KENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY  -- RESEARCH   Studying and sharing Kent's past      Homepage

The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 2  page 8
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

present, providing the opportunity to investigate the relationship of settlement hierarchy to ceramic distribution patterning. Moreover, this material has been subjected to little synthesised study by comparison with, say, central southern England (e.g. Fulford 1975a; Hodder 1974a; Lyne and Jefferies 1979) and the south Midlands (Young 1977a) although site reports on pottery are abundant. Many of the exotic fine wares of the region have been studied in depth (e.g. Arthur 1978; Fulford 1977a; Greene 1979a; Rigby 1973; Young 1977a) as have certain of the exotic coarse wares (e.g. Hartley 1963; Lyne and Jefferies 1979; Williams 1977; Young 1977a). These studies have tended to be focused upon the fortunes of individual industries with little attempt being made to relate single industries to the broad spectrum of ceramics of the appropriate period (Greene 1979a provides a notable exception). All of these factors make the study of the pottery of Roman Kent one that is full of untapped potential.

          FOR ANALYSIS
The number of sites within the study region for which published information exists is considerable, but the quality and extent of reports are inevitably variable. The study region contains two walled towns — Canterbury (Durovernum Cantiacorum) and Rochester (Durobrivae) — four major military bases — Regulbium, Rutupiae, Dubris and Lemanis — and three other named sites along Watling Street — Noviomagus, Vagniacae, and Durolevum. The status of these latter sites is not certain, but they may all be thought of as ‘small towns’ — the name of the first may imply a trading function, while Vagniacae (Springhead) incorporated a temple complex and a number of other buildings (Penn 1965; Harker 1980) and the large cemetery at Ospringe (Whiting et al. 1931.) may well be related to the

Durolevum community (cf. Rivet 1970). The Ordnance Survey (1978) lists 21 sites of ‘villa’ status revealed by excavations, 32 ‘other substantial buildings’ and four rural temples and shrines. In addition a large number of cemeteries and individual burials have been recorded and a smaller number of occupation sites and deposits devoid of structures of ‘villa’ or other buildings status (cf. Jessup and Taylor 1932; Pollard 1977; Sheldon and Schaaf 1978, for surveys of portions of the evidence). The iron-working sites of the Weald must also be taken into account in any survey of the study region, for the road system and the presence of stamped tiles of the Classis Britannica alone are sufficient evidence to imply strong links between these sites and Roman Kent (e.g. see Cleere 1974, 1977; Peacock 1977b). The classification of sites is discussed below.
   The pottery reports that accompany published accounts of excavations are as varied in quality as the excavations themselves. The selection of sites for examination at first hand was in the first instance dictated by the existence of a published pottery report with details of stratigraphic relationships. These sites give an uneven spread over space, time and functional ranges, and some were rejected to minimise duplication; for example, of the two villas fully published in the middle Darent valley — Lullingstone (Meates 1979) and Farningham Manor House (Meates 1973) — the former alone was examined, although the material from both was accessible. Sites with published, but unstratified pottery provided some infilling of the framework established with the stratified sites. In many cases the amount of pottery recorded suggested that further investigations of the assemblages would not be worthwhile. Consultation with museum authorities and excavators revealed a considerable body of unpublished material, some of it destined for future reports. It was not always possible to ascertain the quantity of material

Page 8

Page 7        Back to Chapter 2     Contents Page        Page 9

For details about the advantages of membership of the Kent Archaeological Society   click here

Back to Publications On-line               Back to Research Page            Back to Homepage                 

Kent Archaeological Society is a registered charity number 223382
© Kent Archaeological Society 2004

This website is constructed by enthusiastic amateurs. Any errors noticed by other researchers will be to gratefully received so that we can amend our pages to give as accurate a record as possible. Please send details too