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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 2  page 15
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

Fig. 5. Sites of c. A.D. 130—250.

2. Formal Analysis
The formal description of Roman pottery revolves around three methods: references to widely used numbered type-series such as those constructed by Dragendorff and others for samian ware and Dressel for amphorae, the application of evocative terms such as ‘poppyhead beaker’ or ‘pie-dish’ that allude to a physical resemblance to an object or an induced function, and description of the individual features of the rim, body, and other attributes. The first and second methods are unsatisfactory, for the former may imply a

similarity to a samian (for example) form which is fortuitous rather than the result of copying, while the latter is subject to the corruption of the terminology so that the terms mean different things to different people. The third method can also suffer from such corruption, but is perhaps less prone to it, the terms used being more specific. It is perhaps unfortunate that the evocative terminology of the second method is firmly entrenched in the archaeological literature, but the use of illustrations to clarify the terms overcomes the major shortcoming of corruption.

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