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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 6  page 188
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

would have promoted industrial development (Tacitus, Agricola, xix—xx; Fulford 1981, 200; Hopkins 1980, 103). The relationship between the Canterbury industry and the mortarium factories of Q. Valerius Veranius and his colleagues (Hartley 1977, Group 2) is unknown, but at least one potter can be assigned circumstantially to Canterbury in the early years of the nucleation, Juvenalis, who stamped both mortaria and amphorae, and whose products are found in both Britain and Gaul (4.II.3). The dearth of known villas in mainland east Kent (discounting Thanet) suggests that estates were directed from the city. The white clays used for flagons and mortaria may have been quarried from the Gault Clay deposits situated below the escarpment of the North Downs and shipped down the Great Stour in barges, since the Brickearths available around Canterbury are iron-rich.
   The Canterbury potters would undoubtedly have benefited from the formalisation of trading that the establishment of the Forum, presumably synchronous with that of the theatre (cf. Wacher 1975, 180—1), would have represented. Their repertoire included types such as tazze and unguentaria, which found particular favour in towns and villas as opposed to lower status rural sites, and a limited range of fine wares, notably mica-dusted vessels (Jenkins 1956b). The concentration of the kilns to the west of the Stour implies an element of town planning (the Dane John site, though within the later city walls, lies to the south of the domestic quarter), but the direct involvement of city patrons cannot be demonstrated either in the pottery or tile industries. It is tempting to invoke the existence of a collegium of potters which, ex officio, co-ordinated production and distribution of their wares. Guilds were supposed legally to confine themselves to social and 

charitable activities, but it is difficult to believe that they did not provide a forum for discussion of industrial affairs (cf. A.H.M. Jones 1974, Chapter II).

VI. ESTATE PRODUCTION

1. Otford

The isolated location of the Otford kiln would appear to be incompatible with its association with flagon production (nos. 102—106), which is found normally in nucleated industries. Activity may have antedated the Lullingstone villa (a Flavian foundation imposed on an existing farmstead) as well as the stone villa on the Otford site itself (Swan 1984, 406). The kiln type is unique in Kent, conforming to Swan’s H5 or 6 (ibid.). It may be surmised that the kiln was built to serve the needs of the local community rather than a wider custom, but whether this comprised military consumers (as Swan, 1984, favours) or civilians alone, can only be a matter for speculation.

2. Eccles

Pottery production at Eccles, attested by a waste dump, would appear to have preceded the construction of the villa by perhaps five years (Detsicas 1977a, 28—9). The excavator felt unable to comment on the relationship between pottery manufacture and pre-villa occupation, but it may be surmised that the extraordinary range of forms, drawing on Gallo-Belgic, Lyon and other imported traditions, is related in some way to the authority that commissioned the villa c. A.D. 65. Detsicas has observed that the circular laconicum of the early villa (Room 32:

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