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Archaeologia Cantiana - Vol. 87   1972 page 142

Rochester East Gate, 1969. By A. C. Harrison, B.A., F.S.A.

II. Medieval Pottery (Figs. 14-19)


   The medieval pottery from the site is here figured and described in twelve groups according to the archaeological contexts in which it was discovered. Evidence of association must not be pressed too far, however, for there is undoubtedly a proportion of rubbish-survivals in some groups and the contents of a particular pit or layer cannot be accepted uncritically as necessarily representing an instantaneous sample of the wares and forms in use when the pit was filled. This is emphasized by the large quantity of Romano-British rubbish-survivals occurring at Rochester in almost every medieval pit or other context.
   By comparison with material from Kentish sites previously published, such as Canterbury,24 Dover,25 Eynsford,26 and Strood,27 it appears that this Rochester pottery covers the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. This is without prejudice to the possibility that a number of simple forms might be earlier survivals, though I can see nothing obviously pre-Conquest, nor, on the other hand, necessarily later than c. 1300.
   Cooking-pots predominate—mostly in grey ware containing varying proportions of crushed shell, the surface of the vessel often being fired, or burnt in use, to reddish-brown. Unless otherwise stated the term 'grey ware' is used here to describe the colour of the fabric in the fracture, whereas the surface of a particular vessel may be uneven, ranging from red-brown to black. Sandy wares occur in association but form only a relatively small proportion of the assemblage. Rim-forms appear to develop—as elsewhere—from plain everted types, persisting through the twelfth century, as exemplified at Dover, with development of the beaded lip. In the thirteenth century this becomes increasingly pronounced, culminating in the wide, flat-topped flange characteristic of c. 1300.
   Spouted pitchers and jugs are rare in comparison and there is a complete lack of recognizable foreign imports—a surprising deficiency when one considers that not only was Rochester well situated as a port on the navigable reaches of the Medway but it also lies on the direct course of the main highway existing from Roman times between Dover and London.
24 Arch. Cant., lxviii (1954), 131-4. 
J.B.A.A., xxx (1967), 110-18.
   26 Arch. Cant., lxxxvi (1971), 149 ff.
   27 Arch. Journ
., cxxii (1966), 126-9.

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