Two Important Stamp Motifs in Roman Britain and Thereafter

Diana C. BriscoeORCID logo

Archive of Anglo-Saxon Pottery Stamps and Archive of Roman Pottery Stamps. Email:

Cite this as: Briscoe, D.C. 2016 Two Important Stamp Motifs in Roman Britain and Thereafter, Internet Archaeology 41.


Stamped pottery has had a long and varied history in Britain. There have been periods when it flourished and periods when it almost totally disappeared. This article considers two variations of the rosette motif (A 5) and their fortunes from the late Iron Age to the Early Saxon period. Having been of little importance in the Iron Age and early Roman periods, they became some of the most widely used and distributed motifs in the fourth century. By the fifth century, they were still important, but formed a much smaller proportion of the total motifs than in the fourth century. In the vast majority of cases, there is no correlation between the find spots of fourth and fifth century examples. However, I have identified nine locations where one or other of the two motifs have been found on a late Roman site, which lies within a mile of another site with the same motif, but from the post-Roman period. In these rare conjunctions, I believe that ongoing usage of the motif can be demonstrated from Roman to post-Roman times. It is also clear that pot stamp evidence can be vital in identifying these highly unusual locations and pointing other researchers to sites worthy of special attention.

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