built and none shows signs of being weathered at that stage. The conclusion must be that they were fired in an earlier kiln situated nearby and that they had not been lying around long enough to suffer much weathering. These factors and the similarity in the work of these two potters suggest that they were working in the same workshop at Heybridge. The similarity of their work also points to contemporaneity, though two of the named potter's rim profiles, and probably the spout on No. 3, are marginally the earliest typologically. All the mortaria, however, belong to the latest period when stamping was being practised in this area; this is likely to have been AD 170-190, probably ending well before AD 190. Both potters could have continued making mortaria without stamping them.

Both were serving local markets and this is what one would expect. Even the production of mortaria at Colchester must have been diminishing by AD 170-180 as there is no indication that the Colchester potters found another market to take the place of that in Scotland and the north-east of England. If the name stamp did prove to be a debased stamp of Cunopectus, a move on his part from Colchester to Heybridge would not necessarily have been the backward step one might at first think. Regalis of Colchester opened a workshop at Ellingham in Norfolk in exactly the same period, either to leave Colchester, or to increase a probably dwindling market (Hartley and Gurney 1997, 25-6).

22. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. In place of a potter's stamp, this sherd has two graffiti, one of herringbone form, the second, close to it, is a simple chevron motif. Although there are several examples of graffiti in place of stamps, they are, nevertheless, very uncommon. The trituration grit points to manufacture in the south-east, and it is likely to be a local product, perhaps mid-2nd century in date. 11000, unstratified, Area A2

Colchester name stamps

23. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM. Two joining sherds and third non-joining sherd. Clear impressions of the faint left-facing stamp read DVBETAUS retrograde. This spelling is considered to be an alternative or corrupt form of DVBITATUS. This potter worked at Colchester, probably AD 140-170. See Symonds and Wade (1999, 200, S39-S42; fig. 4.25, no. 40) for further information. The stamp shown in Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 3) is a clearer and more complete illustration. Fill 7390, Pit 7389, Group 867, Area G, Period 4

24. Fabric COLBM. Many sherds, providing most of the rim of the mortarium (Figure 316). The retrograde, right-facing stamp reads MARTIN, probably followed by VS, the A may have a vertical bar. This stamp is from a previously unrecorded die of Martinus 2 who worked at Colchester. This brings the total of his known die-types to sixteen (one with at least three variants in length). The Heybridge stamp is similar in layout, lettering and motifs to one published in Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 15), but this example is undoubtedly from a different and longer die with larger letters. Fill 7123, Pit 7122, Group 868, Area G, Period 4

This potter's mortaria are now known from Braintree; Cambridge (2); Canterbury (2-3); Capel St Mary, Suffolk; Chelmsford; Colchester (up to 99); Corbridge (3-4); Gestingthorpe, Essex; Great Chesterford (3); Heybridge; North Ash, Kent; London/Southwark (6); Wallsend; Ware, and York. Martinus 2 has the heaviest distribution outside Colchester of any of the Colchester potters who stamped names on their mortaria. He also has the heaviest distribution in north-eastern England of any of these potters and his absence from Scotland is noteworthy. His activity certainly lay within the period AD 140-180, but the optimum date for his work is AD 150-170 (see Symonds and Wade (1999, 200-1) for further details).

25. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM. The right-facing stamp reads TVTA retrograde or ATVT from left to right. He worked at Colchester in the 1st century AD and his working period is unlikely to have been long. All previous dating has been based on rim profiles, a process that can be uncertain with mortaria made at Colchester within the period AD 50-110. The context in which this sherd was found indicates that he was active in the mid-1st century (see Symonds and Wade (1999, fig. 4.26, nos 74-75; 201)). Fill 11246, Pit 11316, Group 227, Area N, Period 2-3

26. Fabric COLBM. A powdery, brownish-cream version. A well-worn mortarium, slightly singed before fracture, with poorly impressed stamp that preserves parts of the following letters, VIATORS. The complete stamp reads VIATORS for Viatoris, the genitive form of Viator. Only one other stamp from the same die has been recorded, from Caistor-by-Norwich (unpublished). His much more commonly-used die gives VIATOR (Symonds and Wade 1999, fig. 4.27, S123-124, 204). The similarity of rim profile and fabric suggests that the two dies belonged to the same potter and his workshop can be attributed to Colchester, probably c. AD 80-110. Mortaria stamped with the more common die are recorded from Brough-on-Humber; Caistor-by-Norwich; Colchester (5); Corbridge; Leicester (2); Rocester; Walton-le-Dale, and Winterton. He was one of the few 1st-century producers of mortaria at Colchester to distribute to a wide market. There are nine other die-types which give, or probably give, some form of Viator, but none of these was being used in East Anglia. The name is a common one and there is little doubt that more than one potter is involved. Workshops in the lower Nene valley, probably at Castleford, and perhaps elsewhere, were being used by one or more potters of this name. It is, therefore, better to treat these two East Anglian die-types as belonging to one potter active in East Anglia until, or unless, more definitive evidence appears. Cleaning layer 5617, Group 8002, Area I

27. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM, with a pink layer just below the surface. The faint impression of a triple chevron survives. This is likely to be from a roller-stamp die impressed down the collar of the mortarium. No other impressions from the same die are recorded, but impressions from other roller-stamp dies of similar type are recorded from Brough-on-Humber and Colchester (3). Two of the Colchester stamps are from one die, but the others are from different dies; all are based on slightly differing chevron/herringbone motifs. The Heybridge example is on a Cam 498 mortarium, and all are on either Cam 498 or Cam 501. These are among the latest types to be stamped at Colchester and their optimum date is AD 160-190. One of these can certainly be attributed to the Colchester workshops and all of them, including the Heybridge example, could have been made there. Worn. Fill 9407, Gully 9598, Group 804, Area D, Period 4

Herringbone stamps

Stamps 28-31 (Figure 316) are from four different mortaria, all with herringbone stamps from the same die as Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 30) and Symonds and Wade (1999, 208, fig. 4.27, nos S136-138). This was the most common of the herringbone dies used in the Colchester workshops. An example was found in earlier excavations at Heybridge (Wickenden 1986, fig. 24, no. 200). AD 130-170.

28. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM. Three joining sherds with right-facing herringbone stamp. Fill 4470, Pit 4426, Group 739, Area K, Period 4

29. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM, but rather powdery. The sherd, with incomplete rim section, is from a wall-sided (slightly diagonally inclined) mortarium similar to Hull (1963, fig. 64, no. 6), but with high bead. The broken herringbone stamp is from the same die as Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 30) and Symonds and Wade (1999, 208, fig. 4.27, nos S136-138). Herringbone stamps were rarely impressed on true wall-sided mortaria and this inclined type with high bead is one of the latest forms ever stamped at Colchester. The optimum date for this example is c. AD 160-170+. Fill 7123, Pit 7122, Group 868, Area G, Period 4

30. Fabric COLBM. Four joining sherds from a mortarium with both left- and right-facing herringbone stamps surviving. Fill 7123, Pit 7122, Group 868, Area G, Period 4

31. Fabric COLBM. A right-facing herringbone stamp survives. Fill 8076, Pit 8152, Group 845, Area E, Period 6

Stamps 32-34 are from three individual mortaria, each with herringbone stamps from the same die as Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 33) and Symonds and Wade (1999, 208, fig. 4.27, nos S148-149). AD 130-170.

32. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM. Flange fragment with broken herringbone stamp. Fill 4243, Pit 4211, Group 756, Area K, Period 3

33. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM. A broken herringbone stamp. Fill 13810, Gully 13827, Group 615, Area I, Period 3

34. Fabric COLBM. Flange fragment with herringbone stamp. Fill 13813, Trench 18697, Group 613, Area I, Period 3

35. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM, but fired almost to orange-brown except on parts of the under surface and in the core. Two left-facing herringbone stamps survive, impressed close together; they are probably from the same die as Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 38) and Symonds and Wade (1999, 208, fig. 4.27, nos S147). AD 130-170. Fill 14667, Pit 14700, Group 704, Area L, Period 3

36. Not illustrated. Fabric COLBM. A right-facing herringbone stamp survives; the die is unidentified. Layer 6118, Group 573, Area H, Period 5-6

The herringbone stamps (Nos 28-36) are all on different mortaria, a total of nine. All can be attributed to the workshops active at Colchester in the second half of the 2nd century. Two other mortaria with this type of stamp, one from the same die as Hull (1963, fig. 60, no. 30) and the second from the same die as no. 29, were published from earlier excavations at Heybridge (Wickenden 1986, fig. 24, nos 200 and 201). The best date available for the potters' activity is AD 130-170, though production could have started nearer to AD 140. For detailed notes on the herringbone stamps produced at these workshops see Symonds and Wade (1999, 205 and 209); for basic illustrations see Hull (1963, figs 60 and 61).

Roundel stamps

These stamps (Figure 316) appear to be of local manufacture, but are found infrequently in Essex. Besides Gestingthorpe, noted below, a roundel stamp has been recovered at Kelvedon (Rodwell 1988, fig. 96, no. 408).

37. Not illustrated. Fabric BUFM. There are at least three circular motifs impressed on the collar of this mortarium. Unfortunately none of the rosettes inside the circles has survived well enough to be seen with any clarity, but it is almost certain that they will be the same as the rosette with four petals within the identical circle impressed on No. 38 below. See 38 for comments and date. 4000, Group 8021, unstratified, Area A1

38. Fabric BUFM. A circular motif survives on the right-facing side of the spout; the edge of the circle is broken and there were almost certainly other similar stamps close by. The incuse circle has a rosette with four petals inside and it is probably identical to the less well-preserved stamp on 37 above. Layer 9245, Group 1302, Area D, unphased

Both sherds have similar rim profiles, but are from different vessels. A mortarium of similar type and fabric with three circular motifs was found at Gestingthorpe (Draper 1985, fig. 45, no. 574). The Heybridge mortaria were certainly made by a single potter and the vessel from Gestingthorpe could well have been made by the same man. All three mortaria would best fit the period AD 170-200; they could certainly have been made at Colchester, though production at Heybridge cannot be ruled out.

Not enough rim survives in either of the Heybridge mortaria to prove that there were no name stamps associated, but they cannot be assigned to a named potter. The use of a cluster of rosette stamps probably indicates that no name stamp was used and probably also that these mortaria post-date the practice of stamping. However, it is worth mentioning that Cunopectus, and one user of a chevron roller stamp, did sometimes impress one rosette not far from their normal stamp. Both worked at Colchester. The Heybridge and Gestingthorpe rosettes are from dies not used by either potter.

Other name stamps

These name stamps are from sources other than Colchester (Figure 316); Nos 39-40 are from Verulamium and Nos 41-43 from north-eastern France. No stamps from other sources were identified in the assemblage.

39. Fabric VRWM. Three joining sherds. The broken, right-facing stamp survives, with parts of the letters VGVDV. When complete, this stamp reads F·LVGVDV. This is a counterstamp of the potter Albinus; the name stamp appears on the flange near the spout, with the counterstamp in a complementary position to the other side of the spout. Albinus used a number of counterstamps with similar readings, all meaning 'made at Lugudunum'; this example is almost certainly from the same die-type as Frere (1972, fig. 145, no. 6). Worn. Spread 13456, Group 3015, Area I, Period 3

Albinus worked at Colchester for a short time, probably early in his career, but, except for two or three of his mortaria, all are, like this example, in fabric characteristic of mortaria made in the Verulamium region. None of his kilns has been located, but counterstamps reading LVGD were being used in the period AD 55-75 by Oastrius in a workshop at Little Munden Farm, Bricket Wood (Saunders and Havercroft 1977), and by Ripanus at Brockley Hill. Brockley Hill is known to have been called Sulloniacae, so that Bricket Wood is still the best candidate for 'Lugudunum'.

Albinus was the most prolific potter to have stamped mortaria in Britain (more than 420 mortaria recorded). His activity can be dated AD 60-90 and could perhaps have begun as early as AD 55. For further details see Symonds and Wade (1999, 198, S15 and 195, S1-S10). There are traces of neat gritting and scoring on the interior of this example, which suggests that it does not belong to the latter part of his career when this practice had been largely if not entirely abandoned.

40. Fabric VRWM, probably a 2nd-century version of the fabric produced in the Verulamium region. The broken stamp is unidentified, but further examples should make a reading possible. The form, together with the slight distal bead, strongly indicates a date AD 120-150. Fill 13813, Trench 18697, Group 613, Area I, Period 3

41. Not illustrated. Fabric NEGM. The stamp is left-facing, complete, but abraded and damaged; the mortarium would have had only one stamp. Stamps from the same die which are in good condition give Q. Valerius Veranius in two lines with several ligatures; between the two lines of letters the words DOGAERIA FAC can be read in tiny capital letters. These presumably mean 'made at Dogaeria' and refer to the place where his workshop or one of his workshops was situated. The name is otherwise unknown (for clearer examples see Symonds and Wade 1999, 206, fig. 4.25, nos 5-7). Impressions from this die-type can be divided into three groups according to slight, but noticeable differences in length, this example belongs to the middle group. Fill 5843, Slot 5844, Group 1126, Area J, unphased

42. Fabric NEGM. Concentric scoring survives on the inside surface. The stamp is right-facing, worn and slightly damaged; the mortarium would have had only one stamp. In good condition, stamps from the same die give Q. Valerius Veranius in two lines with VAL ligatured (the best published drawing is Hartley 1968, pl. LXXXIX, no. 85). Fill 20108, Pit 20010, Group 707, Area L, Period 3

Stamps on both Nos 41 and 42 are on mortaria of Gillam (1970) form 238. Q. Valerius Veranius can be attributed to the Oise/Somme area of northern France (Hartley 1998, 200-6) within the period AD 65-100. See also Symonds and Wade (1999, 197) for a detailed note on this potter.

43. Fabric NEGM. The trituration grit was combined with concentric scoring and traces of the latter survive; the flange of the mortarium had been heavily gritted before adding clay to make the spout; it may be assumed that this was also combined with concentric scoring. Heavily worn. The right-facing stamp is impressed almost at right-angles to the flange and reads Q·VA·SE. This is a typical abbreviated form for the tria nomina of a Roman citizen and relatively few potters or owners of pottery workshops in both Gaul and Britain had citizenship or showed it in their stamps when they had. His full name was Quintus Valerius Se--; the cognomen can only be ascertained when sufficient of it is used in a stamp. This stamp is from one of ten die-types with similar readings; an eleventh, probably belonging to him, gives more, but until more complete examples are found one can only hazard Secundinus as a possibility. Cleaning layer 5603, Group 8002, Area I

Mortaria stamped with these ten dies have now been noted in France from Boulogne; Evreux (2); Rouen, and in Britain from Broxtowe, Notts; Camelon; Cirencester; Colchester (12); Corbridge; Dorchester, Dorset; Exeter; Godmanchester; Heybridge; Kettering, Northants; London/Southwark (11+4 (provenance uncertain)); The Lunt, Baginton; Richborough (5); Silchester; Springhead, Kent; Usk; Verulamium (3); and York Museum (provenance uncertain). A further mortarium has also been dredged from the sea (Whitstable Museum). Stamps from the eleventh die with the longer version of the name are known from Gloucester and London; in addition, there are three others from a twelfth die that may be his (Colchester (2) and Lincoln).

Ten stamped mortaria of Q. Valerius Se-- were found in a Boudiccan destruction level at Colchester (Dunnett 1966, 46-8). These mortaria were part of a store of twenty to thirty, or more, unused mortaria, some probably never stamped. All are very nearly identical and can be attributed to the same workshop. The Usk mortarium is from the fortress period (Hartley 1993, 426; fabric 11). There is no doubt of his pre-Flavian to mid-Flavian date, within the period AD 50/55-85. His work can be attributed to an unlocated workshop in the north of France. See Hartley 1998, 206-8.


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