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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 4  page 150
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

thought to be a ‘household industry’ product requiring the minimum of labour, skill, and equipment (q.v. 6.1.) may have been a reaction to a decline in the output of potters producing sandy wheel-thrown, kiln-fired ware, which itself might have resulted from some changes in landlord-tenant relations and in the economic climate, which proved detrimental to labour-intensive, specialist industries. This line of thought is pursued elsewhere (Pollard 1983a, 519—35).
   The Oxfordshire kilns appear to have achieved an almost complete monopoly of the market for gritted mortaria in west Kent in the fourth century. The vessels from the mid fourth-century Lullingstone pits (Meates et al., 1950, no. 21; Meates et al. 1952, no. 90) and occupation level south of the Temple-Mausoleum (Pollard 1987, Group XL, Fabric 35) are all in Oxfordshire white ware, while the five vessels found on the latest floor of the ‘Deep Room’ at Lullingstone include three in this ware and two in Oxfordshire white-slipped ware (Meates et al. 1952, nos. 39—43). Vessels from the destruction and post-destruction deposits are also predominantly in Oxfordshire wares, including a red colour-coated vessel possibly used as a receptacle for paint (ibid., no. 61; Meates 1979, 54). One Nene Valley buff ware mortarium may also have come from this sequence of deposits (Meates 1953, no. 146). The vessels from layers 5 and 6 at Chalk are solely Oxfordshire products, as were all of the mortaria from the third- to fourth-century layers at Springhead and Rochester that could, on the adducement of parallels from Canterbury and elsewhere, be ascribed to the mid-fourth century or later, with the exceptions of a handful of oxidised Much Hadham ware sherds. The main form used in Kent in the fourth century has a high bead and short, thick flange folded back onto itself or moulded (Young 1977a, M22, WC7 and C100). ‘Wall-sided’ Oxfordshire red colour-coated ware vessels derived from the samian form Drag. 45 (ibid., C97) also occur, and ‘East Kent’ vessels (4.IV.3) may have 

been used in the early part of the century. Although Oxfordshire wares predominate amongst mortaria with trituration grit, it is conceivable that vessels without this feature may also have been used for similar functions. The hemispherical flanged bowl of ‘Drag. 38’ type is formally well-suited to the task if the mortarium was cradled in the arm, and Oxfordshire vessels of this form (Young 1977a, C51—2) sometimes exhibit marked abrasion of the interior slip. A heavily built, hand-made sandy red-black ‘Drag. 38’ vessel from the uppermost post-destruction level above the bathing establishment at Lullingstone (Pollard 1987, Group XXXVII(c), Fabric 59) could well have performed this function; perhaps significantly, it was burnished only on the exterior. Conversely, gritted mortaria might be used for purposes other than food preparation. The ‘paint-pot’ from Lullingstone, a broken vessel mended with rivets prior to its final use, has already been mentioned; in addition, Meates (1979, 39) has proposed that the five vessels found on the floor of the ‘Deep Room’ may have been used as balers for the well in the floor.
   There is virtually no information on fourth- to early fifth-century amphorae in west Kent. A rim sherd from layer 3 at Chalk (Peacock 1977d, 298, no. 6) may represent a late import of unknown origin, whilst the presence of Dorset BB1 dishes of mid-fourth century-plus form in the Holborough tumulus (Jessup et al. 1954, fig. 14, nos. 4 and 7) suggests that the amphorae were interred in this period but not that they necessarily were imported in the fourth century. The rim of a hollow-foot amphora was recovered from Lullingstone (Pollard 1987, Fabric 80).

3. The Coarse Wares of East Kent

Fourth-century pottery has been recovered from a considerable number of sites in east Kent

Page 150

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