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5.11 Unidentified classes

Within the assemblage, there are five potsherds whose technical features are so different from the others that they are grouped together and classified as 'unidentified' types. These may be non-local imports to the area, or local ceramics produced more recently that have found their way into the archaeological record.

Unidentified 1 (n=1) (Figure 32)

Only one bodysherd belongs to this group. It is characterised by a very fine, compact and hard paste. No information on the shaping of this vessel could be gleaned from this sherd. A kind of white slip (2.5Y/1-8.5 white) is applied to both surfaces.

Figure 32
Figure 32: External and internal sides of bodysherd, Unidentified 1, MHR2002.D2.no number. Image credit: Authors.

Unidentified 2 (n=3) (Figure 33)

This group comprises potsherds characterised by the use of an alkaline clay decorated with a glaze. However, all three have different technical features in terms of type and colour of glaze and of decoration. One has a brownish-black glaze (5YR-3/3 dark reddish brown, 5YR-3/2 dark reddish brown, 7.5YR-3/3 dark brown) on the external surface and a whitish glaze (7.5YR_/1-9.5 white) on the internal surface. The external decoration is a pattern in low relief that could be moulded, composed of pointed long leaves. The second potsherd, a fragment of body, displays an orange (7.5YR-7/8 reddish yellow) glaze on both surfaces while the third, a base fragment, has a buff-cream (10YR-8/6 yellow) glaze on both surfaces. In addition, this sherd has ridges on the external surface.

Figure 33
Figure 33: Upper left: external and internal sides of bodysherd, Unidentified 2, MHR2002.D2.1; upper right: external and internal sides of bodysherd, Unidentified 2, MHR2002.D12.20; lower centre: external and internal sides of bodysherd, Unidentified 2, MHR2002.E11.no number. Image credit: Authors.

These three potsherds could come from China or South-east Asia. Indeed, the first one is similar to examples from Dehua, Guangdong, and other Qing dynasty wares from China.

Unidentified 3 (n=1) (Figure 34)

The last type of unidentified pottery is characterised by a very fine, compact, very hard to cut paste that is identified as Fabric Group 12. The bodysherd is too small to determine the shaping technique; however, the sides are extremely regular. Surfaces are soapy but still rough to the touch. It has been fired in an oxidising atmosphere (colour of surfaces 2.5YR-7/6 light red). The internal surface displays incised decorations: parallel lines combined with slightly oblique/vertical lines that are less marked.

Figure 34
Figure 34: External and internal sides of bodysherd, Unidentified 3, MHR2002.C5. Image credit: Authors.
Table 3: Synthetic table illustrating the criteria used to define each class of pottery and its variants in the assemblage (as described in detail above)
Class/variantPasteShapingSurface treatment and aspectFiring
Class 1 variant 1medium texture, sand as temperwheel?white concretionsoxidised
Class 1 variant 2finer texture, organic temper?wheel?white concretionsoxidised
Class 1 variant 3medium texture, sand as temperwheel?whitish slip, incised decorationoxidised
Class 2 variant 1fine to medium texturecombined techniques (coils, slow wheel, convex mould?)red slip of good quality, smoothing-burnishingoxidised
Class 2 variant 2fine to medium texturecombined techniques (coils, slow wheel, convex mould?)red slip of medium to poor quality, smoothing-burnishingoxidised
Class 2 variant 3fine to medium texturecombined techniques (coils, slow wheel, convex mould?)red slip of good to poor quality, incised-appliqué-impressed decorationoxidised
Class 2 variant 4fine to medium texturecombined techniques (coils, slow wheel, convex mould?)red slip of medium quality mixed with mica powderoxidised
Class 2 variant 5fine to medium texturecombined techniques (coils, slow wheel, convex mould?)impressed decorationoxidised
Class 2 variant 6fine to medium texturecombined techniques (coils, slow wheel, convex mould?)mud slip mixed with mica powderoxidised
Class 3 variant 1fine to medium texture, compactwheel? And combined techniques (wheel-coiled)micaceous slip with mostly specks, smoothingoxidised
Class 3 variant 2fine to medium texture, less compactwheel? And combined techniques (wheel-coiled)micaceous slip with mostly specks, smoothingoxidised
Class 4very fine sandy texture, compact, specks of micaundeterminedsoapyoxidised
Class 5 variant 1mica flakes as temper, medium to coarse texturecombined techniques (wheel-coiled, mould, paddle and anvil)mica flakes and specks visible in surfaces, reddish-brown slip, smoothingoxidised
Class 5 variant 2mica flakes as temper, medium to coarse texturecombined techniques (wheel-coiled, mould, paddle and anvil)less mica flakes and specks visible in surfaces, grey and reddish-brown slip, smoothingoxido-reduced?
Class 5 variant 3mica flakes as temper, medium to coarse texturecombined techniques (wheel-coiled, mould, paddle and anvil)mica flakes and specks visible in surfaces, red to black slip, impressed decoration ('flower' or 'sun')oxidised
Class 5 variant 4fewer mica flakes as temper, medium to coarse texturecombined techniques (wheel-coiled, mould, paddle and anvil)fewer mica flakes and specks visible in surfaces, black slip, smoothing, incised decoration (lines)reduced
Class 6 variant 1medium to coarse texturewheel and/or combined techniques (wheel-coiled?)red slip, smoothingoxidised
Class 6 variant 2coarse texturewheel and/or combined techniques (wheel-coiled?)black slip, smoothingreduced
Class 6 variant 3coarse texturewheel and/or combined techniques (wheel-coiled?)grey surfaces (black slip disappeared?), smoothingreduced
Class 7 variant 1medium to coarse texture, organic tempercombined techniques (hand-stretching plates, coils, others?)thick sides, smoothingoxidised
Class 7 variant 2medium to coarse texture, organic tempercombined techniques (hand-stretching plates, coils, others?)thick sides, red slip sometimes mixed with mica powder, smoothing, applique decorationoxidised
Class 8fine texture, compactundeterminedsmoothingoxidised
Class 9very fine texture, compactcombined techniques (wheel-coiled)thin sides, red slip of good quality, smoothing-polishingoxidised
Class 10 variant 1medium to coarse texture, sand and organic as temperscombined techniques (wheel-coiled, plates, other?)smoothing, incised and impressed decorationoxidised
Class 10 variant 2medium to coarse texture, sand and organic as temperscombined techniques (wheel-coiled, plates, other?)red slip and/or mica slip made with mica powder, smoothing, incised and impressed decorationoxidised
UnID 1very fine texture, compactundeterminedwhite slipoxidised
UnID 2alkaline claywheel?glaze, moulded decoration?oxidised and oxido-reduced?
UnID 3very fine texture, compactundetermined (wheel?)incised decorationoxidised

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