6. The Fieldwalking Pottery

6.1 Coarseware ceramics from the Arroux Valley Survey by Tom Moore

6.1.1 Introduction

Surface collection in the Arroux valley retrieved ceramics from 23 locations, plus a further 6 sherds from Poil. Taking into account both linewalking and follow-up surface collections, the overall assemblage comprises 1152 sherds representing nearly 12.5kg of material. Only twelve locations yielded 20 or more sherds; two of which have more than 100 sherds (Le Grands Champ, L'Haut des Champs), and four have over 50 (Chantal west, Beaufort, Ravery, and Bas Cernat). However, all these sites were investigated more than once and/or gridded, so that the groups cannot be compared on a like-for-like basis.

As noted in Section 4.2, scope for detailed analysis is limited by a range of factors. The nature of land use and agricultural practices in the region means that ceramics have generally not survived well in the topsoil, and fieldwalking was carried out in poor conditions, which will have favoured the recovery of more obvious (generally red!) fabrics. The size of the individual groups was generally very small. In many cases the surfaces of even the more robust fabrics were badly eroded and sherds were generally small, hindering identification. For these reasons, there is little scope for calculating relative densities of material across the areas surveyed, and even the few larger assemblages cannot be taken as properly representative, although they can still provide a general impression of the location and potential dates of activity at these locations.

Despite these problems, the assemblage from the survey represents a rare opportunity to examine material from rural sites in the region dating from the late La Tène to early medieval periods. The pottery is described site-by-site in Section 5.


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Last updated: Wed Oct 29 2008