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The Roman Pottery of Kent
by Dr Richard J. Pollard  -  Chapter 5  page 176
Doctoral thesis completed in 1982, published 1988

Dorset industry’, while Williams (1977, 208) tentatively proposed that the Purbeck marble trade brought BB1 or a description of its forms to the south-east. The development of BB2 in Kent has been described above (4.III.2, 4.IV.2, 4.V.2), where a Hadrianic inception is argued for. The jars and dishes of the second century (nos. 110—115) were produced alongside the established bead-rim jars and necked bowls (4.III.2) on Thameside and Cliffe peninsula potteries; BB2 does not appear to have been made on the Upchurch Marshes (Monaghan 1982, 45), but fine beakers and jars in the BB2 style do appear there. Conversely, the fine wares of the latter area have not been recognised amongst the products of the western potteries.
   Two groups of potteries can thus be demonstrated for the Hadrianic-Antonine period, both producing reduced sandy wares, but with mutually exclusive ranges of ‘finer’ wares. A third element at this time may be represented by a group of mortaria from Rochester studied by Hartley (1972, nos. 30, 32, 35; nos. 116—118 here). These are in the fine cream fabric used extensively at Colchester and Canterbury (cf. Hartley and Richards 1965), and include one ‘distorted and almost certainly unsaleable waster which should indicate the presence of a kiln in the area’ (Hartley 1972, 136). The forms are of mid- to late second-century date. No other evidence of mortarium production has been reported in north Kent, though across the Thames mortaria and flagons were made at Thurrock (Drury 1973).

4. Diversification and Decline: from the late second
     Century onwards

The rising sea level seems to have engulfed the northern marshes of Slayhills and Milfordhope, below Upchurch, around the turn of the second century (Noel Hume 1954,79—80). Thenceforth potting may have continued on the banks of Otterham Creek, Rainham, throughout the third century. Beakers remained the dominant form in fine 

reduced ware, their shapes reflecting developments in contemporary colour-coated wares, notably Nene Valley, Colchester, and ‘Rhenish’ (Trier) types (4.V.1; e.g. nos. 145, 147, 148, 150—154). Flasks supplanted flagons (e.g. nos. 159, cf. 161, 167, 168), with white-slipped wares falling from favour. Production on the Upchurch Marshes undoubtedly declined in the third century, in the face of increasing competition from British colour-coated wares and from the western potteries of the north Kent industry. The Upchurch fine ware potteries are unlikely to have outlived this century.
   The range of slipped, burnished reduced wares featured in Thameside and Cliffe peninsula kiln site groups was expanded in the last quarter of the second century, most elements being found both north and south of the Thames (Pollard 1983b, 134—8; 4.III.2; e.g. nos. 181—92, 194—6). Beakers were apparently produced for the first time (cf. no. 152).
North Kent BB2 is thought to have found an important market in the northern frontier zone (Williams 1977, 211) at the end of the second century and, in all probability, expanded its trade in the south-east as well. The export of BB2 to the north continued into the mid-third century (Gillam 1973), and the Thameside and Cliffe peninsula industry probably maintained its marketing zone in Kent throughout the third century (4.IV.2). Plain reduced sandy wares in a variety of jar and bowl forms (4.III.2, 4.IV.2; Pollard 1983b) were produced alongside the decorated vessels.
   A typological fossilisation (cf. Fulford 1979, 121—2) set in throughout the industry in the middle years of the third century, and by the middle of the fourth century at the latest the slipped, burnished types, including BB2 as defined by Farrar and Gillam, had disappeared (4.V.2). The situation in Essex is unclear, but it is worth noting that the fourth-century site at

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