4.1.2 Stratified occurrence

All the pottery from the excavation and from Trench I of the 1991 Evaluation is shown by period in Table 3 and Fig.37, and by date in Table 4.

Period Sherds Weight (kg)
0 42 0.391
1 13 0.193
2 91 0.867
3 705 4.898
4 3031 32.858
5 2725 56.974
6 3488 67.725
7 898 9.082
8 263 3.445
9 2878 37.110
Total 14134 213.543
Table 3: Quantities by period. Click on the Period for further details about the assemblage

figure 37
Fig.37: Quantities of pottery by period (sherds and weight values)

The samples from Periods 0-2 and 8 are too small to be useful. The obvious light sherd weight of Periods 3 and 4 is due to the presence in these two periods of quantities of waste sherdage from the local production of fine wares. Equally the lighter weight of Period 9 is indicative of smaller, fragmented sherdage, to be expected from the upper layers of the site. A further complication is the presence of quantities of OXSH, the coarse shell-gritted tile-like fabric, in Periods 4-6, and large sherds of mortaria from Periods 3-9. Examination of the fragmentation by period has therefore excluded the light-weight sherds from the production waste, amphorae, mortaria and OXSH, and the results by period, showing the weight and sherd weight, are on Fig.38.

figure 38
Fig.38: Weight by period excluding OXSH, mortaria, amphorae and local fine production waste

This shows that the lowest fragmentation lies in Period 5. The small assemblages from the initial periods are relatively highly fragmented, sherds from Periods 1-3 being of the same or lower weight than those from the topsoil layers of Periods 7-9. The least fragmented pottery comes from Periods 4-6.

Dates Cxts % Shs/cxt
1st century to early 2nd 43 13.15 4
Early/mid/late 2nd 49 14.98 25
Mid/late 2nd-early 3rd 22 6.72 61
3rd century and early 3rd 16 4.89 14
Early/mid 3rd 9 2.75 47
Mid 3rd 39 11.93 32
Mid/late 3rd 50 15.29 78
Late 3rd 7 2.14 351
Late 3rd-?4th 11 3.36 247
Roman only 75 22.94 5
Post-Roman only 6 1.83 6
Total 327 99.98
Table 4: Contexts by date and size

The relationship of the dating to the context size is important due to the large numbers of contexts containing very few sherds. This inevitably leads to broad dates, and the paucity of diagnostically datable sherds is a further factor. Table 4 shows the number of contexts for each broad date, and the average number of sherds per context.

This emphasizes the negligible evidence for pottery of the 1st to early 2nd century, and the basic reason behind 75 contexts which could be only dated as ‘Roman': 36% of all contexts contain less than 10 sherds. Nevertheless, there appear to be a respectable number of contexts dated to the 2nd century.

A single sherd of South Gaulish samian dated to the Neronian or early Flavian period represents the earliest closely datable sherd from the site. The bulk of the South Gaulish samian however is of Flavian or Flavian-Trajanic date. Samian, at 5% of all pottery in Period 2, appears a little low but this implies that a quantity of late 1st to 2nd century pottery arrived on the site with it. There is very little pottery which can be dated to the 1st century, and most of the earliest material would fall into the early to mid 2nd century range, and many forms are those that cannot be closely dated and continue into the later 2nd century.


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Last updated: Tue Nov 28 2000