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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 6  page 187
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

burials around Milton Creek, Sittingbourne (Roach Smith 1852; Wheeler 1932, 96—8; Kelly 1964). The social stratum that the villas and interments represent may well have been instrumental in establishing, or at least encouraging, the fine ware industry, with Rochester, the Thames estuary and Watling Street providing a strong potential distribution network. Second century ‘poppyhead’ beakers from this industry were exported to the northern frontier (J. Monaghan, pers. comm.) and distribution in south-east Britain may have been widespread (cf. Monaghan 1982). Potting may not have been ‘the primary means of subsistence’, and the existence of such indicators of an intensive investment in production as drying sheds may never be proved. However, given the proximity of contemporary villas, it is worth considering whether landlord-tenant relationships might have played a part in the organisation of the industry, the villa patrons determining the nature of the output and controlling its marketing with an eye to profit. The comparatively high value of a fine ware such as ‘Upchurch ware’ may have rendered the pottery acceptable as rent payment in kind. The Hartlip villa was certainly an important consumer of ‘Upchurch ware’.
   There is evidence for a differentiation of production between Thameside and the Cliffe peninsula on the one hand, and the Upchurch Marshes on the other, in the second century. It would appear that fine pottery manufacture was generally confined to the latter (although ‘very glossy black jars’ are noted by Monaghan (1982) from a supposed kiln site near Cliffe (Hutchings 1966) and BB2 to the former (Monaghan 1982, 45). Coarse sandy wares were made in both districts and include virtually identical necked jars with tooled linear decoration on the shoulder.
   The involvement of villa-estates in the Thameside and Cliffe peninsula potteries is less discernible than on the Upchurch Marshes; although the Chalk sites do lie close to 

a nucleus of buildings (Johnston 1972; Harker 1975), no evidence of substantial buildings has been found around the peninsula itself. However, Williams (1977, 21) considered that ‘by the late second or early third century, a number of small kilns situated in Kent were also supplying BB2 vessels to the northern military garrisons’, including Cooling (the Joyden’s Wood site has since been generally discounted as a production locus by Detsicas (1977b, 239, and 1983, 156—7), Monaghan (1982, 33—7) and Swan (1984, 387). Results of analysis of Oakleigh Farm, Higham samples were not available at the time of publication (Catherall 1983). The presence of a small group of fine, untempered, reduced necked bulbous beakers (cf. no. 152) amongst the dumps of BB2 and sandy grey ware waste material at Cooling suggests that the virtual monopoly of production of fine ware forms held by the Upchurch Marshes potteries may have been eroded in the late Antonine to Severan period. The expansion in both marketing and repertoire permits the classification of the Thameside-Cliffe peninsula industry as a rural nucleation from around the reign of Commodus into the Severan era, if not beyond.

2. Canterbury

The intensification, and diversification, of pottery manufacture in the industrial quarters of the civitas capital in the mid-Flavian years represents a classic example of the development of an urban nucleated industry along the lines hypothesized by Peacock (1982) and conforms to a broad pattern of first to second century urban-orientated potteries discerned by Fulford (1977b). The expansion coincided broadly with the construction of the theatre (around A.D. 80—90: Frere 1970), and with Agricola’s reforms of the Imperial tax collection system, which

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