Appendix 1: The Anglo-Saxon Pottery

Jess Tipper

Summary | Fabrics | Vessel form | Decoration | Surface treatment | Method of manufacture | Fragmentation | Catalogue

Appendix 1.1 Summary

In total, 118 handmade Early Anglo-Saxon or Anglian sherds weighing 767.5g, and representing a maximum of 81 vessels, have been recorded in the report from the excavation of Site 28, between East Heslerton and Sherburn, in 2001 (DigIT Project). There were six decorated sherds in the assemblage (24g). This pottery is considered to date between the 5th and 7th centuries AD, based on similarities of form, fabric and decorative techniques with other assemblages dating to this period. There is no identifiable Middle Anglo-Saxon pottery in the assemblage.

Appendix 1.1.2 Methodology

The pottery from Site 28 has been recorded using the same methods as those employed at West Heslerton, making the two assemblages directly comparable. The pottery was recorded in the field with three-dimensional spatial coordinates for each individual pot-sherd, or discrete group of sherds in association and deriving from the same vessel. Unique key identifiers were assigned to each one in an object database that incorporates all the material culture from the site. This gives an overall total of 106 Anglo-Saxon pottery records (with Anglo-Saxon? recorded in the database field PERIOD 1). The identification by period of small formless body sherds has proved difficult, because the fabric, manufacture and finish is often very similar between some types of prehistoric, Romano-British and Anglo-Saxon pottery. A further 40 records have been recorded as either prehistoric or Romano-British in PERIOD 1 and Anglo-Saxon? in PERIOD 2 (46 sherds weighing 491g).

The pottery has been quantified by sherd count and sherd weight (g) for each individual record in the Access database. The thickness (mm) has also been recorded. Sherd form has been recorded where this could be defined, for example, rim, neck, shoulder, lower body or base. However, the majority of the pottery has been recorded simply as body sherd because the original form could not be defined. The pottery has been assigned to one of seven major fabric groups.

Rim and base sherds have been assigned to a rim or base form-group. Rim and base diameters have been calculated where possible, and they have been measured as a percentage of the complete rim or base, from which an estimated vessel-equivalent has been obtained (eve). Sherds where the diameter and eve has not been assigned were too small (i.e. there was less than 5% of the complete rim). Decoration has been recorded in the database (stamped and/or incised). Surface treatment (burnishing) has been also recorded. Internal and/or external carbonised organic residues have been noted. The condition of individual sherds has been also recorded on a simple ordinal scale (poor, fair, good). Finally, sherd links have been also recorded.

Appendix 1.1.3 Note on recovery

The entire fill of one Grubenhaus (028AA00022) was dry-sieved and the baulks from the fills of the other two Grubenhäuser (028AA00023 and 028AA00024) were also sieved (using a 5mm mesh). The sieving produced 23 sherds of Anglo-Saxon pottery, weighing 107g (14% of the total by weight).


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Last updated: Wed Nov 11 2009