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8.4.1 Ceramic Building Materials

Floor tiles

Nearly 150 ceramic floor tiles were recovered from this site. None were found in situ, and there was no evidence that any of the mortar floors within the church had been laid as a base for a tiled floor. Most of the tiles were probably local in origin and were glazed in dark lustrous green, brown or green surrounding a raised area of glazed yellow [Photo 0306]. Many of the tiles display stacking marks and several are very poorly constructed [Photo 0312].

0306
0306 Most of the tiles were likely local in origin and glazed in dark lustrous green, brown or green surrounding a raised area of glazed yellow

The poorly made quality of the tile may suggest that they were locally manufactured possibly on the site. A hearth (feature JDT) located in Trench 5 of the excavation may represent the remnants of a tile kiln. Several of the tile fragments have stacking scars that indicate how the tiles were stacked in the kiln for firing. They seem to have been stacked upright and built up in layers on top of each other.

0312
0312 Many of the tiles display stacking marks and several are very poorly constructed

Dating of these floor tiles is very difficult although the two-colour ceramic mosaic pattern of yellow and green is known in the 13th century. This pattern was used to give the same effect as a black and white marble floor (Eames 1968, 4).

This same pattern was still in use in the 15th-16th centuries as observed in the tile floor of the Trinitarian friary church in Dunbar (Wordsworth 1983, 485). As all the Aberdeen tiles were residual in context, no absolute dating from associated finds is possible. The presence of apparently raised decoration on the tiles glazed in yellow is interesting and would have produced an unusual floor surface.

Roof tiles

Fragments of peg and pantiles, mainly locally made were excavated at this site. Most were constructed in a mould, but a small number were wheel-thrown.

Bricks

Bricks were found in late medieval and later contexts at this site. Earlier bricks were locally-made in a light to dark orange fabric. They displayed shallow incisions on at least one face indicating that they were constructed in moulds. Some examples were sanded on one surface and several had mortar traces on at least one face.


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