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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

 

Cantley White-slipped ware (CAN WS)

Two samples

Mortaria are the most likely form type in this fabric to be widespread, and thus the only one included in this collection. A range of other forms was produced, including a distinctive deep bowl of truncated subconical form, often with a clubbed or hammerhead rim, which indicates a derivation from Mancetter/Hartshill potteries. During the 3rd and 4th centuries, both the fabric and form are similar to that produced at Catterick but the latter may sometimes be distinguished by having restricted slip. The type is also similar to Swanpool products (K Hartley, pers comm).

General appearance

The fabric is orange-brown (5YR 6/6–6/8), usually with a core or margins in a differing shade of brown (eg 5Y 5/4) or grey (4/0), while the surfaces are covered all over with a cream (10YR 8/3) slip. Usually a hard fabric, the fracture is irregular and the feel smooth to powdery. Some vessels have red paint on the rim, but that style is not represented here.

Hand specimen

Inclusions are generally well sorted with quartz the only common constituent, normally 0.3–0.5mm but sometimes mesuring between 0.2–1.5mm. The remaining inclusions are sparse and finer (0.2–0.4mm): red-brown and black iron-rich grains and grey clay pellets are regularly present; limestone is less frequently seen. Trituration grits are abundant (1.0–6.0mm but normally 3.0–4.0mm). One of our samples (Plate 162b) has well-sorted black and red-brown slag mixed with milky quartz (sometimes polycrystalline); the second is ill-sorted and composed almost entirely of black slag.

Thin section

A clean clay with rare silt-sized quartz is revealed under the petrological microscope. Common to abundant grains measuring 0.1–0.6mm, but normally not exceeding 0.4mm, are present. They primarily comprise quartz, but also include siliceous siltstone, fine-grained sandstone, polycrystalline quartz, quartzite, flint and feldspar. Also present in the clay are opaques (<0.2mm) and rare quartz-rich clay pellets (<0.5mm). Trituration grits measure between c 1.0–3.0mm and are identified as quartz-bearing slag (I Freestone, pers comm).

Source

The industry is known from a large number of kilns in the vicinity, not all of which can now be precisely located (Buckland et al 1980, 147–52).

Donor

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery

Museum

Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery

References

Buckland, P C, Magilton, J R, & Dolby, M J, 1980 The Roman pottery industry of south Yorkshire: a review, Britannia 11, 145–64

Cregeen, S M, 1957 The Romano-British excavations at Cantley Estate, Doncaster. The pottery from kilns 9–25, Yorks Archaeol J 39, 364–88

Hartley, K F, 1986b Doncaster: mortarium fabrics, in The archaeology of Doncaster. 1. The Roman civil settlement (P C Buckland & J R Magilton), BAR 148, 149–53

Plate 162a: Fresh sherd break of CAN WS (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 162a: Fresh sherd break of CAN WS (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 162b: Trituration grits on CAN WS (width of field 24 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 162b: Trituration grits on CAN WS (width of field 24 mm)

Plate 162.1: Photomicrograph of CAN WS (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 162.1: Photomicrograph of CAN WS (XPL) (width of field 1.74 mm)

Plate 162.2: Photomicrograph of trituration grits on CAN WS (XPL) (width of field 3.5 mm). Click to see a larger version

Plate 162.2: Photomicrograph of trituration grits on CAN WS (XPL) (width of field 3.5 mm)


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