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The National Roman Fabric Reference Collection: a Handbook

Hand specimen picture panel
Thin section picture panel

References

Appendix 1: Keywords and Definitions
Appendix 2: Physical Layout of Sherds Housed in the NRFRC

 

Alice Holt Reduced ware (ALH RE)

Seven samples

General appearance

This fabric is pale grey or even white, occasionally with a blue tinge (7/0–5/0, 7.5YR 6/1, 10YR 5/1–5/2), with darker grey (5/0–4/0, 7.5YR 5/1) surfaces, some with a silver-grey cast. Less frequently surfaces are black (3/0–2.5/0). Some sherds have margins or cores in a similar range of colours. The more metallic surfaces are associated with the later products, particularly from c AD 200–250 onwards. The fabric is frequently very hard, with a fracture that varies from irregular to hackly, while the surface is rough or smooth where burnished. A range of forms, especially jars and dishes, are typical, while in the later period imitations of black-burnished ware are common.

Hand specimen

There is a wide variation in the fabric, and only the most typical one is included here. It is characterised by common to abundant well-sorted quartz sand in a silty clay matrix. In the earlier fabric (AD 50–160) the quartz normally measures 0.2–0.4/5mm, while in the later one 0.2–0.3mm (Plate 112). Sparse silver mica (rarely to 0.5mm) is present in all samples, producing a glittery surface. The remaining inclusions vary from sample to sample, but all are sparse, and comprise organic voids (0.2–1.5mm), black iron-rich inclusions (<0.2mm) and grey clay pellets (0.3–1.0mm).

Thin section

Both a fine and coarse sample were examined and contain common well-sorted quartz, mostly 0.15–0.3/4mm, in a silty matrix with common muscovite (less biotite) mica and silt-sized opaques. The coarse variant contains slightly more inclusions of hte larger fraction, more densely packed. Clay pellets, in the same size as the quartz or rarely larger, are sparse. Also present are rare polycrystalline quartz, sandstone, feldspar and silt-sized glauconite.

Source

Numerous kilns and waster dumps (over 80 of the latter) have been identified in the vicinity of Alice Holt/Farnham on the Hampshire-Surrey border (Lyne & Jefferies 1979).

Donor

Museum of London

Museums

Guildford Museum; Museum of London; Hampshire County Museum, Winchester

References

Bird, D G, 1987 The Romano-British period in Surrey, in The archaeology of Surrey to 1540 (eds J Bird & D G Bird), 165–96

Hart, F A, & Adams, S J, 1983 The chemical analysis of Romano-British pottery from the Alice Holt forest, Hampshire, by means of inductively-coupled plasma emission spectrometry, Archaeometry 25, 179–85

Lyne, M A B, & Jefferies, R S, 1979 The Alice Holt/Farnham Roman pottery industry, CBA Res Rep 30

Millett, M, 1979 The dating of Farnham pottery, Britannia 10, 121–37

Millett, M, 1986a An early Roman cemetery at Alton, Hampshire, Proc Hampshire Field Club Archaeol Soc 42, 41–87

Millett, M, 1986b The pottery, in Excavations on the Romano-British small town at Neatham, Hampshire, 1969–1979 (M Millett & D Graham), Hampshire Field Club Monogr 3, 63–94

See the related record on the Atlas of Roman Pottery on the Potsherd website

Plate 112: Fresh sherd break of ALH RE (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 112: Fresh sherd break of ALH RE (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 112.1: Photomicrograph of ALH RE (fine variant) (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 112.1: Photomicrograph of ALH RE (fine variant) (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

Plate 112.2: Photomicrograph of ALH RE (coarse variant) (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 112.2: Photomicrograph of ALH RE (coarse variant) (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)


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