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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 5  page 179
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

paradox of an industrial decline coinciding with an apparently stable urban condition is not easily resolved. The surmised economic problems of the period (Young 1977a, 235—6) may have affected those with commercial interests more severely than those whose wealth lay in property and agrarian investments. No kiln sites in east Kent can be ascribed a post-Antonine date except for the enigmatic site at Preston-near-Wingham (6.VII). Fulford (1977b) has observed that urban potteries in Roman Britain are generally a feature of the first two centuries of the province rather than of the later years. On balance, it seems unlikely that a co-ordinated, nucleated industry existed in the vicinity of third-century Canterbury, although individual concerns may have functioned at the household industry or individual workshop level (Chapter 6), each supplying a small but possibly quite widespread market within east Kent.


1. Known Kilns

Publication of the four isolated kiln sites identified in Kent (5.1) is either inadequate (Preston, Otford) or of an interim nature (Ash-cum-Ridley, Eccles). They are discussed in the following chapter, and their wares described in greater detail in the preceding one.

2. Sites suggested by Wasters

In addition to kilns and substantial dumps of wasters, a small number of imperfect vessels has been published from occupation sites, including a blistered late second- to early fourth-century jar/bowl from Hartlip (?) (Noel Hume 1954, 

86 and fig. 3, no. 6; no. 194 here), and a warped late first- to early second-century jar/bowl from West Wickham Fox Hill (Philp 1973, fig. 22, no. 159). To these vessels may be added the wasters from around the Medway estuary published by Noel Hume (1954) and Monaghan (1982; 1983; 1987), the possible kiln rejects from Cooling (Miles 1973; Pollard forthcoming, b; noted by Swan 1984, 397—8), and an enigmatic group from Richborough excavated by Bushe-Fox but not published.
   The Richborough material comes from a box labelled ‘Sec. 47 15’—19’ b. datum "Kiln Waste" in Dover Castle (Department of the Environment store). This section was cut across the face of the causeway across the Claudian ditches (Area XVI: Bushe-Fox 1949). The pottery (the range is illustrated by nos. 85—88 here) is in a coarse sandy wheel-thrown ware, mostly grey but occasionally red to purple, with some differential colouration of joining sherds. This, and the adhesion of pale green globules of glassy vitrified clay on both surfaces and fractures, implies either shattering (due to extremely high temperatures) in the kiln or secondary firing. No pottery kiln has been recorded at Richborough, but the fact that some sherds are buckled suggests that kiln waste may be represented. Typologically, the vessels belong to the late first to early/mid-second century.

3. Areas of Production suggested by Distribution
        of Wares

The potential locations of certain household industries, defined thus by the character of their wares, have been discussed elsewhere (Chapters 4; 6.III.2). The domestic site at Greenhithe

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