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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 5  page 175
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

   ‘Upchurch ware’ is a term which has been interpreted in many ways in relation to the pottery of the north Kent industry (Monaghan 1982). Throughout its history, however, it has been applied consistently to the fine reduced ware so characteristic of the collections of antiquaries such as Woodruff (Monaghan 1983, Fabric II). The dating of the inception of production of this ware, and its less common oxidised and white-slipped counterparts, is complicated by the suspected presence of a rival concern in east Kent (4.II.1) and by the ‘London Ware’ industry in the provincial capital (Marsh and Tyers 1976; Marsh 1978). A late first-century origin for all three potteries is certain, that at London possibly post-dating the others by a decade or so (4.II.1; Pollard 1983a, 311—17).
   The reduced sandy ware industries are still more difficult to date, due in part to the conservative, and widespread, range of jars, bowls and dishes that were their main lines. A biconical bowl from Bedlam’s Bottom (4.II.4; Pollard 1983a, 319—20) and a necked jar or bowl from Slayhills Marsh (ibid.) dateable to the late first or earlier second century, may be amongst the earliest vessels produced by the eastern potters in this ware, whilst vessel typology suggests an early to mid second-century dating for the Chalk kiln site (cf. nos. 95, 110, 111, 113, 115, 182, 191; Allen 1954, 1959; Pollard 1983a, 320). The earliest forms (nos. 90—94 here) could date back to the later first century in wheel-thrown, reduced sandy wares, however (4.II.2).
   The contexts for the emergence of the Thameside-
Medway industry have been discussed above (4.II-III), and their organisation, so far as it can be deduced, below (6.IV-V in particular). The Upchurch Marshes fine ware industry in its earliest (late first to early second century) phase, it can be argued, drew on a wide range of sources for its inspiration, including Gallo-Belgic, indigenous ‘Belgic’ (Aylesford-Swarling) and samian wares. White-slipped wares are generally rare, as indeed are flagons in

general, in this phase, so that it cannot be said with confidence that the Upchurch industry grew out of the pre-Flavian ‘Hoo’ workshop.

3. Developments in the second Century

The repertoire of the Upchurch Marshes fine ware industry concentrated upon beakers, with apparently smaller output of jars, necked and open bowls, and flasks (4.II.1, 4.III.1, 4.IV.1). Segmental bowls (nos. 130—132), early third-century samian derivatives (nos. 162—166) and combed butt- and pedestal beakers (e.g. nos. 122—123) appear to have been more a feature of the putative east Kent industry (see also Green 1981). Painted ware was a minor product of the late first to early second century (nos. 138—141) with a local distribution (Fig. 26). The Hadrianic period witnessed a marked reduction in the range of types in the industry, with reduced ware beakers and oxidised and white-slipped ware flagons (e.g. nos. 155—161) dominant amongst Upchurch-type fine wares in north Kent. It cannot be positively demonstrated that the flagons were products of the Medway, rather than of more easterly, potters, but the beakers, of which the ‘poppyhead’ is the most common (e.g. nos. 145, 146, 150), certainly were (Tyers 1978; Monaghan 1983, nos. 40—58).
   The reduced sandy wares of the Thames-Medway area as a whole in the first instance almost certainly adopted the forms of their ‘Aylesford-Swarling’ antecedents (nos. 91—94). The introduction of the black-burnished ware style to the south-eastern potteries is something of a mystery, since the Dorset progenitor (BB1) occurs only occasionally here until the very end of the second or even the third century and then mostly in London and its suburbs (Tyers and Marsh 1978). Farrar (1973, 202) suggested that BB2 represented a ‘Romanised offshoot of the

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