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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 4  page 36
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

coarse wares, in contrast, exhibit marked differentiation between west and east Kent over most of the Roman period, and are described under the regional headings ‘the Medway valley and west Kent’, ‘Kent east and south of the Forest of Blean’ (including the valley of the Great Stour) and ‘the Swale plain’. The latter region represents the area of overlap of western and eastern styles and marketing zones for most of the Roman period. The area of historic Kent now incorporated into Greater London is included in the ‘West Kent’ region for convenience, although there are certain distinctions between ceramic assemblages of this area and of the area between the Cray and Medway valleys owing to the proximity of London.

                                        PERIOD, c. A.D. 43-75

1. The Fine Wares

The Roman conquest of south-eastern Britain in A.D. 43 does not appear to have had an immediate impact upon the trade in pottery between the indigenous inhabitants of Kent and the Continental fine ware industries. The most widespread ‘fine’ (as opposed to grog-tempered) high-quality pottery of the pre-Flavian period is of Gallo-Belgic derivation, imported from Gallia Belgica (Rigby 1973) and possibly also from Colchester (Rigby 1981, 160) and other British concerns (e.g. Eccles: Detsicas 1977a). These wares, excepting the Eccles products, may have been circulating in Kent prior to the Conquest: this is certainly the case at Canterbury, and probably also at high-status sites such as Rochester (although there is no positive evidence), Loose Quarry Wood (Kelly 1971), and Worth (Klein 1928 — unpublished material relates to late pre-Conquest — early

post-Conquest activity). Two pottery types are predominant amongst ‘Gallo-Belgic’ wares in Kent: platters in Terra Nigra (a grey slip ware) and butt beakers in fine sandy white wares. The former was-produced at Eccles by a Claudio-Neronian industry (6.VI.2) alongside colour-coated rough-cast and appliqué beakers, and cream fabric flagons and mortaria, but no exportation from the site has been detected. Nevertheless some British ‘Terra Nigra’ products may be anticipated in the south-east.
   The other wares characteristic of the Gallo-Belgic industries — Terra Rubra, white ware flagons, and colour-coated ware beakers — have been recorded much less frequently (see Fig. 18). The popularity of Terra Rubra generally appears to have been on the wane in the Conquest period (Rigby 1973), although a similar range of forms (primarily platters and conical cups) continued to be in demand in Terra Nigra into the early Flavian period (Rigby 1973; Greene 1979a). Butt-shaped forms apart, Gallo-Belgic beaker forms appear to have been little used in Kent. ‘Girth beakers’ — delicately-moulded vessels with a constricted waist (Camulodunum, Forms 82—85 — Hawkes and Hull 1947) are known from Canterbury and Hartlip, and various forms from Richborough (e.g. Bushe-Fox 1926, no. 89; 1932, no. 288; 1949, nos. 394 and 400) in Terra Nigra including the very thin-walled vessels known as ‘Eggshell’ ware. (Greene 1979a).
The colour-coated, glazed, and samian products of Central and South Gaulish factories achieved a very limited distribution in Kent. Samian is by far the most frequent imported fine ware of the pre-Flavian period encountered at Canterbury, Richborough, Springhead and elsewhere. Found mainly on sites of urban or villa status (in the latter case probably most often as ‘residual’ material imported by the occupants during Flavian construction phases), it

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